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.


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, 2024, 86(1):101-118. [podcast] [twitter]

Gender, productivity, and promotion in the Irish economics profession (with Kevin Devereux). Economics Bulletin, 2023, 43(3):1225-1234. [podcast]

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). Erratum: Figure 5 right panel should be this. [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.

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

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

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

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


Selected Work in Progress

Perceived popularity and social influence (with Pierluigi Conzo, Andrea Gallice and Juan S. Morales)

“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.