B.A., Wellesley College; Ph.D., Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Olga ShurchkovAssociate Professor of Economics; Director, Knapp Social Science Center
Research in behavioral and experimental economics, with emphasis on labor market outcomes; information, belief formation, and learning; and culture and institutions.
My research interests span two areas within behavioral economics, unified by a common theme of the use of experimental methodology as the means to investigate the mechanisms underlying observed behavior.
The first area focuses on uncovering and explaining differences in economic outcomes according to individual characteristics, such as gender and appearance. For example, I have studied gender differences in performance under competition and time pressure, appearance-based discrimination, and gender differences in leadership productivity. The second area focuses broadly on the importance of information and belief formation in various economic environments. Finally, I am also interested in the effects of institutions and culture on economic decision-making and economic outcomes. Recent professional activities include presentations at the American Economic Association conference.
At Wellesley College, I teach introductory and intermediate macroeconomics, as well as a seminar on behavioral and experimental economics. As a visiting professor at Columbia Business School, I have also taught Global Economic Environment: Business Cycles and Financial Markets. My objective in teaching macroeconomics is to provide the students with the tools necessary for understanding the policy issues and for engaging in meaningful discussions of current economic events. Behavioral and experimental economics is a course I designed to introduce students to the many ways in which economic and psychological factors jointly influence behavior.
As a 5th-degree black belt, I enjoy practicing and teaching Taekwon-Do.