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Dr Oliver Hauser

Senior Lecturer in Economics at University of Exeter

My research focuses on social and economic inequality (including gender and racial discrimination) and cooperative and ethical behaviour. I joined the University of Exeter Business School’s Department of Economics as a Senior Lecturer in July 2018. Previously, I taught and researched at the Harvard Business School, Harvard Kennedy School of Government and Harvard Extension School. I received my Ph.D. in Biology from Harvard University in 2016 and my B.Sc. in Physics at the University of Innsbruck in 2010.

My research can broadly be grouped into two strands:

  • Social and economic inequality: I work with organisations to reduce gender and racial inequality in the workplace through novel behavioural interventions, contributing to our growing understanding of “what works” to give everyone a fair chance to succeed. In addition, I study the effects that rising income and wealth inequality have on the fabric of society.
  • Cooperative and ethical behaviour: I study what organisations and society at large can do to promote cooperative and ethical behaviour. For example, I collaborate with governments to reduce tax and social benefits fraud using “nudges” and data analytics. In other work, I’m investigating how institutions and norms can help to sustain our planet for future generations.

My work combines game theory with large-scale field experiments, lab experiments, big data and machine learning. I have had the privilege and pleasure to work with some of the world’s leading organisations, such as Unilever, BlackRock, Deloitte, GE and Yelp; with governments in the U.K. (Behavioural Insights Team, aka “Nudge Unit”) and Australia, and the New Mexico state government in the U.S.; and charities such as GlobalGiving, and Kiva.

My research has been published in leading academic journals such as Nature, Nature Human Behaviour, Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, and Journal of Economic Behavior and Organization; practitioners’ outlets such as the Harvard Business Review; and it has been covered by popular news outlets such as the Boston Globe and Huffington Post.

As an educator and researcher, I have received several awards and prizes, including Pacific Standard’s “30 Top Thinkers Under 30” award, the Wharton People Analytics research competition prize, the Harvard University Richard J. Herrnstein Dissertation Prize, the Harvard John Parker Award, and several Certificates of Distinction in Teaching.