Ericka Scherenberg Farret

2014 SPI Subaward Winner (PhD Grant)

University of Texas-Dallas

Bio: My research uses experimental economics methods to explore the impact of incentives on people with other-regarding preferences. I apply different econometric techniques to explore experimental results such as Bayesian mixture models, logistic regressions and hierarchical models.

I am especially interested in intrinsic motivation in the workplace and the willingness to donate labor, i.e. working harder than others for equivalent salaries. Most of my work stems from laboratory experiments; however I recently participated in the design and implementation of a field experiment exploring the impact of children's social environment on their altruistic preferences, especially volunteering.

In my job market paper I use experimental data from a three-person game that reproduces the interactions of a caregiving setting. A person who needs to employ a caregiver and another acting as the caregiver employee who provides services to a third, needy individual. I apply a finite mixture model regression to identify the presence of behavioral "types" in the sample.

I believe that the methodology of mixture regressions can be usefully applied in a variety of experimental and empirical settings. Too often we focus on the average response to a given treatment or stimuli. In many settings, however, different types of individuals will react differently to a given change. Examining average behavior misses this important feature. I look forward to identifying a wide range of new domains where this methodology can shed light on how individuals behave, and the variation in that behavior.

2014 PhD Grant Award

Faculty Advisors: Sherry Li

Reasearch Question: Is a Volunteer Born or Made?

Abstract: * coming soon *