Committed to Sharing Social Impact Research

Research Papers

The Rustandy Center for Social Sector Innovation strives to share findings from Booth research with people tackling big problems, in hopes of making their work more effective.

Faculty leaders at the Rustandy Center are currently studying management practices in nonprofit organizations with the aim of identifying practices that drive outcomes and sustainability. In 2017, faculty launched a study of a corporate social responsibility program at a multinational company, seeking to understand if the program creates value—for employees and for the company itself.

Booth Social Impact Research through the Years

Are Emily and Greg more employable than Lakisha and Jamal? Do lobbyists mainly provide expertise or access? Does the disclosure of family income affect college admissions decisions? Chicago Booth faculty and PhD students have tackled these and other intriguing social impact research topics in recent years.

  • Is your city’s bike-sharing system optimized? Booth professor Elena Belavina and two peers at INSEAD studied Paris’s bike-share system, Vélib’, in a 2016 study, and found that a 10 percent increase in station density would increase ridership by 5.09 percent, while a 10 percent increase in bike availability would increase ridership by 12.29 percent. Three-fourths of this increase would come from fewer lost sales and the rest from increased user interest.
  • Rustandy Center faculty codirector Marianne Bertrand and Sendhil Mullainathan of Harvard sent fictitious resumes in response to help-wanted ads in Boston and Chicago newspapers. Each resume was randomly assigned either an African American–sounding name, such as Lakisha or Jamal, or a white-sounding name, such as Emily or Greg, in this 2003 study. The results demonstrate significant discrimination against African American names: white names received 50 percent more callbacks for interviews. These results suggest that racial discrimination is still a prominent feature of the labor market.
  • In the 1970s, male college graduates outnumbered female college graduates three to two; today, the ratio is reversed, wrote Booth professor Kevin M. Murphy, the late Gary S. Becker, and William Hubbard of the University of Chicago, in a 2010 paper. Why? The three scholars argued that women tend to have better “non-cognitive skills” than men do. Those personal skills and character traits such as persistence, self-control, and conscientiousness may help women excel academically and stay in school until they graduate.
  • Democrats often argue that providing health insurance to uninsured children lowers long-term costs by reducing the need for expensive hospitalizations and emergency department visits later in life. In this 2015 paper, four researchers, including Bruce Meyer of the University of Chicago, prove it, finding that more years of Medicaid eligibility in childhood is associated with fewer hospitalizations and emergency department visits in adulthood for African Americans.

Is Corporate Social Responsibility an Agency Problem? Evidence from CEO Turnovers” 
Booth Faculty: John Barrios

The Effects of Charge-Price Transparency Regulation on Prices in the Healthcare Industry
Booth Faculty: Hans B. Christensen and Mark G. Maffett, Booth PhD Candidate (at time of research): Eric Floyd

The Real Effects of Mandated Information on Social Responsibility in Financial Reports: Evidence from Mine-Safety Records
Booth Faculty: Hans B. Christensen and Mark G. Maffett, Booth PhD Candidates (at time of research): Eric Floyd and Lisa Yao Lui

The Real Effects of Mandatory Non-Financial Disclosures in Financial Statements” 
Booth Faculty: Hans B. Christensen and Mark G. Maffett, Booth PhD Candidates (at time of research): Eric Floyd and Lisa Yao Lui

Harnessing Adolescent Values to Motivate Healthier Eating
Booth Faculty: Christopher J. Bryan, Booth PhD Candidate (at time of research): Cintia Hinojosa

“‘Helping’ versus ‘Being a Helper’: Invoking the Self to Increase Helping in Young Children
Booth Faculty: Christopher J. Bryan

Motivating Voter Turnout by Invoking the Self
Booth Faculty: Christopher J. Bryan

Seeing the Other Side: Perspective Taking and the Moderation of Extremity
Booth Faculty: Christopher J. Bryan

You Owe It to Yourself: Boosting Retirement Saving with a Responsibility-Based Appeal
Booth Faculty: Christopher J. Bryan

Leveraging Psychological Insights to Encourage the Responsible Use of Consumer Debt
Booth Faculty: Christopher J. Bryan and Abigail Sussman

Many Hands Make Overlooked Work: Overclaiming of Responsibility Increases with Group Size
Booth Faculty: Eugene M. Caruso and Nicholas Epley, Booth PhD Candidate (at time of research): Juliana Schroeder

Waste Management: How Reducing Partiality Can Promote Efficient Resource Allocation
Booth Faculty: Eugene M. Caruso, Booth Postdoctoral Fellows (at time of research): Shoham Choshen-Hillel and Alex Shaw

Both Selfishness and Selflessness Start with the Self: How Wealth Shapes Responses to Charitable Appeals
Booth Faculty: Eugene M. Caruso

Political Partisanship Influences Perception of Biracial Candidates’ Skin Tone
Booth Faculty: Eugene M. Caruso

Instrumentality Boosts Appreciation: Helpers Are More Appreciated While They Are Useful
Booth Faculty: Benjamin Converse, Ayelet Fishbach

Inferring Perspective versus Getting Perspective: Underestimating the Value of Being in Another’s Shoes
Booth Faculty: Nicholas Epley

Maybe Holier, but Definitely Less Evil Than You: Bounded Self-Righteousness in Social Judgment
Booth Faculty: Nicholas Epley, Booth PhD Candidate (at time of research): Nadav Klein

Mistaking Minds and Machines: How Speech Affects Dehumanization and Anthropomorphism
Booth Faculty: Nicholas Epley, Booth PhD Candidate (at time of research): Juliana Schroeder

Social Connection Enables Dehumanization
Booth Faculty: Nicholas Epley

The Mechanics of Motivated Reasoning
Booth Faculty: Nicholas Epley

It Pays to Be Nice, but Not Really Nice: Asymmetric Reputations from Prosociality across 7 Countries
Booth Faculty: Nicholas Epley, Booth PhD Candidate (at time of research): Nadav Klein

The Topography of Generosity: Asymmetric Evaluations of Prosocial Actions
Booth Faculty: Nicholas Epley, Booth PhD Candidate (at time of research): Nadav Klein

The ‘Empty Vessel’ Physician: Physicians’ Instrumentality Makes Them Seem Personally Empty
Booth Faculty: Ayelet Fishbach, Booth PhD Candidate (at time of research): Juliana Schroeder

Giving the Self: Increasing Commitment and Generosity through Giving Something That Represents One’s Essence
Booth Faculty: Ayelet Fishbach, Booth PhD Candidate (at time of research): Maferima Touré-Tillery

Too Far to Help: The Effect of Perceived Distance on the Expected Impact and Likelihood of Charitable Action
Booth Faculty: Ayelet Fishbach

The Motivating-Uncertainty Effect: Uncertainty Increases Resource Investment in the Process of Reward Pursuit
Booth Faculty: Ayelet Fishbach and Christopher K. Hsee, Booth PhD Candidate (at time of research): Luxi Shen

Being Observed Magnifies Action
Booth Faculty: Ayelet Fishbach, Booth PhD Candidate (at time of research): Ying Zhang

For the Fun of It: Harnessing Immediate Rewards to Increase Persistence in Long-Term Goals
Booth Faculty: Ayelet Fishbach, Booth PhD Candidate (at time of research): Kaitlin Woolley

Functional Intimacy: Needing—but Not Wanting—the Touch of a Stranger
Booth Faculty: Ayelet Fishbach, Booth PhD Candidate (at time of research): Juliana Schroeder

If It’s Useful and You Know It, Do You Eat? Preschoolers Refrain from Instrumental Food
Booth Faculty: Ayelet Fishbach

Immediate Rewards Predict Adherence to Long-Term Goals
Booth Faculty: Ayelet Fishbach, Booth PhD Candidate (at time of research): Kaitlin Woolley

Motivation in a Social Context: Coordinating Personal and Shared Goal Pursuits with Others
Booth Faculty: Ayelet Fishbach, Booth PhD Candidate (at time of research): Yanping Tu

Pursuing Goals with Others
Booth Faculty: Ayelet Fishbach, Booth PhD Candidate (at time of research): Yanping Tu

The Pitfall of Experimenting on the Web: How Unattended Selective Attrition Leads to Surprising (Yet False) Research Conclusions
Booth Faculty: Ayelet Fishbach

The Friendly Taking Effect: How Interpersonal Closeness Leads to Seemingly Selfish Yet Jointly Maximizing Choice
Booth Faculty: Ayelet Fishbach, Booth PhD Candidate (at time of research): Yanping Tu

When Choices Substitute For versus Reinforce Each Other
Booth Faculty: Ayelet Fishbach, Booth PhD Candidate (at time of research): Franklin Shaddy

Suboptimal Choices and the Need for Experienced Individual Well-Being in Economic Analysis
Booth Faculty: Christopher K. Hsee

Befriending the Enemy: Outgroup Friendship Longitudinally Predicts Intergroup Attitudes in a Coexistence Program for Israelis and Palestinians
Booth Faculty: Jane L. Risen, Booth PhD Candidate (at time of research): Juliana Schroeder

Investing in Karma: When Wanting Promotes Helping
Booth Faculty: Jane L. Risen, Booth PhD Candidates (at time of research): Benjamin Converse and Travis J. Carter

Option Awareness: The Psychology of What We Consider
Booth Faculty: Anuj K. Shah

Think Before You Act: A New Approach to Preventing Youth Violence and Dropout
Booth Faculty: Anuj K. Shah

Thinking, Fast and Slow? Some Field Experiments to Reduce Crime and Dropout in Chicago
Booth Faculty: Anuj K. Shah

Scarcity Frames Value
Booth Faculty: Anuj K. Shah

Some Consequences of Having Too Little
Booth Faculty: Anuj K. Shah

Choice Architecture: Behavioral Foundations of Public Policy
Booth Faculty: Richard H. Thaler

A Theory of Intergenerational Mobility
Booth Faculty: Gary S. Becker and Kevin M. Murphy

Explaining the Worldwide Boom in Higher Education of Women” 
Booth Faculty: Gary S. Becker, William H. J. Hubbard, Kevin M. Murphy

Are Emily and Greg More Employable than Lakisha and Jamal? A Field Experiment on Labor Market Discrimination” 
Booth Faculty: Marianne Bertrand

Breaking the Glass Ceiling? The Effect of Board Quotas on Female Labor Market Outcomes in Norway” 
Booth Faculty: Marianne Bertrand

Do Judges Vary in Their Treatment of Race?” 
Booth Faculty: Marianne Bertrand

Field Experiments on Discrimination” 
Booth Faculty: Marianne Bertrand

Gender Identity and Relative Income Within Households” 
Booth Faculty: Marianne Bertrand and Emir Kamenica, Booth PhD Candidate (at time of research): Jessica Pan

Information Disclosure, Cognitive Biases and Payday Borrowing” 
Booth Faculty: Marianne Bertrand

Is It Whom You Know or What You Know? An Empirical Assessment of the Lobbying Process” 
Booth Faculty: Marianne Bertrand

Trickle-Down Consumption” 
Booth Faculty: Marianne Bertrand

Governance and the Effectiveness of Public Health Subsidies: Evidence from Ghana, Kenya, and Uganda” 
Booth Faculty: Rebecca Dizon-Ross

How Does School Accountability Affect Teachers? Evidence from New York City” 
Booth Faculty: Rebecca Dizon-Ross

Parents’ Perceptions and Children’s Education: Experimental Evidence from Malawi” 
Booth Faculty: Rebecca Dizon-Ross

Migrants, Ancestors, and Foreign Investments” 
Booth Faculty: Tarek A. Hassan

Information and Subsidies: Complements or Substitutes?
Booth Faculty: Rebecca Dizon-Ross

Peer Effects in Legislative Voting” 
Booth Faculty: Emir Kamenica

Voters, Dictators, and Peons: Expressive Voting and Pivotality” 
Booth Faculty: Emir Kamenica

Measuring the Impact of Crack Cocaine” 
Booth Faculty: Kevin M. Murphy

Persuasion in Politics” Booth Faculty: Kevin M. Murphy“Social Status, Education, and Growth” 
Booth Faculty: Kevin M. Murphy

“The Structure of Wages” 
Booth Faculty: Kevin M. Murphy

The Value of Health and Longevity” 
Booth Faculty: Kevin M. Murphy and Robert H. Topel

Human Capital Investment, Inequality and Growth” 
Booth Faculty: Kevin M. Murphy and Robert H. Topel

The Allocation of Food to Food Banks” 
Booth Faculty: Canice Prendergast

Foreclosures, House Prices, and the Real Economy” 
Booth Faculty: Amir Sufi

The Assimilation of Immigrants in the US Labor Markets” 
Booth Faculty: Robert H. Topel

Tax Cuts for Whom? Heterogeneous Effects of Income Tax Changes on Growth and Employment” 
Booth Faculty: Owen Zidar

Are Some Degrees Worth More than Others? Evidence from College Admission Cutoffs in Chile” 
Booth Faculty: Seth Zimmerman

Making the One Percent: The Role of Elite Universities and Elite Peers” 
Booth Faculty: Seth Zimmerman

The Costs of and Net Returns to College Major”
Booth Faculty: Seth Zimmerman

The Effect of School Construction on Test Scores, School Enrollment, and Home Prices” 
Booth Faculty: Seth Zimmerman

The Effects of Earnings Disclosure on College Enrollment Decisions” 
Booth Faculty: Seth Zimmerman

The Returns to College Admission for Academically Marginal Students” 
Booth Faculty: Seth Zimmerman

(Un)informed College and Major Choice: Evidence from Linked Survey and Administrative Data” 
Booth Faculty: Seth Zimmerman

Selfless Giving” 
Booth Faculty: Daniel Bartels

Moral Judgment and Decision Making” 
Booth Faculty: Daniel Bartels

Extralegal Punishment Factors: A Study of Forgiveness, Hardship, Good Deeds, Apology, Remorse, and Other Such Discretionary Factors in Assessing Criminal Punishment” 
Booth Faculty: Daniel Bartels

Self-Signaling and Prosocial Behavior: A Cause Marketing Experiment” 
Booth Faculty: Jean-Pierre Dubé

Unit Asking: A Method to Boost Donations and Beyond” 
Booth Faculty: Christopher K. Hsee, Booth PhD Candidate (at time of research): Jiao Zhang

Exerting Self-Less Effort While Making Self-ish Choices” 
Booth Faculty: Christopher K. Hsee and Oleg Urminsky, Booth PhD Candidate (at time of research): Adelle Yang

Eager to Help Yet Reluctant to Give: How Pro-Social Effort and Pro-Social Choices Diverge” 
Booth Faculty: Christopher K. Hsee and Oleg Urminksy, Booth PhD Candidate (at time of research): Adelle Yang

Development and Pilot Study of a Marketing Strategy for Primary Care/Internet–Based Depression Prevention Intervention for Adolescents (The CATCH-IT Intervention)” 
Booth Faculty: Ann L. McGill

Framing Donations as Exceptional Expenses Increases Giving” 
Booth Faculty: Abigail Sussman

Marketing and Politics: Models, Behavior, and Policy Implications” 
Booth Faculty: Oleg Urminsky

The Health Consequences of Intertemporal Preferences” 
Booth Faculty: Oleg Urminsky

The Smile-Seeking Hypothesis: How Immediate Affective Reactions Motivate and Reward Gift-Giving” 
Booth Faculty: Oleg Urminsky, Booth PhD Candidate (at time of research): Adelle Yang

When Should the Ask Be a Nudge? The Effect of Default Amounts on Charitable Donations” 
Booth Faculty: Oleg Urminsky, Booth PhD Candidate (at time of research): Indranil Goswami

Smart Homes with Price-Responsive Thermostats” 
Booth Faculty: Dan Adelman

Harvest: Organic Waste Recycling with Energy Recovery (Case A)” 
Booth Faculty: Baris Ata

Harvest: Organic Waste Recycling with Energy Recovery (Case B)” 
Booth Faculty: Baris Ata

On Hospice Operations Under Medicare Reimbursement Policies” 
Booth Faculty: Baris Ata

Bike-Share Systems: Accessibility and Availability” 
Booth Faculty: Elena Belavina

Online Grocery Retail: Revenue Models and Environmental Impact” 
Booth Faculty: Elena Belavina

Quality Management Using Data Analytics: An Application to Pharmaceutical Regulation” 
Booth Faculty: John R. Birge and Chad Syverson, Booth PhD Candidate (at time of research): Vishal Ahuja

Geographic Variation in Rosiglitazone Use Surrounding FDA Warnings in the Department of Veterans Affairs” 
Booth Faculty: John R. Birge and Chad Syverson, Booth PhD Candidate (at time of research): Vishal Ahuja

Robustness of Renewable Energy Support Schemes Facing Uncertainty and Regulatory Ambiguity” 
Booth Faculty: John R. Birge

Strategic Commitment to a Production Schedule with Supply and Demand Uncertainty: Renewable Energy in Day-Ahead Electricity Markets” 
Booth Faculty: John R. Birge

The Structural Impact of Renewable Portfolio Standards and Feed-in-Tariffs on Electricity Markets” 
Booth Faculty: John R. Birge

Separating Logistics Flows in the Chicago Public School System” 
Booth Faculty: Donald D. Eisenstein

Managing Hospital Inpatient Bed Capacity through Partitioning Care into Focused Wings” 
Booth Faculty: Donald D. Eisenstein and Burhaneddin Sandıkçı, Booth PhD Candidate (at time of research): Thomas J. Best

Alleviating the Patient’s Price of Privacy through a Partially Observable Waiting List” 
Booth Faculty: Burhaneddin Sandıkçı

Estimating the Patient’s Price of Privacy in Liver Transplantation” 
Booth Faculty: Burhaneddin Sandıkçı

Induction Therapies in Live Donor Kidney Transplantation on Tacrolimus and Mycophenolate with or without Steroid Maintenance” 
Booth Faculty: Burhaneddin Sandıkçı

Can Ratings Have Indirect Effects? Evidence from the Organizational Response to Peers’ Environmental Ratings” 
Booth Faculty: Amanda J. Sharkey

Unequal Hard Times: The Influence of the Great Recession on Gender Bias in Entrepreneurial Financing” 
Booth Faculty: Amanda J. Sharkey

Entrepreneurship as a Mobility Process” 
Booth Faculty: Amanda J. Sharkey

A Non-Asymptotic Approach to Analyzing Kidney Exchange Graphs
Booth Faculty: Christopher Thomas Ryan

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