ryan oprea


professor of economics,

uc santa barbara


I am the Maxwell C. and Mary Pellish Chair of Economics and the Director of the Laboratory for the Integration of Theory and Experiments (LITE) at the University of California, Santa Barbara.


I use experimental economics to study bounded rationality and economic dynamics in competitive markets, individual choices, and games. 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, Games and Economic Behavior, 2018-


Associate Editor, Experimental Economics, 2017-


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


Executive Committee, Economic Science Association, 2018-2021







working papers


Banovetz, J. and Oprea R. "Complexity and Procedural Choice," revising for the American Economic Journal: Microeconomics [pdf]

Kendall, C. and Oprea, R. "On the Complexity of Forming Mental Models," [pdf]

Freeman, D. and Oprea, R. "Bounded Rationality and the Fourfold Pattern," [soon]

Enke, B., Graeber, T. and Oprea R. "Cognitive Uncertainty, Institutions and Bias in the Aggregate." [soon]

Oprea, R. and Robalino, N. "Evolution as a Source of Behavioral Hypotheses in Economics: The Case of Aggregate Risk," [soon]

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

Magnani, J. and Oprea, R. "Why Do People Violate No-Trade Theorems? A Diagnostic Experiment" [pdf]

selected papers

Oprea, R. What Makes a Rule Complex?American Economic Review, 2020, 110:12, 3913-3951. [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][appdx]

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. [pdf][appdx][data]

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

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

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

more papers

Oprea, R., Yuksel, S. "Social Exchange of Motivated Beliefs," forthcoming in the 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]