Syon Bhanot

Syon Bhanot
  • Adjunct Associate Professor

Contact Information

Research Interests: behavioral economics; experimental economics; public policy; public economics

Links: Personal Website

Overview

Syon Bhanot is an Associate Adjunct Professor in the Business Economics and Public Policy group at Wharton, and an Associate Professor of Economics at Swarthmore College. He holds a BA from Princeton University, and an MPP and PhD in Public Policy from Harvard University’s Kennedy School. His research spans behavioral economics, public policy, and public administration, and primarily involves running randomized field experiments with a variety of public- and private-sector partners in the US and abroad (including the City of Philadelphia, the World Bank, the U.S. federal government, and the US Agency for International Development). In addition to his academic positions, Professor Bhanot is an Academic Affiliate at the Office of Evaluation Sciences, a Research Affiliate at the Busara Center for Behavioral Economics, a Senior Researcher at the Applied Cooperation Team, and a founding member of the Philadelphia Behavioral Science Initiative.

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Research

Selected recent publications

Bhanot, S.P., and S. Heller. 2022. Does Administrative Burden Deter Young People? Evidence from Summer Jobs Programs. Journal of Behavioral Public Administration, 5(1). (Link)

Bhanot, S.P., B. Crost, J. Leight, E. Mvukiyehe, and B. Yedgenov. 2021. Can Community Service Grants Foster Social and Economic Integration for Youth? A Randomized Trial in Kazakhstan. Journal of Development Economics, 153. (LinkPDF)

Bhanot, S.P. 2021. Isolating the Effect of Injunctive Norms on Conservation Behavior: New Evidence from a Field Experiment in California. Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, 163, 30-42. (LinkPDF)

Bhanot, S.P. 2021. Good for You or Good for Us?: A Field Experiment on Motivating Citizen Behavior Change. Journal of Behavioral Public Administration, 4(1). (Link)

Banker, S., S.P. Bhanot, and A. Deshpande. 2020. Poverty Identity and Preference for Challenge: Evidence from the U.S. and India. Journal of Economic Psychology, 76. (LinkPDFOnline Appendix)

Bhanot, S.P., and D. Hopkins. 2020. Partisan Polarization and Resistance to Elite Messages: Results from Survey Experiments on Social Distancing. Journal of Behavioral Public Administration, 3(2). (LinkPDFVideo Summary (3 minutes)) (Selected Media Coverage: Philadelphia Inquirer)

Bhanot, S.P., and C. Williamson. 2020. Financial Incentives and Herding: Evidence from Two Online Experiments. Southern Economic Journal, 86(4), 1559-1575. (LinkPDFAudio Summary (5 mins))

Yoeli, E., J. Rathauser, S.P. Bhanot, M.K. Kimenye, E. Mailu, E. Masini, P. Owiti, and D. Rand. 2019. Digital Health Support in Treatment for Tuberculosis. The New England Journal of Medicine, 381(10), 986-987. (Link) (Selected Media Coverage: NY TimesSciTech Daily)

Bayer, A., S.P. Bhanot, and F. Lozano. 2019. Does Simple Information Provision Lead to More Diverse Classrooms?: Evidence from a Field Experiment on Undergraduate Economics. AEA Papers & Proceedings, 109, 110-114. (LinkPDFOnline Appendix)

Bhanot, S.P., J. Han and C. Jang. 2018. Workfare, Wellbeing and Consumption: Evidence from a Field Experiment with Kenya’s Urban Poor. Journal of Economic Behavior and Organization, 149, 372-388. (LinkPDF)

Bhanot, S.P. 2017. Cheap Promises: Evidence from Loan Repayment Pledges in an Online Experiment. Journal of Economic Behavior and Organization, 140, 226-246. (LinkPDF)

Bhanot, S.P. 2017. Rank and Response: A Field Experiment on Peer Information and Water Use Behavior. Journal of Economic Psychology, 62, 155-172. (LinkPDFAudioSlides)

Kraft-Todd, G., E. Yoeli, S.P. Bhanot, and D. Rand. 2015. Promoting Cooperation in the FieldCurrent Opinion in Behavioral Sciences, 3, 96-101. (LinkPDF)

Teaching

Past Courses

  • BDS5000 - Intro To Behav & Dec Sci

    In the past 50 years, social scientists have increasingly used insights from psychology to explore the limitations of the standard, economic model of rational decision-making--a field now known broadly as behavioral science. This course is an introduction to the central concepts of behavioral science, touching on related research in economics, psychology, political science, and more. We also touch on various practical implications of this work for practitioners, from businesspeople to policymakers to everyday people in their day-to-day lives. The topics covered include self-control, procrastination, fairness, cooperation, reference dependence, and choice under uncertainty. The course consists of live and asynchronous core lectures that introduce the central concepts in behavioral science to students, supplemented by a series of exciting guest lectures that bring some of the leading academic voices working in the behavioral sciences to the classroom to share their work and insights.

  • BEPP2200 - Behavioral Economics

    Behavioral economics has revealed a variety of systematic ways in which people deviate from being perfectly selfish, rational, optimizing agents. These findings have important implications for government policy and firm behavior. This course will explore these implications by answering two main questions: (1) what does behavorial economics imply for when and how the government should intervene in markets? (2) What does behavioral economics imply for firms' pricing and production decisions? The course will present the standard economic approaches to answering these questions and then explore how answers change when we consider that people act in behavioral ways. Towards the end of the course, we will investigate specific policy questions, allowing us to debate solutions while hearing from policy makers operating in a world of behavioral agents.

  • BEPP4010 - Public Policy Analysis

    BEPP 4010 fulfills the Wharton capstone requirement by giving students an opportunity to apply their skills to assess a vital public policy question at the local, state, national, or global level. The policy topics the students can choose from will vary from year to year in order to ensure that they are topical and relevant. The course will also provide students with background on relevant conceptual/methodological topics for assessing policy, including experimental and quasi-experimental approaches, frameworks for policy analysis, behavioral economics, and data science (as appropriate for a given topic). Students will work in groups to produce a capstone report which provides a policy analysis for their chosen topic, along with policy recommendations. Not Offered Every Year

  • BEPP6200 - Behavioral Econ, Markets

    Behavioral economics has revealed a variety of systematic ways in which people deviate from being perfectly selfish, rational, optimizing agents. These findings have important implications for government policy and firm behavior. This course will explore these implications by answering two main questions: (1) what does behavioral economics imply for when and how the government should intervene in markets? (2) What does behavioral economics imply for firms' pricing and production decisions? The course will present the standard economic approaches to answering these questions and then explore how answers change when we consider that people act in behavioral ways. Towards the end of the course, we will investigate specific policy questions, allowing us to debate solutions while hearing from policy makers operating in a world of behavioral agents.

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