The Experimental Economics Center
Economics Distinguished Public Lecture
The Voltage Effect: How to Make Good Ideas Great and Great Ideas Scale
Wednesday, February 9, 2022 | 1PM
Georgia State University
SCE Auditorium, Student Center East | Atlanta
A presentation from List’s latest publication “The Voltage Effect: How to Make Good Ideas Great and Great Ideas Scale”. There will be a book signing after the event
What is the “The Voltage Effect”
In a captivating presentation, University of Chicago economist John A. List, explained to a full audience of GSU faculty, students, and President Brian Blake, why so many ideas fail to deliver on their promise when scaled. List, who uses behavioral theories to solve real world economic and social problems, explained how translating an idea into widespread impact, depends on one thing only: whether it can achieve “high voltage”. The premise behind the Voltage Effect is deceptively simple he states, “no great idea is guaranteed to succeed. It could be an idea around life-saving medical breakthrough, a new policy initiative, a cutting-edge innovation, or a bold plan for building a better world, translating an idea into widespread impact depends on one thing; whether it can be replicated at scale”.
John A. List is the Kenneth C. Griffin Distinguished Service Professor in Economics at the University of Chicago.
For decades his field experimental research has focused on issues related to the inner workings of markets, the effects of various incentives schemes on market equilibria and allocations, how behavioral economics can augment the standard economic model, on early childhood education and interventions, and most recently on the gender earnings gap in the gig economy (using evidence from rideshare drivers). This has led to collaborative work with several different firms including Lyft, Uber, United Airlines, Virgin Airlines, Humana, Sears, Kmart, Facebook, Google, General Motors, Tinder, Citadel, Walmart and several non-profits.
His research includes over 200 peer reviewed journal articles and several published books, including the 2013 international best-seller, The Why Axis: Hidden Motives and the Undiscovered Economics of Everyday Life (with Uri Gneezy), and The Voltage Effect: How to Make Good Ideas Great and Great Ideas Scale (publication date February 1, 2022).
The Experimental Economics Center has a robust scholarly mentorship program with graduate students in the Department of Economics whose career trajectory uses experimental and field economics to develop theory and solve policy issues. This is achieved by collaborating with the best economic experimentalists from around the world. Professor James Cox ensures that PhD students get an opportunity to consult with speakers about their own research. Professor List had a packed schedule with students. Not only did he advise students who had appointments with him, but in his book signing, he asked every recipient about their academic plans and wrote personal notes beside his autograph. Students sang him praises of how great a speaker he is and that he motivated them in their work. Particularly, ExCEN’s GRAs benefited from discussing potential opportunities for future collaboration. Ga-Hye Jeon (Rosalyn), a 4th year PhD student said; “His depth of knowledge and wide area of research allowed me to discuss my research in confidence.” She found him to be genuinely interested in what young people are doing. This was evident at the book signing