Ernesto Reuben

Research Fellow

New York University, Abu Dhabi

Ernesto Reuben is an associate professor in the Social Science Division of New York University Abu Dhabi. His research interests lie within behavioral economics and public economics.

For his PhD dissertation at the University of Amsterdam, he conducted research on the affective mircofoundations of negative reciprocity. Since then, he has done experimental research on the consequences of heterogeneity on the enforcement of cooperation norms, the role of reciprocity in the interaction between special interest groups and politicians, the effects of competition and reputation building on cooperation in social dilemmas, and most recently on the role of stereotypes on gender discrimination.

He joined IZA as a Research Affiliate in January 2009 and became an IZA Research Fellow in January 2013.



IZA Discussion Paper No. 11031

Using a series of sender-receiver games, we find that two senders acting together are willing to behave more antisocially towards the receiver than single senders. This result is robust in two contexts: when antisocial messages are dishonest and when they are honest but unfavorable. Our results suggest that diffusion of...

IZA Discussion Paper No. 10497
Ernesto Reuben, Krisztina Timko

We study the effect on coordination in a minimum-effort game of a leader's gender depending on whether the leader is democratically elected or is randomly-selected. Leaders use non-binding messages to try to convince followers to coordinate on the Pareto-efficient equilibrium. We find that teams with elected leaders coordinate on higher...

IZA Discussion Paper No. 9446

Important gender differences in earnings and career trajectories persist. Particularly, in professions such as business. Gender differences in competitiveness have been proposed as a potential explanation. Using an incentivized measure of competitiveness, this paper investigates whether competitiveness explains future gender differences in earnings and industry choice in a sample of...

IZA Discussion Paper No. 8585
published in: Journal of Public Economics, 2017, 152, 143-153

Turf wars commonly occur in environments where competition undermines collaboration. We develop a game theoretic model and experimental test of turf wars. The model explores how team production incentives ex post affect team formation decisions ex ante. In the game, one agent decides whether to share jurisdiction over a project...

IZA Discussion Paper No. 7579
published in: Economic Journal, 2017, 127, 2153-2186

Standard observed characteristics explain only part of the differences between men and women in education choices and labor market trajectories. Using an experiment to derive students' levels of overconfidence, and preferences for competitiveness and risk, this paper investigates whether these behavioral biases and preferences explain gender differences in college major...

IZA Discussion Paper No. 7492
published in: Games and Economic Behavior, 2014, 86, 40-57

We introduce three variations of the Hirshleifer-Skaperdas conflict game to study experimentally the effects of post-conflict behavior and repeated interaction on the allocation of effort between production and appropriation. Without repeated interaction, destruction of resources by defeated players can lead to lower appropriative efforts and higher overall efficiency. With repeated...

IZA Discussion Paper No. 6998
published in: Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, 2013, 93, 384-391

We investigate the intrinsic motivation of individuals to report, and thereby sanction, fellow group members who lie for personal gain. We further explore the changes in lying and reporting behavior that result from giving individuals a say in who joins their group. We find that enough individuals are willing to...

IZA Discussion Paper No. 6620
published in: Economic Journal, 2014, 124 (574), F163-F195

The ability of groups to implement efficiency-enhancing institutions is emerging as a central theme of research in economics. This paper explores voting on a scheme of intergroup competition, which facilitates cooperation in a social dilemma situation. Experimental results show that the competitive scheme fosters cooperation. Competition is popular, but the...

IZA Discussion Paper No. 5332
published in: American Journal of Political Science, 2013, 57 (3), 582-597

We experimentally study the common wisdom that money buys political influence. In the game, one lobbyist has the opportunity to influence redistributive tax policies in her favor by transferring money to two competing candidates. The success of the lobbying investment depends on whether or not the candidates are willing to...

IZA Discussion Paper No. 5300
published in: Journal of Economic Behavior and Organization, 2012, 83 (1), 111-117

We present evidence from an experiment in which groups select a leader to compete against the leaders of other groups in a real-effort task that they have all performed in the past. We find that women are selected much less often as leaders than is suggested by their individual past...