Professor Ori Heffetz's interests lie in the psychological, social and cultural aspects of economic behavior. An associate professor at the SC Johnson Graduate School of Management, his work examines how our predictions concerning the behavior of economic agents change once we incorporate into our models the observation that all-too-human agents never operate in social isolation, and that economic decisions are always made in a cultural context.
Heffetz has studied the empirical relationships between spending patterns of U.S. households and the extent to which spending on different consumer products and services is visible or displayable to others. He has explored phenomena such as conspicuous consumption, whereby consumers purchase visible goods in their attempts to advertise their wealth and gain social status. He is similarly interested in the use of consumption as a language to convey meaning—what kinds of people buy or own what kinds of things, and why?—and has studied through lab and field experiments behaviors such as evaluating consumption bundles relative to a reference point, inferring quality from product prices, and responding to (or forgetting about) deadlines.
Heffetz has also been studying survey-based subjective well-being data, such as people's self-reports on their own happiness and life satisfaction. In particular, he and his collaborators have been exploring what can and cannot be learned from such data; what the relationship is between these well-being data and the choices that people make; and whether and how governments can use such data for tracking national well-being and for guiding policy. These questions have recently led to additional work on survey methodology (what kind of people answer our surveys, and why?).
Heffetz holds a BA in physics and philosophy from Tel Aviv University and a PhD in economics from Princeton University. He has traveled extensively in developing countries, studying problems that lie at the crossroads of economics, society, and culture.
- Heffetz, Ori; Reeves, Daniel. "Difficulty to Reach Respondents and Nonresponse Bias: Evidence from Large Government Surveys" Review of Economics and Statistics. (forthcoming).
- Benjamin, Daniel; Cooper, Kristen; Heffetz, Ori; Kimball, Miles. "Challenges in Constructing a Survey-Based Well-Being Index" American Economic Review. 107.5 (2017): 81-85
- Heffetz, Ori; Ligett, Katrina. "Privacy and Data-Based Research" Journal of Economic Perspectives. 28.2 (2014): 75-98
- Heffetz, Ori; List, John. "Is the Endowment Effect an Expectations Effect?" Journal of the European Economic Association. 12.5 (2014): 1396-1422
- Benjamin, Daniel; Heffetz, Ori; Kimball, Miles; Rees-Jones, Alex. "Can Marginal Rates of Substitution Be Inferred from Happiness Data? Evidence from Residency Choices" American Economic Review. 104.11 (2014): 3498-3528
- Benjamin, Daniel; Heffetz, Ori; Kimball, Miles; Szembrot, Nichole. "Beyond Happiness and Satisfaction: Toward Well-Being Indices Based on Stated Preference" American Economic Review. 104.9 (2014): 2698-2735
- Heffetz, Ori; Rabin, Matthew. "Conclusions Regarding Cross-Group Differences in Happiness Depend on Difficulty of Reaching Respondents" American Economic Review. 103.7 (2013): 3001-3021
- Benjamin, Daniel; Heffetz, Ori; Kimball, Miles; Rees-Jones, Alex. "What Do You Think Would Make You Happier? What Do You Think You Would Choose?" American Economic Review. 102.5 (2012): 2083-2110
- Heffetz, Ori. "A Test of Conspicuous Consumption: Visibility and Income Elasticities" Review of Economics and Statistics. 93.4 (2011): 1101-1117
- Heffetz, Ori; Shayo, Moses. "How Large Are Non-Budget-Constraint Effects of Prices on Demand?" American Economics Journal: Applied Economics. 1.4 (2009): 170-199
- NMI 5000 - Directed Reading and Research
- NCCB 5020 - Economics & Industry Analysis
- NBA 5920 - Experience in International Management
- NBA 5255 - Global Macroeconomics News and Events
- NBAY 5240 - Macroeconomics and International Trade
- NBAE 5240 - Macroeconomics & International Trade
- Ph D Princeton University, 2005
- MA Princeton University, 2002
- BA Tel Aviv University, 1999