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Economist Receives Additional Research Support

June 20, 2018

Associate Professor of Economics John Hamman will share a $20,000 award to augment research he will undertake on a fellowship he received earlier this year.

The new support is coming from the Thomas Jefferson Fund, a joint effort of the French Embassy in the U.S. and several partners, including the Fulbright Commission Franco-Americaine. The stated purpose of the fund is to “support new collaborations and the most innovative projects between promising young researchers in France and the United States.”

In April 2018, Hamman was notified of a fellowship that will enable him to spend a year at the Université de Lyon in France conducting research at the school’s prestigious Collegium de Lyon. (Read that story at

Hamman’s work under his fellowship will focus on the concept of “influence,” which is central to the study of organizations. By exploring channels of influence within hierarchical organizations, he seeks to identify ways in which individuals try to improve or maintain their standing. The research will focus on behaviors that benefit an individual at the expense of the organization.

The fellowship gives Hamman a chance to collaborate with colleagues from the French university and elsewhere.

One of those colleagues is Fabio Galeotti, a researcher at the University of Lyon’s GATE-LAB, an institute dedicated to behavioral and experimental economics where Hamman will conduct much of his research. The two met last fall and discovered mutual research interests. Together, they applied for and received the Jefferson award, which will be split evenly between the two and their respective educational institutions over the next two years.

The research project that won the Jefferson Fund support seeks to advance their studies into honesty and ethical behavior within organizations.

“Dishonest practices (corruption, tax fraud, cyber-crime, etc.) increase transaction costs, reduce trust and undermine our security and freedom,” the two wrote in their funding proposal. “This has detrimental long- and short-term consequences for society, negatively impacting growth, democracy and well-being.”

Citing recent studies that show organizational structure may actually exacerbate unethical and dishonest behavior within organizations, Hamman and Galeotti said they will study how information transmission, social ties in the workplace, and hierarchical delegation of unethical decisions affect dishonesty.

“We expect the project to generate insights to inform theory, as well as [informing] decision-makers on how to reduce dishonest and unethical behavior to minimize their social impact,” they wrote.