Dr. Elisabet Rutström

Dr. Rutstrom came to GSU in 2010 as the inaugural Director of Dbel. Dr. Rutstrom has a Ph.D. in Economics from the Stockholm School of Economics, and has since held positions at the University of New Mexico, the University of South Carolina, and the University of Central Florida. Her early research involved international trade issues and in her Ph.d. dissertation she looked at the effect of trade liberalizations in Indonesia, in a Computable General Equilibrium model with circular labor migration, informal sector average product wages, and efficiency wages in the formal sector. She has also worked with CGE evaluations of free trade agreements in Tunisia and Morocco, and of agricultural support policies in Europe and the US.

Rutstrom’s recent research focuses on risk perceptions and risk attitudes among rural residents making wild fire management decisions and among drivers facing congestion charges during their daily commute. Using naturalistic cues in virtual reality simulations and natural cues in field settings she presents research participants with decision tasks and uses the observations to estimate and test various decision models. Techniques of controlled laboratory economics experiments are applied to virtual and field experiments involving participants recruited from the community. She explores issues of heterogeneity in preferences and cognition using various econometric approaches, with a special interest in the interaction between the characteristics of the agent, the task and the environmental cues.

In addition to her interest in decisions under risk and uncertainty, she has also published experimental research on public goods and externalities, learning and coordination, and hypothetical bias and valuation. She has also published applied policy research using Computable General Equilibrium models. Applications include international trade policy in less developed countries (Indonesia, Morocco, and Tunisia), and in the US, as well as tax and agricultural policies in the European Union. Some of this work was conducted as a consultant to the World Bank.

Rutstrom’s research has been funded by the National Science Foundation, including a Major Research Instrumentation grant, a Digital Library grant, and a Human Social Dynamics grant, by the Federal Highway Administration, the Danish Social Science Research Council and by the Carlsberg Foundation. She has published in international economic journals such as Econometrica, American Economic Review, Games and Economic Behavior, the Economic Journal and the Journal of Environmental and Economic Management.

Rutstrom is the Director of the Dean’s Behavioral Economics Laboratory in the Robinson College of Business.

Rutstrom has a joint appointment in the Andrew Young School of Policy Studies, Economics Department.