Carnegie Mellon University

Silvia  Saccardo

Silvia Saccardo

Assistant Professor
Ph.D. in Management


Silvia is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Social and Decision Sciences at Carnegie Mellon University. She joined CMU in 2016, after completing a Ph.D. in Management at the Rady School of Management, University of California San Diego. Silvia was born in Schio, Italy and received a Bachelor and Masters of Arts degree in Psychology with the distinction summa cum laude, both from the University of Padova, Italy. Prior to graduate school, she spent two years as visiting student at the University of California, Santa Barbara and University of California, San Diego. Silvia teaches courses in Negotiation and Behavioral Economics in Organizations at CMU, and she is a co-organizer of the Early-Career Behavioral Economics conference (ECBE).


Silvia studies topics at the intersection of economics and psychology using experimental methods. She is particularly interested in understanding how motivated cognition shapes the prevalence of (un)ethical decision-making, focusing on corruption, dishonesty and discrimination. Some of her work in the area has explored the mechanisms through which bribes distort resource allocation, the role of self-deception in advice, how conflicts between ethical norms favor the emergence of discrimination by otherwise well-meaning individuals, and the factors that prevent people from providing honest feedback to others. She has also investigated the magnitude of the gender gap in preferences for competition. Another research interest concerns how to structure incentive programs using behavioral economics insights in order to promote desirable behavior change.


Working Papers

  • Cognitive Flexibility or Moral Commitment? Evidence of Anticipated Belief Distortion (with Marta Serra-Garcia), under review
  • The Demand for, and Avoidance of, Information (with Russell Golman, George Loewenstein, and Andras Molnar), R&R at Management Science
  • A Mega-Study of Text-Message Nudges Encouraging Patients to Get Vaccinated at an Upcoming Doctor's Appointment (with Milkman, K.L., M Patel., L. Gandhi, H. Graci, D. Gromet, H. Ho, J. Kay, T. Lee, M. Akinola, J. Beshears, J.E. Bogard, A. Buttenheim, C.Chabris, G. Chapman, J. Choi, H. Dai, C. Fox, A. Goren, M. Hilchey, J. Hmurovic, L. John, D. Karlan, M. Kim, D. Laibson, C. Lamberton, B. Madrian, M. Meyer, M. Modanu, J. Nam, T. Rogers, R. Rondina, M. Shermohammed, D. Soman, J. Sparks, C. Warren, M. Weber, R. Berman, C. Evans, C. Snider, E. Tsukayama, C. Van den Bulte, K. Volpp K., A. Duckworth), R&R at Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences
  • A Mega-Study Approach to Applied Behavioral Science (with Milkman, K.L., D. Gromet, H. Ho, J. Kay, T. Lee, P. Pandiloski, Y. Park, A. Rai, M. Bazerman, J. Beshears, L. Bonacorsi, C. Camerer, E. Chang, G. Chapman, R. Cialdini, H. Dai, L. Eskreis-Winkler, A. Fishbach, J.J. Gross, A. Horn, A. Hubbard, S.J. Jones, D. Karlan, T. Kautz, E. Kirgios, J. Klusowski, A. Kristal, R. Ladhania, G. Loewenstein, J. Ludwig, B. Mellers, S. Mullainathan, J. Spiess, G. Suri, J.H. Talloen, J. Taxer, Y. Trope, L. Ungar, K.G. Volpp, A. Whillans, J. Zinman, A.L. Duckworth). R&R at Nature
  • Mis-Nudging Morality: The Unintended Effect of Explicating Preferences (with On Amir and Coby Morvinky), under review
  • How Close is Too Close: The Effect of Near-Losses on Subsequent Risk Taking (with Stephanie Permut, Julie Downs and George Loewenstein), under review
  • Do Fines Deter Lying? Varying the Size and Probability of Punishment (with Uri Gneezy and Katharina Laske), under review
  • Promoting Covid-19 Vaccinations: A Randomized Control Trial (with Hengchen Dai, Daniel Croymans, Maria Han and Sitaram Vangala), data collection in progress
  • Improving Sleep Habits (with Osea Giuntella and Sally Sadoff), data collection in progress
  • Danilov Anastasia and Silvia Saccardo. “Discrimination in Disguise”. Working paper available upon request