Thursday, 13 August, 2015 | 13:00 | Defense

Lasha Lanchava: “Essays in Behavioral Economics”

Dissertation Committee:
Peter Katuščák (chair)
Michal Bauer
Libor Dušek
Randall K. Filer
Avner Shaked



This dissertation consists of three experimental studies. The first chapter is based on laboratory experiment in the field. The second chapter is a study using laboratory experiment. The third and a final chapter exploits and analyses a natural experiment.

The first chapter of this work links two literature strands providing experimental evidence of the intergenerational transmission of other-regarding preferences and offering new insights about where these preferences originate. A large body of literature has been developed recently regarding the importance and development of other-regarding preferences. Though both development and dependence on the socio-economic background of children's other regarding preferences has been relatively well studied, less is known about intergenerational transmission of other regarding preferences and the nature of the transmission process, while the literature on cultural transmission of various attitudes, preferences, skills and economic outcomes is abundant.

The second chapter aims to understand how people behave when their choice autonomy is threatened. Despite much empirical evidence in the field of psychology, there has been no economic study evaluating the value of free choice. This chapter brings the well known concept of psychological reactance in social psychology into the field of economics, testing the economic significance of the theory.

Finally, the third chapter of the dissertation exploits a natural experiment that occurred in the Republic of Georgia. It implements a difference-in-differences methodology to study whether a religious appeal by an influential religious leader affected childbearing decisions.

Full Text: “Essays in Behavioral Economics” by Lasha Lanchava