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Rachel Kranton

James B. Duke Distinguished Professor of Economics
Economics
Box 90097, Durham, NC 27708-0097
219 Social Sciences, Box 90097, Durham, NC 27708

Selected Publications


The hidden cost of humanization: Individuating information reduces prosocial behavior toward in-group members

Journal Article Journal of Economic Psychology · October 1, 2021 This paper reports robust experimental evidence that humanization—in the form of individuating information about another's personal preferences—leads to decreased prosocial behavior toward in-group members. Previous research shows that individuating inform ... Full text Cite

Oversampling of minority categories drives misperceptions of group compositions.

Journal Article Cognition · September 2021 The ability to estimate proportions informs our immediate impressions of social environments (e.g., of the diversity of races or genders within a crowded room). This study examines how the distribution of attention during brief glances shapes estimates of ... Full text Cite

Prevalence, severity and distribution of depression and anxiety symptoms using observational data collected before and nine months into the COVID-19 pandemic.

Journal Article Lancet regional health. Americas · September 2021 BackgroundThe COVID-19 pandemic has been accompanied by substantial increases in adverse mental health, particularly among the young. However, it remains unclear to what extent increases in population scores on mental health assessments are due to ... Full text Cite

Deconstructing bias in social preferences reveals groupy and not-groupy behavior.

Journal Article Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America · September 2020 Group divisions are a continual feature of human history, with biases toward people's own groups shown in both experimental and natural settings. Using a within-subject design, this paper deconstructs group biases to find significant and robust individual ... Full text Cite

Amount and time exert independent influences on intertemporal choice.

Journal Article Nature human behaviour · April 2019 Intertemporal choices involve trade-offs between the value of rewards and the delay before those rewards are experienced. Canonical intertemporal choice models such as hyperbolic discounting assume that reward amount and time until delivery are integrated ... Full text Cite

The devil is in the details: Implications of Samuel bowles’s the moral economy for economics and policy research

Journal Article Journal of Economic Literature · March 1, 2019 All economists should buy and read The Moral Economy by Samuel Bowles. The book challenges basic premises of economic theory and questions policies based on monetary incentives. Incentives not only crowd out intrinsic motivations, they Erode the ethical an ... Full text Cite

RUMORS AND SOCIAL NETWORKS

Scholarly Edition · May 1, 2018 This article studies the transmission of rumors in social networks. We consider a model with biased and unbiased agents. Biased agents want to enforce a specific decision and unbiased agents to match the true state. One agent learns the true state and send ... Full text Cite

Social status in networks

Journal Article American Economic Journal: Microeconomics · January 1, 2017 We study social comparisons and status seeking in an interconnected society. Individuals take costly actions that have direct benefits and also confer social status. A new measure of interconnectedness- cohesion-captures the intensity of incentives for see ... Full text Cite

Exploring the Generalization Process from Past Behavior to Predicting Future Behavior

Journal Article Journal of Behavioral Decision Making · October 1, 2016 Substantial evidence in social psychology documents that traits predict behavior. Research in behavioral economics establishes prior behavioral information—the actual behavior of another person in the past—influences future decision making, suggestive of t ... Full text Cite

Strategic Interaction and Networks

Journal Article American Economic Review · March 2014 Geography and social links shape economic interactions. In industries, schools, and markets, the entire network determines outcomes. This paper analyzes a large class of games and obtains a striking result. Equilibria depend on a single network measure: th ... Cite

Striving for social status

Journal Article Proceedings of the ACM Conference on Electronic Commerce · July 10, 2012 Social comparisons can influence individual decisions. People compare their income and their belongings to those of people around them. Prominent scholars, such as Frank [1985], argue that increasing inequality has led to excessive spending, as people try ... Full text Cite

Identity economics and the brain: uncovering the mechanisms of social conflict.

Journal Article Philosophical transactions of the Royal Society of London. Series B, Biological sciences · March 2012 Social contexts can have dramatic effects on decisions. When individuals recognize each other as coming from the same social group, they can coordinate their actions towards a common goal. Conversely, information about group differences can lead to conflic ... Full text Cite

Identity Economics: How Our Identities Shape Our Work, Wages, and Well-Being

Book · January 21, 2010 Identity Economics provides an important and compelling new way to understand human behavior, revealing how our identities--and not just economic incentives--influence our decisions. In 1995, economist Rachel Kranton wrote future Nobel Prize-winner George ... Cite

Identity economics

Journal Article Economists' Voice · January 1, 2010 Why have the relative rates of women smoking grown so much in the last 100 years? How can the U.S. military do so well with a relatively flat pay scale? Standard economics hasn't a clue, but according to Berkeley economist George Akerlof and Duke economist ... Full text Cite

Contracts, hold-up, and exports: Textiles and opium in colonial India

Journal Article American Economic Review · December 1, 2008 Trade and export, it is argued, spur economic growth. This paper studies the microeconomics of exporting. We build a heuristic model of transactions between exporters and producers and relate it to East India Company (EIC) operations in colonial Bengal. Ou ... Full text Open Access Cite

Identity, supervision, and work groups

Journal Article American Economic Review · May 1, 2008 Full text Cite

Risk-sharing networks

Journal Article Journal of Economic Behavior and Organization · November 1, 2007 This paper considers the formation of risk-sharing networks. Following empirical findings, we build a model where pairs form links, but a population cannot coordinate links. As a benchmark, individuals commit to share monetary holdings equally with linked ... Full text Cite

Public goods in networks

Journal Article Journal of Economic Theory · July 1, 2007 This paper considers incentives to provide goods that are non-excludable along social or geographic links. We find, first, that networks can lead to specialization in public good provision. In every social network there is an equilibrium where some individ ... Full text Open Access Cite

The hidden cost of humanization: Individuating information reduces prosocial behavior toward in-group members

Journal Article Journal of Economic Psychology · October 1, 2021 This paper reports robust experimental evidence that humanization—in the form of individuating information about another's personal preferences—leads to decreased prosocial behavior toward in-group members. Previous research shows that individuating inform ... Full text Cite

Oversampling of minority categories drives misperceptions of group compositions.

Journal Article Cognition · September 2021 The ability to estimate proportions informs our immediate impressions of social environments (e.g., of the diversity of races or genders within a crowded room). This study examines how the distribution of attention during brief glances shapes estimates of ... Full text Cite

Prevalence, severity and distribution of depression and anxiety symptoms using observational data collected before and nine months into the COVID-19 pandemic.

Journal Article Lancet regional health. Americas · September 2021 BackgroundThe COVID-19 pandemic has been accompanied by substantial increases in adverse mental health, particularly among the young. However, it remains unclear to what extent increases in population scores on mental health assessments are due to ... Full text Cite

Deconstructing bias in social preferences reveals groupy and not-groupy behavior.

Journal Article Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America · September 2020 Group divisions are a continual feature of human history, with biases toward people's own groups shown in both experimental and natural settings. Using a within-subject design, this paper deconstructs group biases to find significant and robust individual ... Full text Cite

Amount and time exert independent influences on intertemporal choice.

Journal Article Nature human behaviour · April 2019 Intertemporal choices involve trade-offs between the value of rewards and the delay before those rewards are experienced. Canonical intertemporal choice models such as hyperbolic discounting assume that reward amount and time until delivery are integrated ... Full text Cite

The devil is in the details: Implications of Samuel bowles’s the moral economy for economics and policy research

Journal Article Journal of Economic Literature · March 1, 2019 All economists should buy and read The Moral Economy by Samuel Bowles. The book challenges basic premises of economic theory and questions policies based on monetary incentives. Incentives not only crowd out intrinsic motivations, they Erode the ethical an ... Full text Cite

RUMORS AND SOCIAL NETWORKS

Scholarly Edition · May 1, 2018 This article studies the transmission of rumors in social networks. We consider a model with biased and unbiased agents. Biased agents want to enforce a specific decision and unbiased agents to match the true state. One agent learns the true state and send ... Full text Cite

Social status in networks

Journal Article American Economic Journal: Microeconomics · January 1, 2017 We study social comparisons and status seeking in an interconnected society. Individuals take costly actions that have direct benefits and also confer social status. A new measure of interconnectedness- cohesion-captures the intensity of incentives for see ... Full text Cite

Exploring the Generalization Process from Past Behavior to Predicting Future Behavior

Journal Article Journal of Behavioral Decision Making · October 1, 2016 Substantial evidence in social psychology documents that traits predict behavior. Research in behavioral economics establishes prior behavioral information—the actual behavior of another person in the past—influences future decision making, suggestive of t ... Full text Cite

Strategic Interaction and Networks

Journal Article American Economic Review · March 2014 Geography and social links shape economic interactions. In industries, schools, and markets, the entire network determines outcomes. This paper analyzes a large class of games and obtains a striking result. Equilibria depend on a single network measure: th ... Cite

Striving for social status

Journal Article Proceedings of the ACM Conference on Electronic Commerce · July 10, 2012 Social comparisons can influence individual decisions. People compare their income and their belongings to those of people around them. Prominent scholars, such as Frank [1985], argue that increasing inequality has led to excessive spending, as people try ... Full text Cite

Identity economics and the brain: uncovering the mechanisms of social conflict.

Journal Article Philosophical transactions of the Royal Society of London. Series B, Biological sciences · March 2012 Social contexts can have dramatic effects on decisions. When individuals recognize each other as coming from the same social group, they can coordinate their actions towards a common goal. Conversely, information about group differences can lead to conflic ... Full text Cite

Identity Economics: How Our Identities Shape Our Work, Wages, and Well-Being

Book · January 21, 2010 Identity Economics provides an important and compelling new way to understand human behavior, revealing how our identities--and not just economic incentives--influence our decisions. In 1995, economist Rachel Kranton wrote future Nobel Prize-winner George ... Cite

Identity economics

Journal Article Economists' Voice · January 1, 2010 Why have the relative rates of women smoking grown so much in the last 100 years? How can the U.S. military do so well with a relatively flat pay scale? Standard economics hasn't a clue, but according to Berkeley economist George Akerlof and Duke economist ... Full text Cite

Contracts, hold-up, and exports: Textiles and opium in colonial India

Journal Article American Economic Review · December 1, 2008 Trade and export, it is argued, spur economic growth. This paper studies the microeconomics of exporting. We build a heuristic model of transactions between exporters and producers and relate it to East India Company (EIC) operations in colonial Bengal. Ou ... Full text Open Access Cite

Identity, supervision, and work groups

Journal Article American Economic Review · May 1, 2008 Full text Cite

Risk-sharing networks

Journal Article Journal of Economic Behavior and Organization · November 1, 2007 This paper considers the formation of risk-sharing networks. Following empirical findings, we build a model where pairs form links, but a population cannot coordinate links. As a benchmark, individuals commit to share monetary holdings equally with linked ... Full text Cite

Public goods in networks

Journal Article Journal of Economic Theory · July 1, 2007 This paper considers incentives to provide goods that are non-excludable along social or geographic links. We find, first, that networks can lead to specialization in public good provision. In every social network there is an equilibrium where some individ ... Full text Open Access Cite

Risk sharing across communities

Journal Article American Economic Review · May 1, 2007 Full text Cite

Identity and the economics of organizations

Journal Article Journal of Economic Perspectives · December 1, 2005 Full text Cite

Competition and the incentive to produce high quality

Journal Article Economica · August 1, 2003 Previous literature indicates that, when quality is a choice variable, firms have an incentive to produce high quality to maintain their reputations with consumers. The strategic interaction among firms and competition for market share is not considered. T ... Full text Cite

Identity and schooling: Some lessons for the economics of education

Journal Article Journal of Economic Literature · January 1, 2002 Full text Open Access Cite

A theory of buyer-seller networks

Journal Article American Economic Review · January 1, 2001 This paper introduces a new model of exchange: networks, rather than markets, of buyers and sellers. It begins with the empirically motivated premise that a buyer and seller must have a relationship, a "link," to exchange goods. Networks - buyers, sellers, ... Full text Open Access Cite

Competition for goods in buyer-seller networks

Journal Article Review of Economic Design · January 1, 2000 This paper studies competition in a network and how a network structure determines agents' individual payoffs. It constructs a general model of competition that can serve as a reduced form for specific models. The paper shows how agents' outside options, a ... Full text Cite

Networks versus vertical integration

Journal Article RAND Journal of Economics · January 1, 2000 We construct a theory to compare vertically integrated firms to networks of manufacturers and suppliers. Vertically integrated firms make their own specialized inputs. In networks, manufacturers procure specialized inputs from suppliers that, in turn, sell ... Full text Open Access Cite

Economics and identity

Journal Article Quarterly Journal of Economics · January 1, 2000 This paper considers how identity, a person's sense of self, affects economic outcomes. We incorporate the psychology and sociology of identity into an economic model of behavior. In the utility function we propose, identity is associated with different so ... Full text Cite

The hazards of piecemeal reform: British civil courts and the credit market in colonial India

Journal Article Journal of Development Economics · February 1, 1999 The colonial experience of developing countries provides valuable evidence regarding the impact of legal and institutional innovations on economic growth. However, there has been little effort by economists to study colonial policies to gain theoretical in ... Full text Cite

Reciprocal Exchange: A Self-Sustaining System

Journal Article American Economic Review · September 1, 1996 Reciprocal exchange, or gift exchange, remains a widespread means of obtaining goods and services. This paper examines the persistence of reciprocal exchange by formalizing the interaction between self-enforcing exchange agreements and monetary market exch ... Open Access Cite

The formation of cooperative relationships

Journal Article Journal of Law, Economics, and Organization · January 1, 1996 This article investigates how individuals forge and maintain cooperative relationships when there is always the possibility of starting again with a new partner. The analysis shows that an ever-present opportunity to form new relationships need not destroy ... Full text Cite

Games Played on Networks

Chapter This chapter studies games played on fixed networks. These games capture a wide variety of economic settings including local public goods, peer effects, and technology adoption. We establish a common analytical framework to study a wide game class. We unea ... Cite

Rumors and Social Networks

Scholarly Edition Why do people spread rumors? This paper studies the transmission of possibly false information---by rational agents who seek the truth. Unbiased agents earn payoffs when a collective decision is correct in that it matches the true state of the world, which ... Cite

Games Played on Networks

Scholarly Edition This chapter studies games played on fixed networks. These games capture a wide variety of economic settings including local public goods, peer effects, and technology adoption. We establish a common analytical framework to study a wide game class. We unea ... Link to item Cite