Olga Shurchkov

Professor of Economics

Research in behavioral and experimental economics, with emphasis on labor market outcomes, information, and belief formation.

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, appearance, and race. For example, I have studied gender differences in performance under competition and time pressure, appearance-based discrimination, gender differences in leadership productivity and in reactions to feedback. 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.

I am an Associate Editor at the Journal of Economic Behavior and Organization. I also serve as the Eastern Representative on the Board of the Committee on the Status of Women in the Economics Profession (CSWEP) and on the Board of Editors of Feminist Economics. Recent professional activities include chairing and organizing CSWEP events at the Eastern Economic Association conference and 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 6th-degree black belt, I enjoy practicing and teaching Taekwon-Do.

Personal website


  • B.A., Wellesley College
  • Ph.D., Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Current and upcoming courses

  • The practice of Taekwon-Do is geared toward self-defense, as well as physical and mental health. Taekwon-Do is a modern martial art that combines thousands of years of ancient methods of self-defense with scientific concepts from physics making it one of the most powerful martial arts in existence. Students will develop strength, coordination, and flexibility by practicing applications of hand and foot techniques (the “Taekwon” part of the name). Students will also develop confidence and gain understanding of some aspects of Korean philosophy and culture (the “Do” or the “way” part of the name), focused on the core tenets of Taekwon-Do: courtesy, integrity, perseverance, self-control, and indomitable spirit.