ISS Faculty Fellow
Judgment, Decision Making, and Social Behavior Team
Ori Heffetz is an economist (Ph.D., Princeton University, 2005) with roots in philosophy and physics (B.A., Tel Aviv University, 1999) and other disciplines. He has studied how individuals' concern with social status may affect their economic decisions (empirically applying Veblen's notion of conspicuous consumption), and has developed methods to quantify by how much consumers are more attracted to more expensive products. He has also been studying the meanings attached by individuals to economic activities like consumption, and how such attached meanings affect economic behavior. Recently, he has been exploring to what extent his findings from a rich market economy --- the U.S. --- extend to pre-market societies of forager-farmers in the Amazonian rainforest in Bolivia.
As his research interests lie in the intersection of economics, society, and culture, Heffetz brings to this theme project a research agenda and skills that are focused on the social behavior component of the theme. By bringing in insights from sociology, anthropology, and other social sciences, Heffetz's work complements work in behavioral economics that is focused on incorporating into economics insights mostly from psychology.