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Rachel Croson - Michigan State University. East Lansing, MI, US

Rachel Croson Rachel Croson

Professor of Economics; Dean of the College of Social Science | Michigan State University


Expert on Behavioral/Experimental Economist -- Bargaining and Negotiation, Behavioral Finance, Charitable Giving, Gender Differences



Rachel Croson Publication




Rachel T.A. Croson on Behavioral economics Finding Your Place 2018 Bell Award Video



Dean Croson is a behavioral and experimental economist. She is an expert in negotiation and bargaining, including how people negotiate, what tactics are effective and ineffective, win-lose versus win-win negotiation, negotiating via technology (phone/email/video-conference) versus face-to-face, cross-cultural negotiation, gender differences in negotiation, negotiating your job offer, negotiating within the family.

Other areas of expertise include behavioral finance, both how individuals make financial decisions and how financial markets might be biased; charitable giving, how individuals make decisions around contributions to charity and other pro-social behavior; and gender differences in decision-making. A final area of academic expertise is behavioral operations management, examining how managers make inventory and supply chain decisions and how they can be improved.

Finally, due to her administrative position, Dean Croson is available to discuss issues of leadership, especially women’s leadership and leadership in academia.

Industry Expertise (4)




Writing and Editing

Areas of Expertise (8)

Behavioral Economics

Experimental Economics



Financial Decision-Making

Charitable Giving

Women's Leadership

Academic Leadership

Education (3)

Harvard University: Ph.D., Economics 1994

Harvard University: M.A., Economics 1992

University of Pennsylvania: B.A., Economics and Philosophy 1990

Affiliations (1)

  • American Economic Association

News (1)

Tips from negotiation experts for truly happy holidays

The Conversation (US)  


I had the most awesome Thanksgiving this year. My husband took our two boys, ages 8 and 10, to his family’s celebration, and I had five days of uninterrupted sleep, fun with friends and grownup time. Don’t get me wrong; I love my husband’s family and I believe that holidays are important opportunities for making memories. But I desperately needed a break, and I got one. And my husband and kids were delighted by the outcome as well...

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Research Grants (14)

NSF Grant #SES-0943449

NSF $198,037

2009 With Catherine Eckel, James Murdoch

NSF Grant #BCS-0905060

NSF $440,183

2009 With Daniel Arce, Chetan Dave, Catherine Eckel, Enrique Fatas, Charles Holt

NSF Grant #BCS-0905044

NSF $149,885

2009 With Daniel Arce, Chetan Dave, Catherine Eckel, Enrique Fatas

NSF Grant #SES-0752855

NSF $167,438

2008 With Catherine Eckel, Angela Milano

Public Broadcasting

Corporation for Public Broadcasting $226,680

2005 With Yue (Jen) Shang

Investigaciones Economicas

Instituto Valenciano de Investigaciones Economicas $5,000

2005 With Enrique Fatas

Aspen Institute Grant

Aspen Institute $17,208

2004 With Yue (Jen) Shang

NSF Grant #SBE-0351166

NSF $14,820

2004 Dissertation support for Yue (Jen) Shang

NSF Grant #SBE-0317755

NSF $350,000

2003 With Fran Blau, Janet Currie, Kim-Marie McGoldrick, John Siegfried

NSF Grant #SBR-0214337

NSF $103,313

2002 With Elena Katok

General Motors Research Grant

General Motors $100,000

2002 With Barry Silverman

Ford Motor Company Matching NSF CAREER Grant

Ford Motors $17,500


NSF CAREER Grant #SBR-9876079

NSF $222,909


NSF Grant #SBR-9753130

NSF $50,036


Journal Articles (8)

Behavioral Environmental Economics: Promises and Challenges Environmental & Resource Economics

Rachel Croson, Nicolas Treich

2014 Environmental issues provide a rich ground for identifying the existence and consequences of human limitations. In this paper, we present a growing literature lying at the interface between behavioral and environmental economics. This literature identifies alternative solutions to traditional economic instruments in environmental domains that often work imperfectly. But it also faces a set of challenges, including the difficulty of computing welfare effects, and the identification of a robust environmental policy based on context-dependent (socio-) psychological effects. We illustrate our critical discussion with two behavioral schemes that have been widely implemented: “green nudges” and “corporate environmental responsibility.” Copyright Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2014

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The giving type: Identifying donors Journal of Public Economics

Angela C.M. de Oliveira, Rachel Croson, Catherine Eckel

2011 One commonly used strategy in charitable fundraising is sharing names and contact information of donors between organizations, even those whose missions are unrelated. The efficacy of this practice hinges on the existence of “giving types,” that is, a positive correlation at the individual level between giving to one organization and to another. We run an experiment using a non-student sample (an artifactual field experiment) in which participants have the opportunity to donate to multiple charitable organizations.

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Gender differences in preferences Journal of Economic literature

Rachel Croson, Uri Gneezy

2009 This paper reviews the literature on gender differences in economic experiments. In the three main sections, we identify robust differences in risk preferences, social (other-regarding) preferences, and competitive preferences. We also speculate on the source of these differences, as well as on their implications. Our hope is that this article will serve as a resource for those seeking to understand gender differences and to use as a starting point to illuminate the debate on gender-specific outcomes in the labor and goods markets.

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A field experiment in charitable contribution: The impact of social information on the voluntary provision of public goods The Economic Journal

Jen Shang, Rachel Croson

2009 We study the effect of social information on the voluntary provision of public goods. Competing theories predict that others' contributions might be either substitutes or complements to one's own. We demonstrate a positive social information effect on individual contributions, supporting theories of complementarities. We find the most influential level of social information is drawn from the 90th to 95th percentile of previous contributions. We furthermore find the effect to be significant for new members but not for renewing members. In the most effective condition, social information increases contributions by 12%($13). These increased contributions do not crowd out future contributions.

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Poker Superstars: Skill or Luck? Semantic Scholar

Rachel Croson, Peter Fishman, and Devin G. Pope

2008 The popularity of poker has exploded in recent years. The premier event, the World Series of Poker Main Event, which costs $10,000 to enter, has increased from a field of six in 1971 to 839 in 2003 and 5,619 in 2005. Broadcasts of poker tournaments can frequently be found on television stations such as ESPN, Fox Sports, the Travel Channel, Bravo, and the Game Show Network. These tournaments consistently receive high television ratings.

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The Gambler’s Fallacy and the Hot Hand: Empirical Data from Casinos Journal of Risk and Uncertainty

Rachel Croson, James Sundali

2005 Research on decision making under uncertainty demonstrates that intuitive ideas of randomness depart systematically from the laws of chance. Two such departures involving random sequences of events have been documented in the laboratory, the gambler’s fallacy and the hot hand. This study presents results from the field, using videotapes of patrons gambling in a casino, to examine the existence and extent of these biases in naturalistic settings. We find small but significant biases in our population, consistent with those observed in the lab.

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Look at Me When You Say That: An Electronic Negotiation Simulation NASAGA

Rachel Croson

1999 This article extends the growing body of research on computer-mediated communication to a negotiations setting. The author compares face-to-face negotiation outcomes with computermediated negotiation outcomes using an integrative (win-win) negotiation. There were two main results of interest. First, computer-mediated final agreements are somewhat more integrative than those negotiated face-to-face, suggesting there is no efficiency loss from negotiating long distance using information technology. Second, computer-mediated agreements tend to be significantly more equal than face-to-face agreements.

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Curtailing Deception: The Impact of Direct Questions on Lies and Omissions The International Journal of Conflict Management

Rachel Croson, Maurice Schweitzer

1999 The Impact of Direct Questions on Lies and Omissions

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