Representing Today's Visionaries with Tomorrow's Ideas

Erez Yoeli


Is the Key to Successful Prosocial Nudges Reputation?

Behavioral Scientist; July 31, 2018

The Emergence of Categorical Norms

with Moshe Hoffman, N. Aygun Dalkiran, and Martin Nowak
Working Paper. Last Updated: August 2018


Erez Yoeli is a research scientist at MIT’s Sloan School of Management, where he directs the Applied Cooperation Team, a cross-discipline group of researchers who collaborate with governments, nonprofits, and companies to apply insights from the social sciences to address real-world challenges like increasing energy conservation, improving antibiotic adherence, reducing smoking in public places, and promoting philanthropy. His research focuses on altruism: understanding how it works and how to promote it.

Erez teaches the undergraduate Game Theory course at Harvard and regularly publishes theoretical and applied academic research articles. He shares his research highlights through frequent talks, including TedXCambridge 2018, and through featured articles in the New York Times, the Economist, Quartz, and Behavioral Scientist.  His research has also been profiled nationally and internationally in publications like TIME and the Huffington Post.

Erez received his Ph.D. in Economics from the University of Chicago Booth School of Business. Before founding the Applied Cooperation Team, Erez was an economist at the U.S. Federal Trade Commission and served as an expert witness in cases against companies that defrauded consumers. In an earlier, ‘pre-economist’ life, he was a classical percussionist.  He enjoys spicy food, hiking, and spending time with his two very cuddly cats.

Harnessing Reputations to Promote Altruism
How can you promote charitable giving, volunteering, voting, and resource conservation–or even mundane good deeds like cleaning up after using the office kitchenette?  Erez synthesizes a large academic literature into a simple, actionable three-item ‘checklist’ for ‘harnessing reputations’ that can help you maximally encourage people to do good for others.  He illustrates each item on the checklist with engaging and clarifying real-world examples, so that audience members can walk out of the talk and apply what they’ve learned.

Erez discusses how organizations can harness reputations to inspire altruism

A full list of Erez’s journal articles and media publications is available at