Matthew Chao

Matthew Chao

Assistant Professor of Economics

Schapiro Hall Rm 306
At Williams since 2015


B.A. Dartmouth College (2006)
Ph.D. California Institute of Technology, Economics (2015)

Areas of Expertise

  • Behavioral economics
  • Applied microeconomics
  • Experimental economics
  • Judgment and decision-making

Current Committees

  • Winter Study Committee

Research and Teaching Fields

Behavioral Economics, Judgment and Decision-Making, Applied Microeconomics, Experimental Economics


1. Chao M, Larkin I. Regulating conflicts of interest through public disclosure and social image incentives: Evidence from a physician payments sunshine law. Forthcoming, Management Science.

2. Chao M, Fisher G. Self-interested giving: The relationship between conditional gifts, donor self-interestedness, and charitable donations. Forthcoming, Management Science.

3. Chao M, Chapman J. Saving face through preference signaling and obligation avoidance. Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization 2020; 176: 569-581.

4. Chao M. Intentions-based reciprocity to monetary and non-monetary gifts. Games 2018; 9, 74 (Special issue on dictator games).

5. Chao M. Demotivating incentives and motivation crowding out in charitable giving. PNAS 2017; 114(28):7301-7306.

6. Larkin I, Ang D, Steinhart J, Chao M, Patterson M, Sah S, Wu T, Schoenbaum M, Hutchins D, Brennan T, Loewenstein G. Association between academic medical center pharmaceutical detailing policies and physician prescribingJAMA 2017; 3017(17):1785-95.

Selected press coverage: NPR, Slate, Newsweek, USNews, Boston Globe, Williams Magazine

Experimental datasets for published papers.

Working Papers

1. Chao M, Larkin I. Why do goal-based incentives cause cheating? Unpacking the confounding effects of goals, social comparisons, and pay. Revise and Resubmit, Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes.

On Campus Experiments

Williams students can click here to register as a participant in (paid) economics experiments held either on campus or online.