I am currently a PhD candidate in the Department of Economics at University College London (UCL).

My main research interests are in Behavioural Economics and Microeconomics, with particular emphasis in topics related to Consideration Sets, Revealed Preference Theory, Decision Theory, and Applied Theory.


Choices with Just-Noticeable Differences of Status Quo - Is There a (Noticeable) Difference? (2018)

Job Market Paper - Link here

Abstract: I propose a choice theory that explains the well-documented phenomenon of status quo bias (SQB) with the concept of just-noticeable differences (JNDs). SQB comes from an inclination to choose a default option/current choice when decision-making, whereas a JND is the minimal stimulus required to be able to perceive change. I show that choice behaviour that is consistent with SQB can also be represented by JND utility, with the converse not necessarily true. Masatlioglu and Ok (2005) is a seminal paper in the literature of rational choice with SQB. As such, I propose a generalised representation of SQB with the classic JND utility representation via minimal restrictions on normatively rational behaviour. Given that JNDs yield a potential explanation for SQB, I also show that it is possible to aggregate JND preferences over characteristics of goods in ways that are consistent (with or without SQB) with the overall choice of goods. Using a revealed preference approach applied to a scanner dataset, I also estimate the JND parameter (with the interpretation of a switching cost), to be higher, on average, for those who are status quo biased.

Cost of Consideration and Revealed Preference (2017) - Link here

Abstract: This paper semi-parametrically estimates the costs associated with consideration sets using revealed preference theory. The theorem provided ensures there are testable implications of a parsimonious model of consideration sets. The cost of consideration can be estimated in proportion to expenditure and is heterogeneous across consumers. Using the Stanford Basket Dataset, the model cannot reject the use of consideration sets in the presence of suitable restrictions. On average, the average consideration set cost is approximately 2% of monthly expenditure. Additionally, there appears to be a strong link between the consumer’s cost of consideration and their level of rationality.

Consideration Sets and Rationality: Is Revealed Preference Theory Revealing Enough? (2016)

Abstract: This paper studies the presence of consideration sets through the lens of economic rationality. Using two measures of rationality applied to a scanner panel dataset and a simulated dataset, I am able to detect whether a household’s decision-making process involves the unobserved construction of consideration sets. The importance and implications of whether consumers can benefit from making decisions, based on consideration sets, can be detected by using measures of rationality. Various analysis throughout points to the presence and importance of consideration sets. There is also evidence to suggest that demographic factors become more prominent in explaining rationality levels when using consideration sets. Interestingly, a larger consideration set does not necessarily yield better results for the household. Overall, from the view of economic rationality, using consideration sets can benefit consumers by enhancing their decision-making process.

An Alternative Measure of the Violations of Revealed Preference Theory - The Generalised Axiom Violations Index (2015)

Abstract: One of the most central assumptions made in standard economic theory is that of consumer rationality. In order to measure the extent to which rationality may not be satisfied, I introduce a new index called the Generalised Axiom Violations Index (GAV Index) based on the exploitation of irrational decisions via the concept of a “money pump”. Empirically, when measurement error exists, the GAV Index can be manipulated and restructured in a way that it can be used to statistically test whether the hypothesis of consumer rationality can be rejected or not. The GAV Index and other rationality indices can also be applied to datasets involving decisions under uncertainty with subsequent statistical analysis. Overall, statistically, regardless of the frequency of GARP violations, the magnitudes of the GAV Index are sufficiently small enough to not warrant rejection of the hypothesis of consumer rationality.

Curriculum Vitae

Curriculum Vitae (pdf) (October 2018)

Short Online C.V. (October 2018)


University College London

PhD Economics

Thesis Title: Essays in Behavioural Economics using Revealed Preference Theory and Decision Theory

Teaching Experience

University College London

Experimental Economics, Undergraduate, 2017-Present

Statistical Methods, Undergraduate, 2017-Present

Mathematics and Statistics, Postgraduate, 2017-Present

Intermediate Microeconomics, Undergraduate, 2017-2018

Econometrics, Undergraduate, 2014-2017

Introduction to Mathematics for Economics, Undergraduate, 2014-Present

Awards & Scholarships

Excellence in Teaching award, UCL Economics Department, 2015/2016/2017

Outstanding Support for Teaching nomination, UCL Student Union, 2015/2016/2017

WM Gorman Graduate Research Scholarship, UCL Economics Department, 2015-2016

Presentations & Conferences

2018: Foundations of Utility and Risk Conference (York), ENTER Summer Conference (Toulouse)

2017: UCL PhD Summer Conference, Applied Micro Reading Group (UCL)

2016: ENTER Seminar (Mannheim University), UCL PhD Summer Conference, Applied Micro Reading Group (UCL)

2015: UCL PhD Upgrade Seminar


Gavin Kader

E-mail: g.kader@ucl.ac.uk

Phone: +44 798 4077 538

Department of Economics

Drayton House

30 Gordon Street