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Kenneth L. Robinson Professor of Agricultural Economics and Public Policy
William Schulze is Robinson Professor in Applied Economics and Management. Early in his career he focused on theoretical issues in the new field of Environmental and Resource Economics including efficient ways to regulate emissions and management of non-renewable resources. Later as the field matured, his work focused on ways to measure the benefits and costs of environmental improvement. This empirical research revealed that many of the underlying assumptions of economic theory were inconsistent with actual behavior when people faced risks or situations involving loss. He then turned to the laboratory using methods from experimental and behavioral economics to attempt to develop a basic understanding of human behavior essential to improving economic policy and institutions.
- Applied Economics and Management
- Natural Resources
My current research focuses on behavioral anomalies and public and environmental goods. This work brings the new understanding of economic behavior derived from laboratory economics experiments and psychology to the design of economic institutions and mechanisms. Applications include the design of electric power markets, ways of increasing contributions for public and charitable goods, methods for reducing stigma associated with hazardous materials and sites, and mechanisms for reducing non point source pollution. A new research initiative growing out of the stigma research (which highlighted the influence of disgust and fear as opposed to reason on behavior), will be to explore the role of emotion in economic decision-making. This new research will be in collaboration with other investigators in AEM including Brian Wansink and Harry Kaiser.