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Diversity and Performance: Networks of Cognition in Markets and Teams

Here is a link to the website for our research project supported by a major grant from the European Research Council.

Performances of Value: Competition and Competitions

Here is a link to the website for our series of workshops supported by a grant from The Leverhulme Trust.

Diversity Makes You Brighter

This essay with co-author Sheen Levine, was published as an OpEd piece in The New York Times, December 9, 2015. On that day, the U.S. Supreme Court heard oral arguments in the affirmative action case of Fisher versus the University of Texas. "Ethnic diversity,” we argue, β€œis like fresh air: It benefits everybody who experiences it. By disrupting conformity it produces a public good. To step back from the goal of diverse classrooms would deprive all students, regardless of their racial or ethnic background, of the opportunity to benefit from the improved cognitive performance that diversity promotes.”

The New York Times, December 9, 2015.

Ethnic Diversity Deflates Price Bubbles

In this paper from the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, Sheen Levine and I (together with other co-authors) examine a prominent marekt failure: price bubbles. We propose that bubbles are affected by ethnic homogeneity in the market and can be thwarted by diversity. Using experimental markets in Southeast Asia and North America, we find that market prices fit true values 58% better in ethnically diverse markets. In homogenous markets, overpricing is higher and traders' errors are more correlated than in diverse markets. The findings suggest that homogeneity promotes conformity. Price bubbles arise not only from individual errors or financial conditions, but also from the social context of decision making. Informing public discussion, our findings suggest that ethnic diversity disrupts conformity and leads to better information processing.

Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, November 17, 2014.