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

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)


Work in Progress

How ♥s change minds: social media endorsements and policy preferences (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)

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


Current teaching

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

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)



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).