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.

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, Political Economy



Journal Articles

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

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

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

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

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

Gender, productivity, and promotion in the Irish economics profession (with Kevin Devereux) Media: podcast

Are economics conferences gender-neutral? Evidence from Ireland (with Kevin Devereux) Media: podcast


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)

Can online backlash stifle free speech? (with Juan S. Morales)

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


Current Teaching

Advanced Microeconomics - MSc Economics.

Decision Theory - MSc Economics.

Behavioural Economics: Policy Applications - MSc Economics. (Co-lecturer)

Experiments in Economics - MSc Economics. (Co-lecturer)