Benjamin Enke

Associate Professor, Department of Economics, Harvard University

Faculty Research Fellow, NBER



[Google Scholar]


Curriculum Vitae

My research is in behavioral and experimental economics, cultural economics, and political economy. Much of my current work focuses on complexity and cognitive uncertainty, as well as the political consequences and cultural origins of heterogeneity in moral values.

I received my Ph.D. in 2016 from the University of Bonn and subsequently joined Harvard’s Economics Department. At Harvard, I teach a Ph.D. course on Experimental Economics and an undergraduate class on Economics and Morality; please see here for more information. Students can sign up for office hours here.


We are currently hiring a full-time pre-doc. Please see the job ad here.


Moral Boundaries

Forthcoming, Annual Review of Economics


Universalism and Political Representation: Evidence from the Field

(with Raymond Fisman, Luis Mota Freitas and Steven Sun)

Forthcoming, American Economic Review: Insights


Associative Memory, Beliefs and Market Interactions

(with Frederik Schwerter and Florian Zimmermann)

Forthcoming, Journal of Financial Economics


Cognitive Uncertainty

(with Thomas Graeber)

Quarterly Journal of Economics, 2023, vol. 138 (4), pp. 2021-2067 (Lead Article).

[PDF] [VOX column] [Column for UNDP Human Development Report 2022]

Moral Universalism and the Structure of Ideology

(with Ricardo Rodriguez-Padilla and Florian Zimmermann)

Review of Economic Studies, 2023, vol. 90 (4), pp. 1934-1962.

[PDF] [econimate video]

Cognitive Biases: Mistakes or Missing Stakes?

(with Uri Gneezy, Brian Hall, David Martin, Vadim Nelidov, Theo Offerman, and Jeroen van de Ven)

Review of Economics and Statistics, 2023, vol. 105 (4), pp. 818-832.


Confidence, Self-Selection and Bias in the Aggregate

(with Thomas Graeber and Ryan Oprea)

American Economic Review, 2023, vol. 113 (7), pp. 1933-1966.


Market Exposure and Human Morality

Nature Human Behaviour, 2023, vol. 7 (1), pp. 134-141.


Patience and Comparative Development

(with Uwe Sunde, Thomas Dohmen, Armin Falk, David Huffman, and Gerrit Meyerheim)

Review of Economic Studies, 2022, vol. 89(10), pp. 2806–2840.


Moral Universalism: Measurement and Economic Relevance

(with Ricardo Rodriguez-Padilla and Florian Zimmermann)

Management Science, 2022, vol. 68(5), pp. 3590-3603.

[PDF] [Qualtrics survey files to implement universalism games]

Confidence and Central Tendency in Perceptual Judgment

(with Yang Xiang, Thomas Graeber, and Samuel Gershman)

Attention, Perception & Psychophysics, 2021, 83, pp. 3024-3034.


Moral Values and Voting

Journal of Political Economy, 2020, vol. 128(10), pp. 3679-3729 (Lead Article).

[PDF] [microeconomic insights column] [county-level moral values data] [data and code]

What You See Is All There Is

Quarterly Journal of Economics, 2020, vol. 135(3), pp. 1363-1398.

[PDF] [Version 09/2017] [data and code]

Ancient Origins of the Global Variation in Economic Preferences

(with Anke Becker and Armin Falk)

AEA Papers & Proceedings, 2020, vol. 110, pp. 319-323.


Kinship, Cooperation, and the Evolution of Moral Systems

Quarterly Journal of Economics, 2019, vol. 134(2), pp. 953-1019.

[PDF] [VOX column] [Distinguished CESifo Affiliate Award] [data and code]

Correlation Neglect in Belief Formation

(with Florian Zimmermann)

Review of Economic Studies, 2019, vol. 86(1), pp. 313-332.

[PDF] [online appendix] [experimental instructions] [data and code]

Global Evidence on Economic Preferences

(with Armin Falk, Anke Becker, Thomas Dohmen, David Huffman, and Uwe Sunde)

Quarterly Journal of Economics, 2018, vol. 133(4), pp. 1645-1692 (Lead Article).

[PDF] [online appendix] [Global Preferences Survey website and data]

The Precision of Subjective Data and the Explanatory Power of Economic Models

(with Tilman Drerup and Hans-Martin von Gaudecker)

Journal of Econometrics, 2017, vol. 200(2), pp. 378-389.

[PDF] [online appendix]

Working Papers

Universalism: Global Evidence

(with Alexander Cappelen and Bertil Tungodden)

Revise and resubmit, American Economic Review


Values as Luxury Goods and Political Behavior

(with Mattias Polborn and Alex Wu)


Quantifying Lottery Choice Complexity

(with Cassidy Shubatt)

Revise and resubmit, Econometrica

[PDF] [Code to compute complexity indices]

Complexity and Hyperbolic Discounting

(with Thomas Graeber and Ryan Oprea)


Herding, Warfare and a Culture of Honor: Global Evidence

(with Yiming Cao, Armin Falk, Paola Giuliano and Nathan Nunn)