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Prior to his graduate studies, Rafael co-founded the Behavioral Economics team within the Commonwealth Bank of Australia and served as Head of Behavioral Research. He has also worked at the Busara Center for Behavioral Economics, a research and advisory firm headquartered in East Africa, helping set up the advisory practice and expanding operations into Ethiopia. Through his work, he has advised and collaborated with large, international corporations as well as small tech startups on a variety of topics including health and sanitation, financial services, social policy, agriculture, information technology, and human resources.

Research Interests

Rafael studies behavioral science, economics, and computation.

He uses tools from psychology, empirical sciences, and machine learning to explore everyday decisions, social behaviors, and complex systems.

Rafael’s research can be grouped into two broad areas. The first examines issues at the intersection of human psychology and algorithms, using statistical learning techniques to drive basic research in psychology.

The second is aimed at uncovering effective (and cost-effective) ways to address societal challenges. By taking a deep level of understanding of behavioral science and experience running field experiments, Rafael produces field studies that illustrate novel behavioral mechanisms.