Amanda Chuan

Amanda Chuan
  • Applied Economics Doctoral Student

Contact Information

  • office Address:

    3000 Steinberg Hall-Dietrich Hall
    Philadelphia, PA 19104

Research Interests: Labor Economics, Behavioral Economics, Public Economics

Links: CV

Overview

Amanda Chuan is a doctoral candidate in the Business Economics and Public Policy Department at Wharton. Her research areas are in labor economics, behavioral economics, and public economics. She graduated from the University of Chicago in 2011 with a B.A. in economics (honors) and biological sciences. Her awards and honors include the University of Chicago University Scholar Scholarship, the Wharton Doctoral Programs Fellowship, and the National Science Foundation Honorable Mention.

Job Market Paper

Non-College Occupations and the Gender Gap in College Enrollment

  • Presented at the 2015 Health, History, Demography, and Development Conference at the University of Michigan. 
  • Presented at the 2016 Women in Business Academic Conference at the University of Pennsylvania.

Publications

Feel the Warmth Glow: A Field Experiment on Manipulating the Act of Giving with Anya Samek. Journal of Economic Behavior and Organization 108, 198-211. 2014.

A Field Study of Charitable Giving Reveals that Reciprocity Decays over Time with Judd Kessler and Katherine Milkman. 2018. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 

  • Presented at the 2016 Southern Economic Association Meetings in Washington, D.C.
  • Presented at the 2016 Behavioral Decision Research in Management Conference at the University of Toronto
  • Presented at the 2015 LDI CHIBE Behavioral Economics and Health Symposium at the University of Pennsylvania
  • Presented at the 2015 Science of Philanthropy Initiative Conference at the University of Chicago

Working Papers

Do Financial Incentives Induce Unequal Parental Investment in Children? Evidence from a Field Experiment with John List and Anya Samek

  • Presented at the 2016 Advances with Field Experiments Conference at the University of Chicago

 

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Research

  • Amanda Chuan, Judd B. Kessler, Katy Milkman (2018), A Field Study of Charitable Giving Reveals that Reciprocity Decays over Time, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

    Abstract: We examine how reciprocity changes over time by studying a large quasi-experiment in the field. Specifically, we analyze administrative data from a university hospital system. The data include information about over 18,000 donation requests made by the hospital system via mail to a set of its former patients in the four months following their first hospital visit. We exploit quasi-experimental variation in the timing of solicitation mailings relative to patient hospital visits and find that an extra 30-day delay between the provision of medical care and a donation solicitation decreases the likelihood of a donation by 30%. Our findings have important implications for models of economic behavior, which currently fail to incorporate reciprocity’s sensitivity to time. The fact that reciprocal behavior decays rapidly as time passes also suggests the importance of capitalizing quickly on opportunities to benefit from a quid pro quo.

    Description: Datasets in "A Field Study of Charitable Giving Reveals that Reciprocity Decays over Time"   Dataset regression_deid is the deidentified dataset used to create main and supplemental regression tables (Fig. 1, Tables 3,  S1-S3, S5-S7, and S10). Dataset regression_deidexp is the deidentified dataset used to create regression tables exploring the role of patient experience (tables S8 and S9). Dataset sumstat_deid is the deidentified dataset used to create summary statistics tables (Tables 1, 2, S2, and S4).

  • Amanda Chuan (Draft), Non-College Occupations and the Gender Gap in College Enrollment.

    Abstract: Women used to lag behind but now exceed men in college enrollment. This paper shows that examining occupations which require only a high school degree (“non-college” occupations) can help resolve two puzzles related to this phenomenon. First, why do women attend college at greater rates than men today, when men work more and earn more than women? I document that non-college occupations for men are both more plentiful and higher paying than those for women. Next, I link the occupational inequality in the non-college labor market to the gap in college enrollment, by employing two empirical exercises to show that non-college jobs dramatically affect college-going decisions. Using employment changes in the oil and gas industry, I demonstrate that increases in men’s non-college job opportunities lead male high school graduates to forego college enrollment. Using the automation of the office, I demonstrate that declines in the non-college employment opportunities of women lead female college enrollment to grow over time. Thus, the lower non-college job prospects of women contribute to women's higher college enrollment. This leads to the second puzzle: why did women historically attend college at lower rates than men, when women have always had worse non-college job prospects than men? I develop a theoretical model to demonstrate that both the importance and availability of non-college occupations for women contributed to women's initially low enrollment, as well as to the growth in female enrollment over time, such that women eventually overtook men in college-going.

  • Amanda Chuan, Anya Samek, John List (Draft), Do Financial Incentives Induce Unequal Parental Investment Across Siblings? Evidence from a Field Experiment.

    Abstract: Human capital is crucially affected by parental investment in early childhood. One way to induce parents to invest in children is to decrease the shadow price of this activity by providing incentives. Yet incentivizing investment in one child may have negative consequences for allocation of time to other children in the household. We take advantage a novel field experiment in which low-income parents of 3-5 year-olds in the United States were exposed to a year-long parenting intervention and were randomized to either receive immediate or delayed incentives to invest in the targeted child. We surveyed parents regarding the time they spent with their targeted child and with the child’s siblings. As predicted, we found that parents spent more time with targeted children when incentivized immediately versus with a delay. Importantly, we found statistically significantly lower time investment in siblings of families treated with the immediate versus the delayed incentive. Our findings point to the importance of considering negative spillover effects of incentivizing parental investment, and are consistent with a model of intra-household resource allocation.

  • Amanda Chuan and Anya Samek (2014), Feel the Warmth Glow: A field experiment on manipulating the act of giving, Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, 108, pp. 198-211.

    Abstract: We conducted a field experiment with a charitable group to investigate whether giving the donor an option to write a personalized holiday card to the recipient influences giving behavior. Over 1,500 households were approached in a door-to-door campaign and randomized to either a treatment group, in which donors were presented with the option to write their own card for the recipient, or a control group, in which donors were not given the option to write their own card for the recipient. We predict that treatment should increase contributions through making the gift more meaningful, but may also decrease contributions by increasing the transaction and social costs of donating. We find evidence in favor of the negative effects of costs from treatment, and no evidence of increased giving. We also observe that our treatment crowds out small donors (donors giving $5 or less).

Teaching

Past Courses

  • BEPP250 - MANAGERIAL ECONOMICS

    This course will introduce you to "managerial economics" which is the application of microeconomic theory to managerial decision-making. Microeconomic theory is a remarkably useful body of ideas for understanding and analyzing the behavior of individuals and firms in a variety of economic settings. The goal of the course is for you to understand this body of theory well enough so that you can effectively analyze managerial (and other) problems in an economic framework. While this is a "tools" course, we will cover many real-world applications, particularly business applications, so that you can witness the usefulness of these tools and acquire the skills to use them yourself. We will depart from the usual microeconomic theory course by giving more emphasis to prescription: What should a manager do in order to achieve some objective? That course deliverable is to compared with description: Why do firms and consumers act the way they do? The latter will still be quite prominent in this course because only by understanding how other firms and customers behave can a manager determin what is best for him or her to do. Strategic interaction is explored both in product markets and auctions. Finally, the challenges created by asymmetric information - both in the market and within the firm - are investigated.

Awards and Honors

  • Mack Institute Research Fellowship, 2017
  • Wharton Risk Center Russell Ackoff Doctoral Student Fellowship Award, 2016, 2017-2018
  • Mack Institute Research Fellowship, 2016
  • Wharton Risk Center Russell Ackoff Doctoral Student Fellowship Award, 2016-2017
  • Wharton Risk Center Russell Ackoff Doctoral Student Fellowship Award, 2015-2016
  • National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship Honorable Mention, 2013
  • Wharton Doctoral Programs Fellowship, 2013-2017

In the News

Activity

Latest Research

Amanda Chuan, Judd B. Kessler, Katy Milkman (2018), A Field Study of Charitable Giving Reveals that Reciprocity Decays over Time, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.
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In the News

It’s All About Timing: How Nonprofits Can Increase Charitable Donations

New Wharton research shows that timing is the key to maximizing donations, particularly from people with an existing connection to an organization.

- 02/07/2018
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Awards and Honors

Mack Institute Research Fellowship 2017
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