ryan oprea

professor of economics, 

uc santa barbara

I am the Maxwell C. and Mary Pellish Chair of Economics at the University of California, Santa Barbara.   I use experimental economics to study how complexity and bounded rationality influence human behavior and institutions.  You can find my curriculum vita here

department of economics

uc santa barbara

3028 north hall

santa barbara, ca 93106-9210

tel: 831-331-0740

fax: 805-893-8830

email: roprea@gmail.com

classes and teaching

Economics 278: The experimental economics sequence in the UCSB economics Ph.D. program. [site]

Economics 176: An introduction to the use of laboratory methods in economics for undergraduates

Economics 1: An introduction to microeconomics for undergraduates.

editorial and service

Associate Editor, Review of Economics and Statistics, 2021-

Associate Editor, American Economic Review, 2019-

Associate Editor, Experimental Economics, 2017-

Executive Committee, Sage Center for the Study of the Mind, 2016-

Associate Editor, Games and Economic Behavior, 2018-2022

Executive Committee, Economic Science Association, 2018-2021

working papers

Oprea, R.  "Decisions Under Risk are Decisions Under Complexity," conditionally accepted at the American Economic Review [pdf] (previously circulated as "Simplicity Equivalents")

Enke, B., Graeber, T. and Oprea, R.  "Complexity and Hyperbolic Discounting." [pdf]

Guan, M. and Oprea, R. "Three Faces of Complexity in Strategic Choice" [pdf]

Oprea, R. and Vieider, F. "'Minding' the Gap:  On the Origins of Probability Weighting and the Description-Experience Gap." [pdf]

Oprea, R. and Robalino, N. "Are Humans More Averse to Aggregate Risk? Testing an Evolutionary Economic Theory," [pdf]

Guan, M., Oprea, R. and Yuksel, S. "Too Much Information." [pdf]

deClippel, G., Kariv, S., Oprea, R. and Rozen, K.  "As If." [soon]

Magnani,  J. and Oprea, R. "On the Cognitive Foundations of Trade" [soon]

selected papers

Enke, B., Graeber, T. and Oprea, R.  "Confidence, Self-selection and Bias in the Aggregate.," American Economic Review, 2023, 113:7, 1933-1966.  [pdf]

Esponda, I., Oprea, R. and Yuksel, S. "Seeing What is Representative,Quarterly Journal of Economics, May 2023 [pdf] (previously circulated as "Contrast-Biased Evaluation" and "Discrimination Without Reason:  Biases in Statistical Discrimination")

Oprea, R. What Makes a Rule Complex?American Economic Review, 2020, 110:12, 3913-3951.  2021 Exeter Prize for the best paper published in Experimental Economics, Behavioral Economics and Decision Theory. [pdf

Calford, E. and Oprea, R. “Continuity, Inertia and Strategic Uncertainty: A Test of the Theory of Continuous Time Games,” Econometrica, 2017, 85(3): 915-935. [pdf]

Oprea, R. Survival Versus Profit Maximization in a Dynamic Stochastic Experiment,” Econometrica, 2014, 82(6): 2225-2255. [pdf]

Friedman, D. and Oprea, R. “A Continuous Dilemma,” American Economic Review, 2012, 102:1, 337-363. 2013 Exeter Prize for the best paper published in Experimental Economics, Behavioral Economics and Decision Theory. [pdf]

Crockett, S., Oprea, R., Plott, C. “Extreme Walrasian Dynamics: The Gale Example in the Lab,American Economic Review, 2011, 101:7, 3196-3220. [pdf]

Anderson, S., Friedman, D. and Oprea, R. “Preemption Games: Theory and Experiment,” American Economic Review, 2010, 100:4, 1778-1803. [pdf]

Oprea, R., Friedman, D., Anderson, S. “Learning to Wait: A Laboratory Investigation,” Review of Economic Studies, 2009,76:3, 1103-1124.[pdf]

more papers

Kendall, C. and Oprea, R.  "On the Complexity of Forming Mental Models," Quantitative Economics, 2024, 15: 175-211.  [pdf]

Banovetz, J. and Oprea, R. "Complexity and Procedural Choice," American Economic Journal:  Microeconomics, 2023, 15:2, 384-413. [pdf]

Backhaus, T., Huck, S., Leutgeb, J. and Oprea, R.  "Learning through Period and Physical Time," forthcoming at Games and Economic Behavior [soon]

Oprea, R., Yuksel, S. "Social Exchange of Motivated Beliefs," 2021, Journal of the European Economic Association [pdf]

Crockett, S., Friedman, D. and Oprea R. "Naturally Occurring Preferences and General Equilibrium:  A Laboratory Experiment."  International Economic Review, 2021 62(2): 831-859 [pdf]

Charness, G., Oprea, R., Yuksel, S.  "How Do People Choose Between Biased Information Sources?  Evidence from a Laboratory Experiment,Journal of the European Economic Association, 2021, 19(3). [pdf]

Kendall, C. and Oprea, R. “Are Biased Beliefs Fit to Survive? An Experimental Test of the Market Selection Hypothesis," Journal of Economic Theory, 2018, 176:  342-371.  [pdf]

Huck, S., Leutgeb, J. and Oprea, R. "Payoff Information Hampers the Evolution of Cooperation," Nature Communications, May 2017 [link]

Magnani, J., Gorry, A. and Oprea, R. “Time and State Dependence in an Ss Decision Experiment,,” American Economic Journal: Macroeconomics, 2016, 8(1): 285-310. [pdf]

Friedman, D., Huck, S., Oprea, R. and Weidenholzer, S. “From Imitation to Collusion: Long-run Learning in a Low-Information Environment,” Journal of Economic Theory, 2015, 155: 185-205. [pdf]

Oprea, R., Charness, G. and Friedman, D. “Continuous Time and Communication in a Public-goods Experiment,” Journal of Economic Behavior and Organization, 2014, 108: 212-223. [pdf]

Pettit, J., Kephart, C., Friedman, D. and Oprea, R.“Software for Continuous Game Experiments,” Experimental Economics, 2014, 17:631-648. [pdf]

Oprea, R., Wilson, B. and Zillante, A. “War of Attrition: Evidence from a Laboratory Experiment on Market Exit,” Economic Inquiry, 2013, 41:4 2018-2027. [pdf]

Oprea, R., Henwood, K. and Friedman, D. “Separating the Hawks from the Doves: Evidence from Continuous Time Laboratory Games,” with Keith Henwood and Daniel Friedman. Journal of Economic Theory , 2011, 146:6, 2206-2225. [pdf]

Hanson, R. and Oprea, R. “A Manipulator Can Aid Prediction Market Accuracy,” Economica, 2009, 76, 304-314. [pdf]

Oprea, R. “Free Cash Flow and Takeover Threats: An Experimental Study,” Southern Economic Journal , 2008, 75:2, 351-366. [pdf]

Amaldoss, W., Ho, Teck-Hua, Krishna, A., Chen, K.Y., Desai, P., Iyer, G., Jain, S., Lim, N., Morgan, J., Srivasatava, J. “Experiments on Strategic Choices and Markets,” Marketing Letters, 2008, 19:13, 417-429. [pdf]

Oprea, R., Smith, V.L., Winn, A. “A Compensation Election for Binary Social Choice,” Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 2007, 104:3, 1093-1096. [pdf

Hanson, R., Oprea, R. and Porter, D. “Information Aggregation and Manipulation in an Experimental Market,” with Robin Hanson and David Porter. Journal of Economic Behavior and Organization, 2006, 60:1, 449-459. [pdf