behavioral finance


How long is a minute? How time perception influences financial decisions
Joint with Isabelle Brocas and Juan Carrillo. Published in 2018 in Games and Economic Behavior. 

We analyze how time perception influences inter-temporal choices (decisions between different outcomes at different dates). Economics research emphasizes that the value of a reward depends on the delay involved. Psychophysics studies suggest that our perception of time is different from the objective passage of time. We combine both strands and estimate time discounting and time perception functions at the individual level in an incentivized controlled laboratory environment. We find a negative and statistically significant correlation between time perception and time discounting: subjects for whom one unit of time feels longer are less willing to delay gratification by that amount of time. The result suggests that our ability to delay consumption is related to our mental representation of time delays.

Brocas, Isabelle, Juan D. Carrillo, and Jorge Tarrasó. "How long is a minute?". Games and Economic Behavior, Volume 111 (2018): 305-322

Games and Economic Behavior: Impact Factor:  1.241 

Download PDF

behavioral economics


Self awareness in time perception
Joint with Isabelle Brocas and Juan Carrillo and published in 2018 in Journal of Economic Behavior and Organization

We investigate self-awareness in time perception using three time production tasks with different rewards structures, and collect self-assessments of performance. Participants had monetary incentives to target the true time in the first (baseline) task, not to exceed the true time in the second task and not to fall below the true time in the third task. We found that participants overestimated time in all tasks but responded correctly to incentives: they decreased their estimates in the second task and increased them in the third. Participants' self-assessment in the baseline task was in line with their time perception biases, and their behavior in the other tasks was consistent with their (correct) beliefs. Self-perceived over-estimators decreased their estimates in the second task significantly more relative to self-perceived under-estimators, while in the third task they increased their estimates significantly less.

Brocas, Isabelle, Juan D. Carrillo, and Jorge Tarrasó. "Self-awareness in time perception." Journal of Economic Behavior and Organization 148 (2018): 1-19

Journal of Economic Behavior and Organization: Impact Factor: 1.323

Download PDF


Honesty in the city: evidence of a theory of sequential reciprocity from the taxi cab market in Mexico City
Joint with Martin DufwenbergMaroš Servátka and Radovan Vadovic work in progress

Lab evidence on trust games involves more cooperation than conventional economic theory predicts. Instead, guilt aversion or reciprocity may drive behavior. Do these insights apply to a field setting? We explore one where (much like in a lab) we are able to control for (lack of) repeat-play and reputation: cab drivers in Mexico City. In a baseline treatment, we flag down cabs at point A, ask them to deliver a package at point B, paying in advance. Our research strategy tailors follow-up treatment(s) to the results of that baseline.

Complex systems




The complexity of partition tasks
Joint with Fernando Esponda, Matías Vera-Cruz and Marco Morales and published in 2010 in Complexity. 

In this paper we introduce the Partition Task problem class along with a complexity measure to evaluate its instances and a performance measure to quantify the ability of a system to solve them. We explore, via simulations, some potential applications of these concepts and present some results as examples that highlight their usefulness in policy design scenarios, where the optimal number of elements in a partition or the optimal size of the elements in a partition must be determined.

Eesponda, Fernando, Matías Vera‐Cruz, Jorge Tarrasó, and Marco Morales. "The complexity of partition tasks." Complexity, no. 1 (2010): 56-64

Complexity: Impact Factor: 3.514 ISI Ranking 2015: 5/101 in Mathematics, Interdisciplinary Applications

Download PDF