Adrian Wolanski

Ph.D. Candidate – Department of Economics

Email: awolansk at ucsd dot edu

Working Papers

Consistent social choice, Joint with Evgenii Baranov (Job Market Paper)

We study the problem of a planner making social choices for groups of varying sizes and compositions. We propose a preference consistency criterion that relates members of a family of social preferences across different domains; this criterion requires preferences are identical on domains differing only by adding agents with choice-independent payoffs. We then derive a representation theorem for a familiar functional form—an additively-separable social utility function. We test adherence to the criterion in an online laboratory experiment, with three major findings. First, choices are more consistent within a domain size than between domain sizes. Second, choices are more consistent between domains differing by addition of agents with choice independent payoffs than duplication of agents with choice-dependent payoffs. Third, choices are more consistent when the planner is included in both domains or neither domains and less consistent when the planner is included in exactly one of the domains. We also document the direction of inconsistencies when preferences are inconsistent, finding that planners favor increased inefficiency aversion/decreased inequality aversion as domain size increases.

Attitudes toward intertemporal inequality, Joint with Evgenii Baranov (Previous draft available on Evgenii's website, newer draft coming soon)

We provide a theoretical approach for investigating attitudes towards intertemporal inequality. We generalize the Pigou-Dalton principle to intertemporal settings by formulating several partial orders on the space of consumption streams. Three of the partial orders account for payments received over the lifespan of the stream, and differ only by how intensely one stream dominates another. A fourth partial order only accounts for the level of inequality experienced in a specific period, rather than over the lifespan of the stream. We then perform a laboratory experiment to distinguish the empirical relevance of these different partial orders and inequality rankings. We find that orders which rank whole streams accurately reflect how participants view streams for themselves, but these views do not translate into how they choose for others. Instead, many of our participants display inequality aversion based on period-wise outcomes. This suggests another avenue to resolve the impossibility result of Zuber (2011).

Dynamic inconsistency and convex commitment devices, Joint with Danil Dmitriev (Preliminary, draft available upon request)

We present a laboratory experiment designed to measure both actual and perceived dynamic inconsistency using a novel convex commitment device. We find that many participants demand a great deal of commitment despite displaying little evidence of dynamic inconsistency, resulting in welfare losses. This contrasts with the usual finding in the literature of welfare losses caused by participants not demanding commitment despite being dynamically inconsistent. Our results suggest commitment devices require careful design to guard against welfare losses from both excessive and insufficient uptake.

Works In Progress

Decision making with large language models, Joint with Evgenii Baranov and Dmitrii Kiselev

Older Publications

The role of insurance in international shipping costs, Economics Letters, 2017.