Anya Samek
 Center for Economic and Social Research
University of Southern California


University of Southern California
Los Angeles, CA

The University of Chicago
Chicago, Illinois

University of Wisconsin-Madison
Madison, Wisconsin

Affiliated Centers:


The BEE group research projects are focused on using experimental methods to discover the decisions that people make when facing different information and incentives. This work encompasses many areas, for instance: When and why do we donate to charity? What motivates us to volunteer? What is the role of information and incentives on our food choices, and the choices that kids make in the lunchroom? How can information be presented in ways to improve financial decision-making?

We use both laboratory and field experiments. Students working in our group get an opportunity to get hands-on experience in conducting these experiments. All students are trained in the ethics of human subjects research.

In a recent field experiment, we investigated the a novel mechanism, pay-what-you-want pricing, as a way for sellers and non-profits to partner for mutual benefit. At right, Charis and Carrie prepare materials for the field experiments. Below, RAs are trained and get ready to go door to door to implement the experiment in Sun Prairie, WI. The data for this experiment are still being analyzed.

BEE Lab research was recently profiled in the New York Times! The piece is called "Seeking the Why of Giving." BEE group worked with a non-profit and conducted a field experiment to learn more about whether we can increase the meaning derived from the act of giving. [ see here ]