Yan Xu

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I am an assistant professor in economics at the University of Vienna. I completed my Ph.D. at Erasmus University Rotterdam and Tinbergen Institute in 2020. My research interests are in behavioral economics and decision theory. In particular, my work focuses on the elicitation of individual preferences (what people like) and private information (what people think) in different contexts.

Download CV . yan.xu@univie.ac.at


Simple bets to elicit private signals, with Aurelien Baillon. Theoretical Economics (2021), 16(3), pp.777-797.

Abstract PDF Slides Poster

Two betting mechanisms elicit unverifiable truth when agents do not have a common prior and are not risk-neutral.

Working Papers

Revealed preferences over experts and quacks and failures of contingent reasoning

Abstract PDF Slides Poster

Why do we choose ex-ante useless tests (quacks)?

Measuring tastes for equity and aggregate wealth behind the veil of ignorance, with Jan Heufer and Jason Shachat. (under review)

Abstract PDF Slides AppendixI AppendixII AppendixIII

Is social preference behind a veil of ignorance the same as risk preference?

Will bayesian markets induce truth-telling? —An experimental study

Abstract PDF

An experimental test of a market-based elicitation mechanism for private signals.

Reputation Scheme mainly as a monitoring device, with Shuaiping Dai and Lijia Tan. (preliminary draft upon request)


A reputation scheme alleviates adverse selection as an informational device and deters moral hazard as a monitoring device. The latter is the main drive for cooperation.

In Progress

Commitment and communication in Bayesian persuasion: theory and experiment, with Yun Wang. (draft preparation)

Abstract Slides

Communication limits the commitment in Bayesian persuasion but promotes a signaling role of information design.

Dynamic belief updating and information acquisition. (pilot completed)

Misperception in random sequences + biases in information processing = over- or under-acquisition of information?

Revealed randomization with loss, with Jason Shachat. (pilot completed)

Why do people randomize their choices of lotteries? Will they randomize more when loss is (un)avoidable?