Meet the EEI team

The EEI is engaged in various research projects on behavioural economics, behavioural public policy and management, and sustainability. The EEI offers teaching on topics such as behavioural economics and sustainability, and collaborates with degree programmes including MBA, Executive MBA and MPhil at Cambridge Judge Business School. Upcoming activities include hosting the 3rd International Behavioural Public Policy Conference on 23-25 June 2024.

The El-Erian Institute team.

Lucia Reisch

El-Erian Professor of Behavioural Economics and Policy

Director, El-Erian Institute of Behavioural Economics and Policy

Professor Lucia Reisch was appointed in 2021 as the inaugural El-Erian Professor of Behavioural Economics & Policy and Fellow of Queens’ College, joining from Copenhagen Business School. Lucia is a behavioural economist and social scientist, whose work includes research in sustainable consumption, behavioural public policy, and consumers and digitisation.

She is an Editor-in-Chief of the Journal of Consumer Policy and has worked on sustainable consumption and other issues with the OECD, the European Commission, the World Bank, various United Nations agencies as well as several governments worldwide. As the El-Erian Institute Director she is giving specific attention to mentoring early career researchers, particularly those currently less represented at the Business School.

“I am excited that the El-Erian Institute for Behavioural Economics and Policy is now part of the vibrant research and educational environment of Cambridge Judge Business School. With its interdisciplinary research, applied education, and team lab approach, the institute could not be better placed. We will continue to develop as a lively platform for researchers and practitioners, students and policymakers alike to study and learn how to effectively ‘nudge for good’.”

Micha Kaiser

Senior Research Associate, El-Erian Institute of Behavioural Economics and Policy

PhD (University of Hohenheim)

Aga Niedzwiecka

Centre Manager, El-Erian Institute of Behavioural Economics and Policy

Malte Dewies

Research Associate, El-Erian Institute of Behavioural Economics and Policy

PhD (Erasmus University Rotterdam)

Paul Lohmann

Research Associate, El-Erian Institute of Behavioural Economics and Policy

PhD (University of Cambridge)

Atiyeh Yeganloo

Research Associate, El-Erian Institute of Behavioural Economics and Policy

MRes/PhD (University of Manchester)

Aiswarya Sunil

Research Assistant, El-Erian Institute of Behavioural Economics and Policy

MSc (Warwick University)

Noah Peters

Student Research Assistant, El-Erian Institute of Behavioural Economics and Policy

MSc (London School of Economics and Political Science)

Noah is a PhD Candidate in the Department of Politics and International Studies and a research assistant at the El-Erian Institute of Behavioural Economics and Policy at Cambridge Judge Business School, University of Cambridge. The El-Erian Institute generously funds Noah’s doctoral research.

Noah’s research lies at the intersection of sociology and behavioural economics. Noah investigates the interplay between social mobility – a core theme in sociology – and personality traits increasingly studied in economics. Do individuals strategically adopt patience and balanced risk-taking to climb the economic ladder? How does the experience of socioeconomic success shape personality traits? These questions revolve around and reassess the influential notion that positive life outcomes depend on the ‘right’ character. By adopting a sociological perspective, Noah critically engages with popular narratives of meritocracy, that is, the idea that hard work and talent enable people to get ahead in life. Noah’s research examines how meritocracy is used to legitimate power imbalances and how individuals come to accept their position in the socioeconomic pecking order.

Interdisciplinary in nature, Noah’s research frequently turns to art, literary fiction and poetry for motivation and utilises both quantitative and qualitative methods. Noah is also interested in broader aspects of interdisciplinarity and the history of economic and social thought.

Research interests include behavioural economics; behavioural public policy; cultural sociology; economic sociology; inequality; social mobility; survey methodology.

Annabel Elad

Communications and Events Coordinator, El-Erian Institute of Behavioural Economics and Policy

Annabel is a marketing communications specialist with extensive experience across a variety of organisations in the non-profit sector. She has led the production of numerous international events, involving donors, government officials, commercial sponsors and the general public. She is a Trustee of a cultural heritage education charity, and a Fundraising and Charity Marketing MSc graduate.

Email: [email protected]

Access Annabel’s LinkedIn profile.

Dame Theresa Marteau

Fellow, Cambridge Judge Business School

Director, Behaviour and Health Research Unit, Institute of Public Health, University of Cambridge

Cass R Sunstein

Fellow, Cambridge Judge Business School

Robert Walmsley University Professor, Harvard Law School

Lisa Eckmann

Visiting Scholar, El-Erian Institute of Behavioural Economics and Policy

PhD (Goethe University)

Lisa Eckmann is a postdoctoral research associate at the Chair of Market and Consumer Psychology, Goethe University Frankfurt. She received her PhD from Goethe University Frankfurt in May 2022. Prior to her doctoral studies, she studied economics and business with a focus on marketing and management at Goethe University Frankfurt as well as consumer behavior and behavioral economics at the Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania.

Lisa Eckmann’s research addresses questions at the intersection of marketing and psychology. Her work focuses on consumer psychology and behaviour, especially the psychological processes that influence consumer judgments and preferences. In the domain of nonconsumption, she is particularly interested in examining the conditions under which individuals benefit from reducing their consumption.

Leonie Decrinis

Former Visiting PhD student, El-Erian Institute of Behavioural Economics and Policy

Leonie Decrinis is a PhD candidate at Copenhagen Business School, studying the application of behavioural insights and nudging to improve decision-making in organisations for more responsible and sustainable ways of doing business. Leonie completed a research stay at the El-Erian Institute (EEI) between January and April 2023.

During her stay, Leonie deepened and expanded her ongoing collaboration with members of the EEI for the publication of 2 joint papers. One of the papers is a systematic evidence map, co-authored by Lucia Reisch, that compiles existing nudging intervention studies conducted in the workplace with relevance to corporate sustainability. It synthesises information on target persons, barriers to behaviour change, nudging types and mechanisms, and behavioural outcomes across ESG domains into a coherent framework. The paper will be published as a book chapter in the Edward Elgar Research Handbook on Nudges and Society edited by Cass Sunstein and Lucia Reisch. The second paper presents and evaluates the findings from a field study at the German car manufacturer Porsche that tested the effects of different nudges in form of message frames on the electric vehicle adoption of Porsche employees. It provides insights into nudging organisational members towards environmentally favourable choices, who may not yet share strong pro-environmental beliefs. The paper is co-authored by Wolfgang Freibichler, Micha Kaiser, Cass Sunstein and Lucia Reisch. It is currently under review at Business Strategy and the Environment.

Besides the valuable collaboration on the above papers, the research stay provided Leonie with a unique opportunity to engage with the research community at the EEI and relevant subject groups at Cambridge Judge Business School. She participated in research seminars and paper development workshops, reading and discussion groups and formed new contacts with inspiring researchers in her field. Leonie also had the opportunity to present her work in a guest lecture and gain valuable teaching experience. Through all the described experiences, the stay has truly enriched Leonie’s PhD experience.

Arjun Kamdar

Former Research intern, El-Erian Institute of Behavioural Economics and Policy

Arjun Kamdar is a wildlife scientist combining behavioural insights with ecology to design and implement conservation projects. His work focusses on enabling human-elephant coexistence in India. Arjun completed a research internship at the El-Erian Institute (EEI) between February and March 2023.

At EEI, Arjun developed and expanded on interdisciplinary research and intervention plans for reducing human-wildlife conflicts. He worked with Lucia Reisch and Harini Nagendra to develop NOSTRIL, a framework for applying behavioural insights to drive environmental impacts. As part of this, they partnered with tea production companies in India to develop a proposal to design their environmental and social outreach material to be more effective. Malte Dewies and Arjun conducted a brainstorming session with conservationists and behavioural scientists at Cambridge to design participatory nudges for human-elephant co-existence. Through interactions with the EEI team, the Cambridge University Behavioural Insights Team, scientists from the Cambridge Conservation Initiative, and local partners, Arjun developed an intervention plan for securing collective action for human-elephant conflict interventions and their sustainability over time. Furthermore, this visit enabled Arjun to work with Lucia Reisch to develop ideas and obtain valuable feedback on research questions that explore the factors nudging conservation action in diverse contexts.

In addition, Arjun was able to engage with research events across several disciplines held at the University of Cambridge. He took part in research seminars in the management, psychology and economics departments, attended talks on anthropology and ecology, and forged new connections with interdisciplinary scientists, expanding his network and gaining fresh perspectives. This visit supported by the Miriam Rothschild Travel Bursary and was a very productive and fulfilling experience for Arjun.

Read Arjun’s summary report (PDF)

Faisal Naru

Fellow, Cambridge Judge Business School

Executive Director, Policy Innovation Centre