Ricardo Perez-Truglia

Assistant Professor of Economics
“The challenge in economic research lies not in coming up with a good answer as much as in asking the right question.”
Cell: +1 6178754437 | Office: C515
Areas of Expertise:
  • Behavioral Economics
  • Political Economy
  • Public Economics




Ricardo Perez-Truglia is an Assistant Professor of Economics in the Global Economics and Management group at UCLA Anderson (on leave), and Visiting Professor in the Economic Analysis & Policy Group at Berkeley Haas.

He received his Ph.D. in economics at Harvard University in 2014. His research interests include behavioral economics, political economy and public economics. He has published in premiere academic journals such as the American Economic Review and the Journal of Political Economy and his research has been featured in a number of international media outlets such as the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, The Economist and National Public Radio.

He studies how social image and social comparisons shape economic behavior. “What do others think of you? Are you rich? Smart? Hard-working? The desire to shape these opinions is a powerful driver of human behavior.” He also studies how individuals and firms acquire and process information. “We need to know what people believe in order to truly understand their motivations.”

He intends his research to inform firms and policymakers in the developed and developing world, leading to practical applications. He says his motivation for conducting research of practical value extends into his classroom: “For me, teaching is an opportunity to help improve our world through the hands of my students. That is an enormous responsibility — for me and for them.” He teaches the core M.B.A. course Managerial Economics.

Before joining UCLA Anderson in 2016, he was a postdoctoral researcher at Microsoft Research New England, an experience he describes as “among the happiest and most productive of my life” because it provided him the opportunity for close interaction with scientists from other disciplines.

He grew up in the Ciudadela neighborhood in the suburbs of Buenos Aires. Ricardo and his wife, Marina, enjoy hiking, traveling and playing soccer with their three children, Alma, Nicolas and Lucas.



Ph.D. Economics, 2014, Harvard University

B.A. and M.A. Economics, 2008, Universidad de San Andres


Curriculum Vitae


Selected Publications

Perez-Truglia, R. and Troiano, U. (2018). Shaming Tax Delinquents. Journal of Public Economics, Vol. 167, pp. 120-137. [ Gated] [ Ungated] [ Slides]

Perez-Truglia, R. (2018). Political Conformity: Event-Study Evidence from the United States. Review of Economics and Statistics, Vol. 100 (1), pp. 14-28. [ Gated] [ Ungated] [ Slides]

Drenik, A, and Perez-Truglia, R. (2018). Sympathy for the Diligent and the Demand for Workfare. Journal of Economic Behavior and Organization, Vol. 153, pp. 77-102. [ Gated] [ Ungated]

Perez-Truglia, R. and Cruces, G. (2017). Partisan Interactions: Evidence from a Field Experiment in the United States. Journal of Political Economy, Vol. 125 (4), pp. 1208–1243. [ Gated] [ Ungated] [ Slides]

Cavallo, A.; Cruces, G. and Perez-Truglia, R. (2017). Inflation Expectations, Learning and Supermarket Prices: Evidence from Field Experiments. American Economic Journal: Macroeconomics, Vol. 9 (3), pp. 1–35 (lead article). [ Gated] [ Ungated] [ Slides] [ Questionnaire]

Cavallo, A.; Cruces, G. and Perez-Truglia, R. (2016). Learning from Potentially Biased Statistics. Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Spring 2016, pp. 59-108. [ Ungated]

Di Tella, R., Perez-Truglia, R., Babino, A., Sigman, M. (2015). Conveniently Upset: Avoiding Altruism by Distorting Beliefs About Others’ Altruism. American Economic Review, Vol. 105 (11), pp. 3416-42. [ Gated] [ Ungated] [ Questionnaire] [ Older: Di Tella and Perez-Truglia (2010)]

Bottan, N. and Perez-Truglia, R. (2015). Losing my Religion: The Effects of Religious Scandals on Religious Participation and Charitable Giving. Journal of Public Economics, Vol. 129, pp. 106–119. [ Gated] [ Ungated] [ Slides] [ Videos]

Cruces, G., Perez-Truglia, R. and Tetaz, Martin (2013). Biased Perceptions of Income Distribution and Preferences for Redistribution: Evidence from a Survey Experiment. Journal of Public Economics, Vol. 98, pp. 100-112. [ Gated] [ Ungated]


Working Papers

Perez-Truglia, R. The Effects of Income Transparency on Well-Being: Evidence from a Natural Experiment. Conditionally Accepted, American Economic Review. [ Ungated] [ Slides]

Cullen, Z. and Perez-Truglia, R. How Much Does Your Boss Make? The Effects of Salary Comparisons. [ Ungated]

Bottan, N. and Perez-Truglia, R. Choosing Your Pond: Location Choices and Relative Income. [ Ungated]

Bergolo, M.; Ceni, R.; Cruces, G.; Giaccobasso, M. and Perez-Truglia, R. Tax Audits as Scarecrows: Evidence from a Large-Scale Field Experiment. [ Ungated]

Fuster, A.; Perez-Truglia, R.; Wiederholt, M. and Zafar, B. Expectations with Endogenous Information Acquisition: An Experimental Investigation. [ Ungated]

Cullen, Z. and Perez-Truglia, R. The Salary Taboo: Privacy Norms and the Diffusion of Information. [ Ungated]


Other Publications

Montano-Campos, F. and Perez-Truglia, R. (2019). Giving to Charity to Signal Smarts. Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics, Vol. 78, pp. 193-199. [ Gated] [ Ungated]

Perez-Truglia, R. (2018). Markets, Trust and Cultural Biases: Evidence from eBay. Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics, Vol. 72, pp. 17–27. [ Gated] [ Ungated]

Bergolo, M.; Ceni, R.; Cruces, G.; Giaccobasso, M.; Perez-Truglia, R. (2018). Misperceptions About Tax Audits. American Economic Association P&P, Vol. 108, pp. 83–87. [ Gated] [ Ungated]

Perez-Truglia, R. (2015). A Samuelsonian Validation Test for Happiness Data. Journal of Economic Psychology, Vol. 49, pp. 74–83. [ Gated] [ Ungated]

Galiani, S. and Perez-Truglia, R. (2013). School Management in Developing Countries. in P. Glewwe (Ed.), Education Policy in Developing Countries. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.[ Order Book] [ Ungated]

Perez-Truglia, R. (2013). A Test of the Conspicuous-Consumption Model Using Subjective Well-Being Data. Journal of Socio-Economics, Vol. 45, pp. 146–154. [ Gated] [ Ungated]

Perez-Truglia, R. (2012). On the Causes and Consequences of Hedonic Adaptation. Journal of Economic Psychology, Vol. 33, pp. 1182-1192. [ Gated] [ Ungated]

Bottan, N. and Perez-Truglia, R. (2011). Deconstructing the Hedonic Treadmill. Journal of Socio-Economics, Vol. 40, pp. 224-236. [ Gated] [ Ungated]



The Economist, September 5 2019. Salary Transparency: Help or Hindrance?

Sightsinplus, August 19 2019. Compensation: Fairness and Transparency.

Anderson Review, August 28 2019. How People Gather Information.

Anderson Review, August 21 2019. Businesses Vastly Overestimate the Likelihood of Being Audited.

National Public Radio, May 30 2019. How much do you make?

Quartz, May 2 2019. How knowing your colleague’s salary could hurt you.

Anderson Review, May 1 2019. Pay Transparency: Will It Help or Hurt Workers?

Bloomberg, April 15 2019. Your Tax Return Is None of My Business.

VoxEU, April 10 2019. Mirror, mirror on the wall, who is the richest of them all?

MIT Sloan Management Review, April 2 2019. Do Men Know More About Salaries?

The Weeds, March 5 2019. But seriously, how are you going to pay for it?

Bloomberg, March 4 2019. The Dark Side to Making Tax Returns Public.

The Ladders, December 26 2018. Need to get motivated?

Anderson Review, December 5 2018. Do People Donate Money to Signal Their Intelligence?

Financial Times, November 28 2018. Should you decide what you are paid?

The Morning Call, November 29 2018. Catholic church facing declining dollars.

Knowledge@Wharton, November 20 2018. Taxpayers Hate to Lose.

Anderson Review, November 14 2018. Shaming of Tax Delinquents Works.

Business Insider, November 11 2018. Pay Transparency Study.

New York Times, November 1 2018. Happy National Jealousy Day!

Bankrate, October 31 2018. You probably haven’t shared your salary with a co-worker.

Harvard Business Review, October 25 2018. The Motivating (and Demotivating) Effects of Learning Others’ Salaries.

Strategy+Business, October 25 2018. What Happens When the Salary-Secrecy Taboo Is Broken?

MarketWatch, October 16 2018. Most people keep their salaries a secret.

The Atlantic, October 16 2018. The Extreme Discomfort of Sharing Salary Information.

Forbes, October 11 2018. Knowing What Your Boss Earns Can Make You Work Harder.

Anderson Review, August 29 2018. In a Global Church.

Anderson Review, August 22 2018. It’s OK if the Boss Earns More.

Paradigm Money, August 13 2018. Should Bosses Tell Employees What they Make?

Benefits Pro, August 16 2018. Salary disclosures can motivate employees.

The Ladders, August 8 2018. We work harder when our boss makes more than we thought.

Wall Street Journal, August 6 2018. My Boss Makes What?!

West Australian, August 6 2018. Secrets of Pay Transparency.

MarketWatch, July 25 2018. Employees actually work harder if they think their boss gets a big fat paycheck.

Anderson Review, May 16 2018. Citizens Not Fooled by Fake Statistics.

Anderson Review, March 14 2018. Campaign Contributions Swayed by Neighbors’ Politics.

VoxDev, February 14 2018. Tax audits as scarecrows: Evidence from Uruguay.

Anderson Review, January 31 2018. Boo! Does Merely Mentioning an Audit Increase Taxpayer Compliance?

Anderson Review, January 3 2018. $54,000 a Year: It Feels Like More If Your Neighbors Make Less.

Ozy, January 3 2018. Could tax transparency lead to greater equality?

The Economist, October 28 2017. Firms should make more information about salaries public.

MIT News, July 31 2017. Public Perceptions of Inflation.

Attn, July 26 2017. Want to Know What Your Coworkers Make?.

Fusion, November 11 2016. Trump won’t release his tax returns.

TaxVox, October 4 2016. Transparency, Tax Returns, and Tax Reform.

Quartz, September 17 2016. In Norway, you can browse everyone’s tax returns.

The Economist, April 16 2016. Tax transparency: When Less is More.

Up Front (Brookings), March 14 2016. Considering the source: How we perceive inflation data.

Secular Policy Institute, November 6 2015. The Price of Predatory Priests.

The Tablet, November 4 2015. U.S. Catholic Church paid $4bn in abuse compensation.

National Catholic Reporter, November 2 2015. Drop in giving in areas hit by sex abuse scandal.

U.S. News, October 8 2015. Knowing Your Neighbor’s Tax Status.

Pacific Standard, September 10 2015. The Continuing Cost of Catholicism’s Sex Abuse Scandals.

Stateline, May 28 2015. Tax Scofflaws in Virtual ‘Stocks’.

New York Times, April 15 2015. Shaming Those Who Skip Out on Taxes.

Boston Globe, April 15 2015. Shaming Tax Evaders.

Vox, March 20 2015. Should we publicly shame delinquent taxpayers?

National Public Radio (NPR), February 25 2015. How Peer Pressure May Encourage Tax Delinquents To Pay Up. (includes audio)

New Orleans Local News, February 25 2015. Should the government shame tax cheats into paying up?.

Charlotte News, February 25 2015. Public Shaming Makes People Pay Their Taxes (includes video). Also Covered by: Statesman, WFTV News, WSB-TV Atlanta News, Palm Beach Post, Newsy, among others.

The Corner (National Review), February 19 2015. Publicly Shaming Delinquent Taxpayers.

U.S. News, February 19 2015. Named and Shamed.

Vox, November 10 2014. Influencing household inflation expectations.

The Daily Stat, July 11. 2014. Declines in donations outweigh direct costs of Catholic priest scandals.

Vox, December 16 2013. Social incentives and campaign contributions.

Marginal Revolution, February 20 2012. What are the costs of signaling at a macro level?

New York Times Economix, April 27 2011. Everyone is middle class, right?



Le Nouvel Economiste, January 2 2019. Pour ou contre la transparence des salaires.

L'ADN, October 23 2018. Vous voulez connaître le salaire de votre collègue?

45 Secondes, October 9 2018. Connaitre le salaire du patron motive.





Noticias, July 20 2019. La letra chica de los datos.

Foco Economico, May 29 2019. ¿Cuánto gana tu jefe?

Foco Economico, May 15 2019. Espejito, espejito, ¿Quién es más rico?

Infotechnology, March 2 2019. Los CEOs e intelectuales número 1 del pais nombran sucesores.

La Nacion, November 18 2018. El sindrome del pato.

La Informacion, October 24 2018. ¿Cuánto pagarías por saber lo que ganan tus colegas?

La Nacion, September 30 2018. ¿Por qué nos enfurece saber cuanto gana el vecino?

El Mercurio, Agosto 9 2018. ¿Que mi jefe gana cuánto?

La Diaria, March 3 2018. ¡Un espantapájaros!

El Confidencial, November 23 2017. El porno financiero.

La Informacion, November 20 2017. Por qué las empresas deberían hacer público lo que pagan a cada empleado.

Foco Economico, October 10 2017. Richard Thaler: Premio Nobel de Economía 2017.

Clarin, May 15 2017. Consumo, luego existo.

La Nacion, January 22 2017. Cómo perder una discusión con la mejor información.

Busqueda, November 24 2016. Baja la evasión de la renta empresarial.

El Cronista, August 12 2016. Mitos y verdades sobre el dinero y la felicidad.

La Nacion, August 7 2016. Pornoimpuestos, transparencia y bienestar.

La Nacion, December 6 2015. Tabunomics.

La Silla Vacia, October 20 2015. Creencias, Egoísmo y Bienes Públicos.

El Dia, September 27 2015. La felicidad de ganar más que los otros.

La Nacion, September 20 2015. El efecto estigma.

Foco Economico, November 19 2014. Formación de Expectativas de Inflación de los Hogares.

La Nacion, November 2 2014. Economía colaborativa.

La Nacion, July 19 2014. Confianza Ciega.

La Nacion, July 6 2014. Las cosas no se ven bien.

La Nacion, April 27 2014. ¡Extra! ¡Extra! La economía de la atención.

La Nacion, December 22 2013. Precios en el Divan.

Foco Economico, October 9 2013. Manipulación de estadísticas y percepciones de inflación.

La Nacion, July 11 2013. Ganacias: otro dano colateral de la inflacion.

Foco Economico, July 3 2013. No violemos la ley de los grandes numeros.

La Nacion, March 17 2013. Economia de la religion.

La Gaceta, June 24 2012. Las repercusiones de la tendencia nacional a creerse de clase media.

El Post, November 1 2011. Escandalos y Caridad.

Clarin, October 31 2011. Perdona nuestros pecados.

Foco Economico, October 24 2011. ¿Qué sabemos sobre políticas de manejo de recursos educativos?.

Clarin, June 27 2011. Por que ricos y pobres por igual creen que son de clase media.

Clarin, June 5 2011. El poder sexual del iPhone y la Ferrari hechizada.

Clarin, November 9. 2009. Clase media: el club al que todos creen pertenecer.



Rzeczpospolita, August 23 2018. Amerykanie odchodzą z Kościoła.

Gazeta Prawna, August 20 2018. Pracownicy Fiata kontra Cristiano Ronaldo.





Hürriyet, February 2 2019. Eşitlik için şeffaf ücret.



Trend, March 5 2019. Zverejňovať všetky príjmy?