Assistant Professor and Director of the Quantitative Social Science Scholars Program
BioMy current research projects have me thinking about how goals motivate us, how firms learn and innovate, how performance evaluations become inflated, how fashions emerge, how ants and bees make decisions, how people communicate by sharing, how to explain curiosity, and how to reach the good life. The common thread is my focus on the behavioral side of game and decision theory, my belief that we can explain choices by acknowledging that individual agents may learn or make mistakes and may have motivations beyond their material payoffs. My interdisciplinary training in mathematical methods applied to microeconomic theory underlies my efforts to model informational preferences, prosocial preferences, learning and boundedly rational behavior. For example, I have used nonlinear differential equations to model adaptive learning in games and incorporated random noise variables to generate strategic choice errors. Key to my approach here is incorporating heterogeneity and thus taking seriously the fact that people learn or err at different rates and in different ways. I have also used optimization theory to offer an explanation of perverse patterns of behavior in a variety of contexts, from gambling and bingeing to distorting performance evaluations. A core insight here is that while such behaviors are indeed counterproductive or even harmful, they may nevertheless be the result of utility maximization.
EducationPh.D.: University of Michigan
Golman, Russell and Steven Klepper. "Spinoffs and Clustering"
Golman, Russell and George Loewenstein. "Curiosity, Information Gaps, and the Utility of Knowledge"
Bhatia, Sudeep and Russell Golman. "Attention and Reference Dependence"
Golman, Russell and Sudeep Bhatia. "Performance Evaluation Inflation and Compression," Accounting, Organizations and Society, Volume 37, Issue 8, November 2012, Pages 534–543.
Golman, Russell. "Homogeneity Bias in Models of Discrete Choice with Bounded Rationality." Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Volume 82, Issue 1, April 2012, Pages 1–11.
Golman, Russell. "Quantal Response Equilibria with Heterogeneous Agents," Journal of Economic Theory, 2011.
Golman, Russell. "Why Learning Doesn’t Add Up: Equilibrium Selection with a Composition of Learning Rules," International Journal of Game Theory, 2010.
Golman, Russell and Scott E. Page. "Individual and Cultural Learning in Stag Hunt Games With Multiple Actions," Journal of Economic Behavior and Organization, 2010.
Golman, Russell and Scott E. Page. "Basins of Attraction and Equilibrium Selection Under Different Learning Rules," Journal of Evolutionary Economics, 2010.
Golman, Russell and Scott E. Page. "General Blotto: Games of Allocative Strategic Mismatch," Public Choice, 2008.