Associate Professor of Economics
212 Simon Center


  • B.S., Economics, University of Salamanca (2005)
  • M.S., Economic Analysis, University of Carlos III Madrid (2007)
  • Ph.D., Economics, University of Carlos III Madrid (2011)

My Love for Teaching

My teaching philosophy has always been based on instilling passion in my students because I’m a strong believer in intrinsic motivation, which, in many ways, is related to my research. I study human motivation, specifically work motivation. So, my goal is to start a spark of curiosity that may lead to love of the subject, because I believe if I’m able to achieve that, my students will learn for the rest of their lives.

I love teaching economics because it provides a framework to look at scarcity problems from a rational, evidence-based point of view. At the root of economics is individual behavior involving trade-offs: from an employer hiring workers and setting wages to a dieter deciding what and how to eat. By analyzing and understanding these types of behaviors, economics provides answers to big problems confronting societies, such as income inequality and climate change.

My teaching philosophy is based on instilling in my students the same passion for economics that I enjoy. My approach is also influenced by the belief that anybody can succeed academically if we use the appropriate teaching tools to challenge them intellectually and spark their inner motivation.

This philosophy is at the core of not only my teaching strategies, but also my main research interests on work motivation. My overall goal is to promote ways in which humans can find meaning and passion in what they do, so they might even end up doing it for its own sake. In fact, I believe if students learn to love the subject, to understand its importance and relevance, they will be motivated to learn for the rest of their lives. Therefore, I do not see teaching as the mere act of transmitting facts. Instead, to me, teaching is a transformative process that has the potential to create conditions for the continuous pursuit of knowledge.


As an instructor, I have taught five different courses since I arrived at Lafayette in 2017: Principles of Economics (ECON 101), Intermediate Microeconomics (ECON 251), Behavioral Economics (ECON 336), Personnel Economics (ECON 337), and a senior capstone on Experimental Economics (ECON 412). In Behavioral Economics we dig deep into the roots of individual decision making. It is an interdisciplinary course that draws on methods from psychology, sociology, neurology, and economics. I am particularly passionate about teaching this class because I believe it can be transformational. My goal is to teach the ways in which we act and think irrationally, so we can make better decisions that improve our lives.

My Research Interests

Personnel economics is my main area of research. I see behavioral economics not as a topic in itself, but more as a methodology tool. It’s a way of doing research that is more interdisciplinary. It broadens our minds to incorporate tools from psychology, but sometimes also from sociology or even from neuroscience, and brings them into economic models.

Much of my research consists of applying psychological insights into economic models (behavioral economics) to better understand the problems of selection and motivation of workers (personnel economics) and test those models’ predictions in a controlled environment (experimental economics). In addition to my primary research on personnel economics, I pursue research in other behavioral/experimental topics, such as how the way consumption alternatives are presented (choice architecture) can influence consumers’ decisions.

I am passionate about personnel economics because it aims to understand the single most important resource in the great majority of economic organizations: human labor. We can all relate to this field because most of us are, have been, or will be workers. When employers approach the problem of managing workers, they face two main problems: selection and motivation. Selection, in its broadest sense, means picking the “right” people for the organization. Motivation means inducing those people to internalize the organization’s goals. Personnel economics is about these two main challenges. In other words, personnel economics focuses on employment relationships between workers and employers; it studies how labor incentives can attract, retain, and motivate people to work within the context of an organization.

Why Lafayette?

What attracted me to Lafayette was its regard for innovative teaching and high-standards scholarship, blended in an inclusive and interdisciplinary liberal arts environment. I love working with engaged students, and I value small class sizes and the kind of personal interactions that are only possible in a small liberal arts college.

I am also grateful to the support Lafayette has provided me over the years. While I get most of my funding to conduct experiments from outside sources, Lafayette has been generous in providing me with startup funds, faculty research grants, and conference travel funds. Moreover, I have benefited from the research assistance of several EXCEL Scholars funded by Lafayette College.

Awards and Honors

  • Marquis Distinguished Teaching Award, Lafayette College (2023)
  • Jones Lecture Award for Distinguished Teaching and Scholarship, Lafayette College (2022)
  • Omicron Delta Epsilon Economics Department teaching award, Lafayette College (2019)

Personal Interests/Community Work

In my spare time, I love reading history books and spending time with my family. I also help mentor the Lafayette Economics Research Group, which includes students who want to learn more about how to do research in economics.

Selected Publications

  • “Making it Public: The Effect of (Private and Public) Wage Proposals on Efficiency and Distribution” (2023). Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, 216, 469-493 (with L. Ezquerra, N. Jimenez and P. Kujal)
  • “The Influence of Food Recommendations: Evidence from a Randomized Field Experiment” (2022). Economic Inquiry, 60(4), 1898-1910 (with K. Bookwala and C. Gallemore)
  • “Menu Dependent Food Choices and Food Waste” Resources, Conservation & Recycling (2021), Resources, Conservation & Recycling, 176, 105919 (with H. Liu and D. Qi)
  • “Economic Stability Promotes Gift-Exchange in the Workplace” (2021). Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, 187, 374-398 (with B. Corgnet and H. Bejarano).
  • “Investment Choice Architecture in Trust Games: When ‘All-in’ Is Not Enough” (2020). Economic Inquiry, 59(1), 300-314 (with E. Schniter and T. Shields).
  • “Make it too Difficult, and I’ll Give Up; Let me Succeed, and I’ll Excel: The Interaction between Assigned and Personal Goals” (2020). Managerial and Decision Economics, 41(6), 964-975 (with J. Fan and S. Smithers).
  • “Nonbinding Goals in Teams: A Real Effort Coordination Experiment” (2019). Manufacturing & Service Operations Management, 22(5), 869-1106 (with J. Fan).
  • “Goal Setting in the Principal-Agent Model: Weak Incentives for Strong Performance” (2018). Games and Economic Behavior, 109, 311-326. (with B. Corgnet and R. Hernán-Gonzalez).
  • “Goal Setting and Monetary Incentives: When Large Stakes Are Not Enough” (2015). Management Science, 61(12), 2926-2944. (with B. Corgnet and R. Hernán-Gonzalez).
  • “Motivation through Goal Setting” (2012). Journal of Economic Psychology, 33(6), 1223-1239.