Natalia received her PhD in Economics from The Center for Economic Research and Graduate Education – Economics Institute (Prague, Czech Republic) in 2012. In her PhD thesis she explored specific bounds on consumer rationality and profit-maximizing strategies of firms in response to these bounds. During her PhD studies she spent a semester at New York University. She has been employed as a Junior Researcher at CERGE-EI (2008-2011), a Visiting Lecturer at Ural Federal University (2008-current), and an Assistant Professor at University of Vienna (2011-current). Her current research focuses on experimental asset markets. She has been awarded Graduate Teaching Fellowship from CERGE-EI multiple times for teaching such economic courses as Microeconomics, Applied Econometrics, Behavioral Economics and Experimental Economics at different levels.

Natalia Shestakova

Research Interests:

Natalia’s research interests can be broadly defined as applying experimental methods to answering economic questions. Her PhD thesis was inspired by empirical findings of DellaVigna & Malmendier (2006) and Lambrecht & Skiera (2006) among others. These studies show that consumers could have been better off had they chosen different gym memberships or internet tariffs, however they do not provide convincing explanations of why this happens. Unlike mentioned studies who used field data, Natalia designed a laboratory experiment to show that consumers make predictable choice errors when choosing from a menu of mobile phone tariffs. Motivated by this result, she built a theoretical model showing how a profit-maximizing firm can exploit the presence of boundedly rational consumers. This model had the spirit of those highlighted in Spiegler (2014).
During her employment at the University of Vienna, she continued to use laboratory experiments as a research method, but shifted the focus from consumer choice to asset markets. She completed four projects in this area with her colleague Owen Powell. Two of the projects provided an overview of the literature: a survey of recent developments and a meta-study. The other two were original experiments, exploring the effect of traders’ previous success and the effect of market size on market efficiency.
In her future research, Natalia would like to work on multidisciplinary projects. One possible direction would be to develop policies aimed at helping people to shift towards healthier lifestyles and hence improving public health. This would be in the spirit of nudging (Thaler and Sunstein, 2008).

Key Terms:

  • Bounded rationality
  • Contract design
  • Financial bubbles
  • Economic experiments
  • Randomized controlled trials
  • Nudging
  • Nutriology
  • Public health
  • Applied econometrics
  • Economics of education