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Babcock Lecture

by User Not Found | Oct 09, 2017


The Philip Babcock Memorial Undergraduate Lecture was established at the University of California, Santa Barbara to honor the vibrant legacy of UCSB Professor Philip Babcock. The lecture seeks to expose our students and the community at large to the most intriguing applications of economics. Our speakers have been chosen to convey some of the joy Professor Babcock found in applying economics to the world.

Professor Babcock lived an extraordinary life. He joined our faculty in 2006 after obtaining his Ph.D. in Economics from UC San Diego in 2005. His areas of expertise included labor economics, time use, human capital, social dynamics, and networks. His recent scholarly publications have been cited and debated in The New York Times, The Washington Post, CNN - Anderson Cooper 360, The Economist, The Boston Globe, Mother Jones, Voice of America, and other media outlets. His interests and talents were wide-ranging; in addition to his important contributions as an economist, he also founded an engineering software company, worked as a freelance writer of film and episodic television, and in 2011 published a novel, Eyes of God, which was hailed as "both a tale of suspense that chronicles the fall of a dictatorship, and an exploration of suffering, loss, love, and raw human resilience." Professor Babcock’s exuberance for life, incredible courage in the face of illness and unwavering dedication to our campus and our students was an inspiration to all who knew him.

For our fifth annual lecture, Professor Stefano DellaVigna from University of California, Berkeley will present “Predicting Experimental Results: Who Knows What”. Stefano DellaVigna specializes in Behavioral Economics (a.k.a, Psychology and Economics) and is a co-director of the Initiative for Behavioral Economics and Finance. He has published in international journals such as the American Economic Review, the Quarterly Journal of Economics, the Journal of Finance, and the Journal of Labor Economics. He has been a Principal Investigator for an NSF Grant (2004-07), an Alfred P. Sloan Fellow for 2008-10, and is a Distinguished Teaching Award winner (2008). He was also a co-editor of the Journal of the European Economic Association (JEEA) from 2009 to 2013. His recent work has focused on (i) the economics of the media, and in particular the impact on voting (through persuasion) and the study of conflicts of interest; (ii) the design of model-based field experiments, including the role of social pressure in charitable giving and voting, and (iii) the analysis of scientific journals and in particular editorial choices; (iv) the study of reference-dependence for unemployed workers.