Associate Professor
Business Economics and Public Policy Dept.
The Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania

Research Associate
National Bureau of Economic Research

Alex Rees-Jones is an Associate Professor in the Business Economics and Public Policy Department at Wharton. Prior to coming to Wharton, he received a B.A. in Economics and Mathematics and a Ph.D. in Economics from Cornell University, and then completed a Postdoctoral Fellowship in Health and Aging at the National Bureau of Economic Research. At Wharton, Alex teaches an introductory course on Public Finance and Policy to the undergraduates and MBAs. He also teaches a PhD-level course on the integration of behavioral economics into other core economic fields. In addition to his position as a professor, Alex is a Research Associate at the National Bureau of Economic Research and a Senior Fellow at the Leonard Davis Institute.

In his research, Alex explores the ways in which psychological biases and imperfect cognition affect economic policy analysis. A major topic area of interest is public finance, specifically examining how citizen’s imperfect responses to tax incentives affect the assessment of tax policy. More recent work has examined similar forces affecting market design, specifically examining how market participants’ imperfect understanding of assignment procedures affect the outcomes that the markets determine.

Research Publications

Working Papers

Policy Briefs

Archived Working Papers

COVID-19 Changed Tastes for Safety-Net Programs
with John D'Attoma, Amedeo Piolatto, and Luca Salvadori
A significantly revised version is listed above as "Experience of the COVID-19 Pandemic and Support for Safety-Net Expansion."
[NBER WP] [Web Appendix]

Loss Aversion Motivates Tax Sheltering: Evidence from U.S. Tax Returns
A significantly revised version was published as "Quantifying Loss-Averse Tax Manipulation."
[SSRN WP] [Web Appendix]

Do People Seek to Maximize Happiness? Evidence from New Surveys
with Daniel Benjamin, Ori Heffetz, and Miles Kimball
A significantly revised version was published as "What Do You Think Would Make You Happier? What Do You Think You Would Choose?"
[NBER WP] [Web Appendix]