Isabelle Brocas

Co-Director, the Los Angeles Behavioral Economics Laboratory; Co-Director, the Theoretical Research in Neuroeconomic Decision-Making (TREND) Institute; Professor of Economics at University Of Southern California

Isabelle Brocas is a Professor at the University of Southern California, a Research Fellow at the Industrial Organization Program for the Center for Economic Policy Research (CEPR), Co-Director of the Theoretical Research in Neuroeconomic Decision-making (TREND) Institute, and Co-Director of the Los Angeles Behavioral Economics Laboratory (LABEL). She holds a PhD from the University of Toulouse. Her research focuses on revisiting standard theories of decision-making and building new theories capable of explaining behavioral anomalies. Her recent work in Neuroeconomics consists of building brain-based models inspired by evidence from the brain sciences. This evidence provides strong support for the existence of various interacting systems within the brain, and emphasizes a large set of physiological constraints. Building brain-based models makes it possible to provide “micro-microfoundations” for elements traditionally considered as exogenous (discounting, risk-aversion), foundations for processes traditionally taken for granted (learning, information processing), and explanations for behavioral anomalies documented by experimental and empirical studies. Professor Brocas also uses experimental methods to test theories and identify how emotion and motivation influences choice. She is particularly interested in assessing the determinants of changes in decision-making over the life cycle. Understanding underlying mechanisms leading to rational or irrational choices, and how these differ across ages is critical to informing policy and helping design relevant interventions.