Robert D. Metcalfe

Associate Professor in Economics

Department of Economics

University of Southern California

robert.metcalfe@usc.edu

Faculty Research Fellow, National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

Affiliate, Abdul Latif Jameel Poverty Action Lab (J-PAL) 

Affiliate, E2e Project, UC Berkeley

Curriculum Vitae

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RePEc

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I am an applied microeconomist, where my research focuses on using field experimental methods to understand human behavior in consumer markets and within organizations. A running theme in my research is to understand such behavior and the measurement of welfare in the presence of market imperfections and externalities.  

 Working Papers:

Measuring the Welfare Effects of Shame and Pride

Butera, L., Morrison, W., Metcalfe, R., Taubinsky, D. 

Conditionally accepted at the American Economic Review 

[Slides]  [Click for Charity user interface]  [Download QSF files for Prolific version]

Can Myopic Loss Aversion Explain the Equity Premium Puzzle? Evidence from a Natural Field Experiment with Professional Traders 

Larson, F., List, J., Metcalfe, R.

Reject and resubmit, Econometrica 

[Slides] 

The Value of Time in the United States: Estimates from Nationwide Natural Field Experiments

Goldszmidt, A., List, J., Metcalfe, R., Muir, I., Smith, K., Wang, J. 

Reject and resubmit at the American Economic Review

Smart Meters: Do Their Prices Matter to Their Adoption and Do They Save Energy? 

List, J., Metcalfe, R., Price, M.

Revise and resubmit at the Journal of Environmental Economics and Management 

Understanding the response to financial and non-financial incentives in education: Field experimental evidence using high-stakes assessments

Burgess, S., Metcalfe, R., Sadoff, S.

Revise and resubmit at the Economics of Education Review

Using Big Data to Estimate Consumer Surplus: The Case of Uber 

Cohen, P.,  Hahn, R.,  Hall, J., Metcalfe, R.,  Levitt, S. 

[Slides] 

Fatalism, Beliefs, and Behaviors During the COVID-19 Pandemic  

Akesson, J., Ashworth-Hayes, S., Hahn, R., Metcalfe R., Rasooly, I. (submitted)

Do the Effects of Social Nudges Persist? Theory and Evidence from 38 Natural Field Experiments 

Brandon, A., Ferraro, P., List, J., Metcalfe, R., Price, M., Rundhammer, F. 

[Slides]

The Making of Homo Honoratus: From Omission to Commission 

Hallsworth, M., List, J., Metcalfe, R., Vlaev, I.  

Harnessing Policy Complementarities to Conserve Energy: Evidence from a Natural Field Experiment 

List, J., Metcalfe, R., Price, M., Rundhammer, F. (submitted)  

 

Nudging Timely Wage Reporting: Field Experimental Evidence from the U.S. SSI Program 

Zhang, C.Y., Hemmeter, J., Kessler, J.B., Metcalfe, R., Weathers, R. (submitted)

How Can We Increase Tax Compliance? Evidence from Two Natural Field Experiments 

Floyd, E., Hallsworth, M., List, J.A., Metcalfe, R., Vlaev, I. (submitted)

 

Selected Peer-Reviewed Publications:

Efficiency and Equity Impacts of Energy Subsidies. 

Hahn, R., Metcalfe, R. (2021)

American Economic Review 

[Ungated PDF]

The Impact of Management Practices on Employee Productivity: A Field Experiment with Airline Captains. 

Gosnell. G., List, J., Metcalfe, R. (2020)

 Journal of Political Economy Lead article 

[Harvard Business Review] [Ungated PDF] [Slides

Testing for Crowd Out in Social Nudges: Evidence from a Natural Field Experiment in the Market for Electricity. 

Brandon, A., List, J., Metcalfe, R., Price, M., Rundhammer, F. (2019)

Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States

Quantifying the Intangible Impact of the Olympics Using Subjective Well-Being Data. 

Dolan, P., Kavetsos, G., Krekel, C., Mavridis, D., Metcalfe, R., Senik, S., Szymanski, S., Ziebarth, N. (2019)

Journal of Public Economics  

[Slides]

Students' Effort and Educational Achievement: Using the Timing of the World Cup to Vary the Value of Leisure. 

Metcalfe, R., Burgess, S., Proud, S. (2019)

Journal of Public Economics

The Behavioralist as Tax Collector: Using Natural Field Experiments to Enhance Tax Compliance. 

Hallsworth, M., List, J., Metcalfe, R., Vlaev, I. (2017) 

Journal of Public Economics

Work in progress:

Measuring Welfare when Prices Differ from Marginal Cost  

Hahn, R., Metcalfe, R., Tam, E. 

Management and Productivity in the Retail Sector 

Metcalfe, R., Sollaci, A., Syverson, C. 

The Income Elasticity of Energy Demand. 

Hahn, R., Metcalfe, R., Tam, E. 

The Impact of Fake Reviews on Consumer Choice and Welfare

Akesson, J., Hahn, R., Metcalfe, R., Rasooly, I. 

Attention and Information Frictions in Consumer Choice 

Akesson, J., Hahn, R., Mahler, A., Metcalfe, R. 

Smart Technologies, Dumb Humans: The Perils of Scaling Household Technologies

Brandon, A., Clapp, C., List, J., Metcalfe, R., Price, M. 

Impact of Reserve Prices on Auction Prices

Brooks, B., Metcalfe, R., Stalinski, M.

A Unified Theory of Welfare Under Regulation

Hahn, R., Hendren, N., Metcalfe, R., Sprung-Keyser, B.

Bio:

Prior to joining Boston University, I was a Postdoctoral Research Scholar in Economics at the University of Chicago and a Research Fellow in Economics at the University of Oxford. I have previously worked in the U.K. Government as an Economist, and had a short-term position as a Fellow at the Social and Behavioral Sciences Team at the Office of Science and Technology Policy, Office of the U.S. President.  I completed my Ph.D. at Imperial College London, M.Sc. at the London School of Economics, and B.A. at the University of Wales, Swansea.  I grew up in a neighborhood called Gendros, in Swansea, United Kingdom.  

I am also co-founder of two start-ups, The Behavioralist and Signol