Victor Gonzalez Jimenez

Ph.D Candidate in Economics, Tilburg University

My research makes use of cognitive biases, which are prominent regularities in the literature of decision making (Kahneman and Tversky, 1979; Tversky and Kahneman, 1992), to boost individual motivation, which in turn has a significant effect in economic productivity. This research has two noteworthy applications: The first one would be personnel economics where cost effective policies to boost employees’ performance are helpful for employers (Lazear, 1991; Millgrom, 1986). I show how the concepts of reference points, probability weighting and dynamic inconsistency could help the principal to design mechanisms in which these psychological phenomena boost human motivation. The second application of my research is poverty, where agents that are locked in such state may escape their particular poverty trap when provided with a psychological mechanism that boosts motivation. This research is attractive to governments given the cost-efficient characteristic of these psychological mechanisms to exploit productivity.