Portrait image for Kareem Haggag

Kareem Haggag

Assistant Professor of Behavioral Economics
Areas of Expertise:
  • Applied Microeconomics
  • Behavioral Economics
  • Political Economy

Applied microeconomist Kareem Haggag studies topics at the intersections of economics, political science and psychology. His research attempts to understand the roots and consequences of biases in the contexts of consumer choice, finance, education, voting and labor markets.

Haggag came to his field through a combined interest in understanding how people make decisions and in how to use those insights to mitigate inequities across society. “I realized that a Ph.D. in economics was flexible enough to study causal questions across a range of human experiences,” he says. “Rapid growth in the types of newly available data — ranging from smartphone-generated GPS records to large-scale voter files — has allowed us to bring insights to age-old topics in economics, psychology and political science using modern econometric tools.”

He has most recently explored the effects of school racial diversity on political identity. He and his fellow researchers studied the dramatic changes in schools’ racial composition that resulted from a large North Carolina school district’s busing policy reforms. They produced causal evidence of the link between partisanship and childhood circumstances, concluding that exposure to diversity at school could directly influence a child’s political preferences later in life. “Our study suggests that school environments play an important role in determining long-run political behavior, and adds to a growing literature re-examining the ‘contact hypothesis’ outside the laboratory,” says Haggag.

Haggag joined the UCLA Anderson School of Management faculty in 2021. He previously served on the faculty of Carnegie Mellon University and was a postdoctoral fellow with the Financial Inclusion Program at Yale University/Innovations for Poverty Action. His publications have been widely cited by press and media such as the Washington Post, The New York Times, Scientific American and NPR’s Morning Edition. He is a Faculty Research Fellow at the National Bureau of Economic Research.


Ph.D. Economics, 2016, University of Chicago Booth School of Business
B.A. Economics, 2008, University of Tennessee, Knoxville


The Long-Run Effects of School Racial Diversity on Political Identity (with Stephen B. Billings & Eric Chyn), NBER Working Paper #27302
Forthcoming at American Economic Review: Insights
Press: Washington Post

Racial Disparities in Voting Wait Times: Evidence from Smartphone Data (with M. Keith Chen, Devin G. Pope, & Ryne Rohla), NBER Working Paper #26487
Forthcoming at Review of Economics and Statistics
Press: Washington Post Op-Ed, Scientific American, The Root, The Hill, New York Times

Attribution Bias in Major Decisions: Evidence from the United States Military Academy (with Richard W. Patterson, Nolan G. Pope, & Aaron Feudo),
Journal of Public Economics, Volume 200, August 2021, 104445
Press: NPR Morning Edition (Hidden Brain), Washington Post

Blue Porches: Finding the Limits of External Validity of the Endowment Effect (with Gharad Bryan, Matthew Grant, Dean Karlan, Meredith Startz, & Chris Udry),
Journal of Economic Behavior and Organization, 176, 269-271. 2020.

Attribution Bias in Consumer Choice (with Devin G. Pope, Kinsey B. Bryant-Lees, & Maarten W. Bos),
Review of Economic Studies, 86(5), 2136-2183. 2019.

Learning by Driving: Productivity Improvements by New York City Taxi Drivers (with Brian McManus & Giovanni Paci),
American Economic Journal: Applied Economics, 9(1), 70-95. 2017.

Default Tips (with Giovanni Paci),
American Economic Journal: Applied Economics, 6(3), 1-19. 2014.
Press: Bloomberg, NPR Morning Edition,Yahoo! Finance, Pacific Standard Magazine, Guardian, New York Times, Boston Globe, Science Magazine

Working Papers

Moved to Vote: The Long-Run Effects of Neighborhoods on Political Participation (November 2019) (with Eric Chyn), NBER Working Paper #26515

Inaccurate Statistical Discrimination: An Identification Problem (July 2020) (with J. Aislinn Bohren, Alex Imas, & Devin G. Pope), NBER Working Paper #25935