Margaret Samahita

Margaret Samahita

Assistant Professor

University College Dublin


I am an Assistant Professor at the School of Economics, University College Dublin and a Research Fellow at the Geary Institute for Public Policy. I hold a PhD in Economics from Lund University.

My research is primarily in behavioural economics, where I use theoretical, empirical and experimental methods to study individual decision-making. In particular, I focus on the effects of self-image, social image, emotions and self-control. More recently, I am also interested in studying how information shapes political preferences.

I am a member of the Behavioural Science & Policy Group and an affiliated researcher at the Connected_Politics Lab at UCD.


Research Interests: Behavioral Economics, Experimental Economics, Applied Microeconomics



Journal Articles

What drives home solar PV uptake? Subsidies, peer effects and visibility in Sweden (with Luis Mundaca). Energy Research & Social Science, 2020, 60:101319.

Pay-what-you-want in competition. The B.E. Journal of Theoretical Economics, 2019, 20(1).

Curating social image: experimental evidence on the value of actions and selfies (with Håkan J. Holm). Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, 2018, 148:83-104. Media: press release, radio segment

Venting and gossiping in conflicts: verbal expression in ultimatum games. Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics, 2017, 67:111-121.

Pay-what-you-want pricing schemes: a self-image perspective (with Goytom Abraha Kahsay). Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Finance, 2015, 7:17-28.

Effect of effort on self-image: monotonically increasing self-image functions. Economics Bulletin, 2013, 33(1):152-157.


Book Chapter

Behavioural economics for energy and climate change policies and the transition to a sustainable energy use: a Scandinavian perspective (with Luis Mundaca, Jonas Sonnenschein and Roman Seidl). In M. Lopes, C. Henggeler Antunes and K. B. Janda (Eds.), Energy and Behavior: Towards a Low Carbon Future, 2020, 45-87. London: Academic Press.


Working Papers

Pessimism and overcommitment (with Claes Ek)

Mining for mood effect in the field (with Håkan J. Holm)


Work in Progress

Social Media and the formation of policy preferences: experimental evidence in the times of COVID-19 (with Pierluigi Conzo, Andrea Gallice, Juan S. Morales and Laura K. Taylor)

Metrics, interaction and influence: the immigration debate on social media (with Pierluigi Conzo, Andrea Gallice, Juan S. Morales and Laura K. Taylor)

Regulatory load and charitable-giving (with Leonhard K. Lades)

Increasing female participation in economics (with Orla Doyle)

Does perceived (in)competence of minority groups drive preference for affirmative action? (with Demid Getik and Marco Islam)

Stocking up or putting off? Durability versus procrastination in explaining transitory effects in healthcare spending (with Kevin Devereux)


Current teaching

Experiments in Economics (Autumn 2020) - Compulsory course in Master in Behavioural Economics. (Lecturer for Laboratory Experiments part)

Advanced Microeconomics (Spring 2021, Spring 2020) - Compulsory course in Master in Quantitative Economics.

Decision Theory (Spring 2021, Spring 2020) - Elective course in Master’s program.

Behavioural Economics: Policy Implications (Spring 2021) - Compulsory course in Master in Behavioural Economics.



Are you a UCD student interested in behavioral science and would like to contribute to research? Sign up to the BSP Lab mailing list for invitations to participate in decision experiments!


Running A Laboratory Experiment at LUSEM - I compiled a guide for experimental economists interested in running sessions at LUSEM (2016).

Homo Non-Economicus - I wrote a short article about my research and behavioral economics in general for the student magazine (2013).