Neil Thakral


Nancy Donohue and Diane Elam Assistant Professor
Department of Economics and Watson Institute
Brown University

Applied microeconomics, behavioral economics

My recent research focuses on adaptive choice experiments and utility from anticipation. Each paper below is accompanied by a 31-syllable description, as in a tanka.

I am a member of the editorial board of the Journal of Mathematical Economics and the Review of Economics and Statistics.


Working Papers


Anticipation and Consumption

What do cash transfers and stimulus checks have in common?
The longer you anticipate it,
the less you spend, the more you save.

Neil Thakral and Linh Tô
November 2022

 abstract  paper  appendix  ssrn  bibtex

An Anticipatory Utility Model of Consumption and Savings

Utility from anticipation
provides a tractable model
of income risk, illiquidity, and borrowing.

Georgios Angelis and Neil Thakral
October 2022

 abstract  paper  bibtex

Wage Differentials and the Price of Workplace Flexibility

High-wage workers choose when and where to work;
low-wage workers, how much.
They have similar preferences, but pay different prices.

Marshall Drake, Neil Thakral, and Linh Tô
March 2022

 abstract  email for draft  bibtex

Anticipatory Utility and Intertemporal Choice

Utility from
changing anticipation of future consumption
explains how people make intertemporal choices.

Neil Thakral
February 2022

 abstract  email for draft  bibtex

Anticipation and Temptation

People don’t enjoy anticipating future temptation spending.
They overspend on tempting goods now.
More so for low wealth.

Neil Thakral and Linh Tô
October 2020

 abstract  paper  bibtex

Behavioral Spillovers from Promoting Healthier Consumer Choices

Nudging shoppers to buy healthier
leads to less healthy choices for other products.
More so for those who have a hard time choosing.

Mathias Barløse Wagner, Kfir Eliaz, Neil Thakral, and Sarit Weisburd
November 2022

 abstract  email for draft  bibtex

A Welfare Analysis of Public Housing Allocation Mechanisms

Public housing:
US limits rejections, UK limits choices.
How to trade off between better matches and waiting costs?

Canishk Naik and Neil Thakral
November 2022

 abstract  email for draft  bibtex

The Public Housing Allocation Problem: Theory and Evidence from Pittsburgh

When dynamically matching public housing with applicants,
use building-specific waiting lists.
The welfare gains are large.

Neil Thakral
August 2016

 abstract  paper  bibtex



Daily Labor Supply and Adaptive Reference Points

Taxi drivers can choose when to quit working.
They set a daily income target, but it adjusts.
Recent shocks matter the most.

Neil Thakral and Linh Tô
American Economic Review, August 2021

 abstract  paper  appendix  slides  publisher  replication  bibtex

Other Publications

Matching with Stochastic Arrival

Neil Thakral
AEA Papers and Proceedings, 109: 209–12. May 2019.

The Design of Public-Housing Policies

Neil Thakral
More Equal by Design: Economic Design Responses to Inequality, eds. Scott Duke Kominers and Alexander Teytelboym, Oxford University Press, forthcoming.

Work in Progress

Bayesian Adaptive Choice Experiments

Marshall Drake, Fernando Payró, Neil Thakral, and Linh Tô

Conference Discussions

The Economics of Financial Stress, by Dmitriy Sergeyev, Chen Lian, and Yuriy Gorodnichenko
NBER Behavioral Finance Fall Meeting 2022
discussion slides paper discussed

Temptation and Incentives to Wealth Accumulation, by Orazio Attanasio, Agnes Kovac, and Patrick Moran
ASSA Annual Meeting 2022 Session on Behavioral Intertemporal Consumption
discussion slides paper discussed