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

Research Associate, National Bureau of Economic Research

Senior Fellow, Leonard Davis Institute

Alex Rees-Jones is an Associate Professor in the Business Economics and Public Policy Department at Wharton. He also serves on the Board of Editors of the American Economic Review, as an Associate Editor at Management Science, as a Research Associate at the National Bureau of Economic Research, and as a Senior Fellow at the Leonard Davis Institute. He received his Ph.D. in Economics from Cornell University in 2013 and completed a postdoctoral fellowship at the National Bureau of Economic Research in 2014.

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, examining how citizen’s imperfect responses to tax incentives affect the assessment of tax policy. Another line of research explores similar forces in market design, examining how market participants’ imperfect understanding of assignment procedures affects the outcomes that these markets determine. Alex's work in these domains has appeared in top academic journals in economics, management, and the general sciences.

At Wharton, Alex teaches an introductory course on Public Finance and Policy to the undergraduates and MBAs. He also teaches PhD-level courses on public economics and on policy applications of behavioral economics.

If you are a student looking to meet with me, you can find my availability and schedule a time by clicking this link.

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 was published 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]