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 online political behaviour and 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

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

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. 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)

Can ♥s change minds? Social media endorsements and policy preferences (with Pierluigi Conzo, Laura K. Taylor, Juan S. Morales and Andrea Gallice)

The unintended side effects of regulating charities: Donors penalise administrative burden almost as much as overheads (with Leonhard K. Lades)


Work in Progress

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

What drives preference for affirmative action? (with Demid Getik and Marco Islam)


Current Teaching

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 Applications (Spring 2021) - Compulsory course in Master in Behavioural Economics. (Co-lecturer)

Experiments in Economics (Autumn 2020) - Compulsory course in Master in Behavioural Economics. (Co-lecturer)