Margaret Samahita

Margaret Samahita

Assistant Professor

University College Dublin


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

My research is in behavioural economics, where I use theoretical, empirical and (primarily) experimental methods to study individual decision-making. My current research focuses on the effects of social influence on online behaviour and political preferences. More recently, I am also interested in studying gender differences in economics and the causes and consequences of gender norms.

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, Gender Economics, Political Economy



Journal Articles

Are economics conferences gender-neutral? Evidence from Ireland (with Kevin Devereux). Oxford Bulletin of Economics and Statistics, 2023. [podcast] [twitter]

Compliance spending aversion: An unintended consequence of charity regulation (with Leonhard K. Lades). Journal of Behavioral Public Administration, 2023, 6(1). [twitter]

Can ♥s change minds? Social media endorsements and policy preferences (with Pierluigi Conzo, Laura K. Taylor, Juan S. Morales and Andrea Gallice). Social Media + Society, 2023, 9(2). [twitter]

No mood effects in the field: The case of car inspections (with Håkan J. Holm). Journal of Economic Psychology, 2023, 96:102612. [twitter]

Too much commitment? An online experiment with tempting YouTube content (with Claes Ek). Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, 2023, 208:21-38. [online appendices] [twitter]

Pay-what-you-want in competition. The B.E. Journal of Theoretical Economics, 2020, 20(1):20180063. [pdf]

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

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. [radio]

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

Gender, productivity, and promotion in the Irish economics profession (with Kevin Devereux) Accepted at Economics Bulletin. [podcast]

Can social pressure stifle free speech? (with Juan S. Morales) [twitter]

The inelastic demand for affirmative action (with Demid Getik and Marco Islam)


Work in Progress

Understanding online influence: Experimental evidence from the immigration debate on social media (with Pierluigi Conzo, Andrea Gallice, Juan S. Morales and Laura K. Taylor)

Partisanship and collaborative fact-checking (with Taha Yasseri)

Anchoring and subjective belief distributions (with Håkan J. Holm, Erik Wengström and Roel van Veldhuizen)

“Luxury beliefs”: Signaling through ideology

Gender difference in evaluators’ confidence (with Martina Zanella)

Gender norms and preferential hiring (with Orla Doyle and Manuel Estevo Lago Rodríguez)


Current Teaching

Advanced Microeconomics - MSc Economics.

Decision Theory - MSc Economics.

Economics of Gender and Diversity - BSc Economics.