Lanny R. Zrill

I completed my PhD at the Vancouver School of Economics in May 2015. Currently, I am an Instructor and Chair of the Department of Economics at Langara College as well as a Sessional Lecturer with the Vancouver School of Economics at the University of British Columbia. I am also currently the Acting Director of the Experimental Lab at the Vancouver School of Economics (ELVSE).

My primary fields of research are Behavioral and Experimental Economics with a particular emphasis on empirical methodology. My work utilizes tools from decision theory, revealed preference, and experimental economics in order to compare methodologies/theories, measure preferences, and identify individual decision making attitudes and processes.

I will be available for interviews at the 2018 CEEE meetings in Toronto as well as the 2019 AEA/ASSA meetings.



Abstract: Technological innovations in the laboratory allow for the collection of sufficiently large individual data sets facilitating the application of classic revealed reference theory for the purpose of recovering individual preferences. In this paper, I implement two such procedures for recovering preferences and use an adaptive experimental design to evaluate each according to its predictive success in the context of decision making under risk. Recommended by Varian (1990) and further developed in Halevy et al. (2018), the Money Metric Index is used to recover preferences parametrically for a popular parametric non-expected utility model, and the method of bounding indifference curves introduced in Varian (1982) is used recover preferences non-parametrically. With respect to the latter, we provide the novel and necessary generalization of this method which allows for its application to decision makers with inconsistent choices. Overall, experimental subjects demonstrate a high level of consistency with respect to their choices both within and across different elicitation methods, as well as substantial variation in their recovered preferences. This provides an ideal basis for evaluating the predictive success of the parametric model and we find substantial evidence in support of its usage as a representation of subjects' rankings of risky portfolios that are revealed by their choices.



Abstract:Revealed preference theory is brought to bear on the problem of recovering approximate parametric preferences from consistent and inconsistent consumer choices. We propose measures of the incompatibility between the revealed preference ranking implied by choices and the ranking induced by the considered parametric preferences. These incompatibility measures are proven to characterize well-known inconsistency indices. We advocate a recovery approach that is based on such incompatibility measures, and demonstrate its applicability for misspecification measurement and model selection. Using an innovative experimental design we empirically substantiate that the proposed revealed-preference-based method predicts choices significantly better than a standard distance-based method.

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Abstract:Given a data set of choices from linear budget sets, Varian (1982) uses revealed preference theory to construct bounds on the indifference curve that go through a given bundle. We claim that these bounds do not apply for non-convex preferences, and therefore may lead to erroneous welfare analysis.

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Computational Difficulty and Stochastic Choice (with Yoram Halevy)

Scheduling and Time Allotment (with Anujit Chakraborty)

I have extensive teaching experience having taught many different courses at Langara College since 2009 and UBC since 2011. This includes Principles of Microeconomics, Principles of Macroeconomics, Managerial Economics, Strategic Thinking, and Behavioral and Experimental Economics, among others.