Robert D. Metcalfe

Associate Professor of Economics (with tenure)

Department of Economics

University of Southern California

robert.metcalfe@usc.edu

Co-Editor, Journal of Public Economics

Associate Editor, Journal of Political Economy: Microeconomics

Research Associate, National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

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

Curriculum Vitae  |  RePEc  |  Twitter  |  LinkedIn

 

Over 5,000 cites on Google Scholar

Top 1% of all economists for last 10 years on RePEc

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 behavioral imperfections and externalities, such as pollution, climate change, congestion, and market power.

Fields: Applied microeconomics; environmental & energy economics; behavioral & experimental economics; public economics.

 Working Papers:

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.  Revise and resubmit, Management Science

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

List, J., Metcalfe, R., Price, M. Revise and resubmit, Journal of Environmental Economics and Management 

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, American Economic Review

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] 

From In Vitro to In Vivo: The Perils of Scaling Household Technologies

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

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

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

[Slides] 

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

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)  

What Motivates People to Pay their Taxes? Evidence from Four Experiments on Tax Compliance 

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

The Impact of Fake Reviews on Demand and Welfare

Akesson, J., Hahn, R., Metcalfe, R., Monti-Nussbaum, M. (submitted)

Race and Redistribution: An Experimental Analysis 

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

 

Selected Peer-Reviewed Publications:

Measuring the Welfare Effects of Shame and Pride

Butera, L., Morrison, W., Metcalfe, R., Taubinsky, D. (2022) American Economic Review 

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

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

Akesson, J., Ashworth-Hayes, S., Hahn, R., Metcalfe R., Rasooly, I. (2022) Journal of Risk and Uncertainty

Efficiency and Equity Impacts of Energy Subsidies. 

Hahn, R., Metcalfe, R. (2021) American Economic Review 

[Ungated PDF] [Slides]

Understanding the Response to Financial and Non-financial Incentives in Education: Field Experimental Evidence using High-stakes Assessments

Burgess, S., Metcalfe, R., Sadoff, S. (2021Economics of Education 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

Selected work in progress:

A Unified Theory of Welfare Under Regulation: An Application to Environmental and Climate Change Policy 

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

Measuring Welfare when Prices Differ from Marginal Cost: An Application in Congestion Pricing

Hahn, R., Metcalfe, R., Tam, E. 

Management and Productivity 

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

The Welfare Effect of Debt Forgiveness

Hahn, R., Metcalfe, R., Tam, E.

The Salience of Paying for Energy: A Natural Field Experiment with 2 million Households 

Akesson, J., Hahn, R., Metcalfe, R.

Estimating Switching Costs Under Full Information 

Akesson, J., Hahn, R., Metcalfe, R. 

The Demand for Electric Vehicles

Hahn, R., Metcalfe, R.

The Demand for Clean Indoor Air

Metcalfe, R., Roth, S.

Impact of Flooding Information on Property Search and Purchases: Evidence from a Nationwide Natural Field Experiment 

Fairweather, D., Kahn, M., Metcalfe, R., Sandoval-Olascoaga, S.

English Auctions versus First-Price Sealed Bid Auctions: A Field Experimental Test of the Theory

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

The Non-linear Impact of Social Norms

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

Bio:

Prior to joining the University of Southern California, I was an Assistant Professor at Boston University. I was also a Postdoctoral Research Scholar of Economics at the University of Chicago and a Research Fellow of 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 working class neighborhood called Gendros, in Swansea, United Kingdom. I am a first-gen college graduate. 

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