Research

Here is a sample of research projects sponsored in part by the Center.

 

Experimental Economics, Psychiatric Epidemiology, and Causal Modeling

This project, run by Harold Kincaid, involves a set of distinct but interrelated projects: a longitudinal study of pathological gambling in South Africa with experimental elicitation of discounting rates and risk attitudes and taxometric analysis of pathological gambling screens, an experimental study of risk attitudes and trust in a sample from the informal settlements of Cape Town, and the use of the directed graph framework for causal modeling in economics and epidemiology.

 

Foundations of Contemporary Positive and Normative Economics

This project, led by Erik Angner, examines the philosophical foundations of contemporary economics, with a particular focus on behavioral economics and the economics of happiness.

 

Probability and Causation in Evolutionary and Social Processes

This project, led by Marshall Abrams, seeks to explore the foundations of evolutionary theory and the social sciences by examining the nature and role of probability and causation in microevolutionary processes such as natural selection, drift, and mutation, and in processes of social and cultural change.

 

Research Ethics for Geoengineering

Some prominent scientists and policy makers have begun calling for scientific research into geoengineering (GE), the intentional manipulation of the Earth's climate in order to reduce effects of increased greenhouse gas concentrations in the atmosphere. Examples of proposed GE techniques include carbon dioxide removal, which involves removing carbon dioxide from the atmosphere and sequestering it, and solar radiation management, which involves reducing the amount of solar energy that reaches the Earth's surface. This project, led by David Morrow, explores ethical and other normative issues connected with GE research. These issues include the ethical permissibility of various types of GE research; ethical guidelines for the conduct of various types of GE research; and normative questions about the political institutions necessary for regulating GE research.