To honor the memory and legacy of Dr. John Van Huyck, the Dr. John Van Huyck Fellows Program provides support for one or two graduate students in the TAMU Department of Economics to carry out experimental research. The Dr. John Van Huyck Fellows Endowed Program was established through the generous philanthropy of Mr. Alfred P. Van Huyck and Mrs. Nancy Van Huyck Chockley. The Program provides up to $5,000 of funding for laboratory experiments conducted in the Economic Research Laboratory or for field experiments. This year the award goes to Billur Aksoy.
Billur Aksoy is a fourth-year PhD candidate whose research focuses on using laboratory experiments to test economic theories. Translating theory into novel designs is an important element of experimental research, and Billur stands out in in our group of experimental students in her creativity in accomplishing such difficult and challenging tasks. Billur’s project for this award tackles a question that combines Dr. Van Huyck’s research interest in coordination with current research showing the surprising impact of scarcity on the ability of individuals to make good decisions. She proposes to investigate the impact of scarcity on the ability of subjects to successfully coordinate. The setting, developed by Dr. Van Huyck, is one where the payoffs to coordinating on a “good” equilibrium are high, but such coordination requires both cognitive resources and a willingness to take risks. Prior research shows that operating under conditions of scarcity, whether of time or money, makes it more difficult for subjects to think through decision problems. She expects that scarcity will damage subjects’ ability to coordinate effectively. Her project proposes tests of these ideas both in the lab and in the field, using workers who experience scarcity because of major seasonal swings in earnings.
If you would like to contribute to the The Dr. John Van Huyck Fellows Endowed Program, please make your gift payable to the Texas A&M Foundation.