Associate Professor Alberto   Motta
Associate Professor

Associate Professor Alberto Motta

Business School
Sch of Economics

Alberto is an Associate Professor of Economics at the University of New South Wales.

His interests are in contract theory, development economics and labour.

He studies the types and features of organizational design that are most effective in firms, enforcement agencies and media.

More recently, he combines theory, empirical analysis and randomised controlled trials to help design interventions that aim to improve educational outcomes using technology.

Alberto is also a Fellow of UNSW's Scientia Education Academy, and the co-chair of the STEP UP initiative in Education.

For up-to-date information on publications and research projects, visit Alberto's personal Website.

 

Phone
+61 29385 9771
Location
Room 3124, Quadrangle building

Publications

  • Book Chapters | 2020
    Dobrescu I; Motta A; Scriven A, 2020, 'The Predictive Power of Big Data in Education: A Machine Learning Approach', in Critical Perspectives on Economics of Education and Education
  • Journal articles | 2021
    Dobrescu LI; Faravelli M; Megalokonomou R; Motta A, 2021, 'Relative Performance Feedback in Education: Evidence from a Randomised Controlled Trial*', The Economic Journal, vol. 131, pp. 3145 - 3181, http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/ej/ueab043
    Journal articles | 2020
    Christelis D; Dobrescu LI; Motta A, 2020, 'Early life conditions and financial risk-taking in older age', Journal of the Economics of Ageing, vol. 17, http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jeoa.2020.100266
    Journal articles | 2020
    Mookherjee D; Motta A; Tsumagari M, 2020, 'Consulting collusive experts', Games and Economic Behavior, vol. 122, pp. 290 - 317, http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.geb.2020.04.011
    Journal articles | 2017
    Motta A; Maitra P; Mitra S; Mookherjee D; Visaria S, 2017, 'Financing Smallholder Agriculture: An Experiment with Agent-Intermediated Microloans in India', Journal of Development Economics, vol. 127, pp. 306 - 337, http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jdeveco.2017.03.001
    Journal articles | 2016
    Burlando A; Motta A, 2016, 'Legalize, tax, and deter: Optimal enforcement policies for corruptible officials', Journal of Development Economics, vol. 118, pp. 207 - 215, http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jdeveco.2015.08.007
    Journal articles | 2016
    Mookherjee D; Motta A, 2016, 'A theory of interactions between MFIs and informal lenders', Journal of Development Economics, vol. 121, pp. 191 - 200, http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jdeveco.2014.11.009
    Journal articles | 2015
    Burlando A; Motta A, 2015, 'Collusion and the organization of the firm', American Economic Journal: Microeconomics, vol. 7, pp. 54 - 84, http://dx.doi.org/10.1257/mic.20130067
    Journal articles | 2015
    Dobrescu LI; Greiner B; Motta A, 2015, 'Learning economics concepts through game-play: An experiment', International Journal of Educational Research, vol. 69, pp. 23 - 37, http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ijer.2014.08.005
    Journal articles | 2013
    Dobrescu LI; Luca M; Motta A, 2013, 'What makes a critic tick? Connected authors and the determinants of book reviews', Journal of Economic Behavior and Organization, vol. 96, pp. 85 - 103, http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jebo.2013.08.008
    Journal articles | 2012
    Dobrescu L; Kotlikoff L; Motta A, 2012, 'Why aren't developed countries saving?', European Economic Review, vol. 56, pp. 1261 - 1275, http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.euroecorev.2012.04.003
    Book Chapters | 2020
    Dobrescu I; Motta A; Scriven A, 2020, 'The Predictive Power of Big Data in Education: A Machine Learning Approach', in Critical Perspectives on Economics of Education and Education
  • Working Papers | 2019
    Dobrescu I; Holden R; Motta A; Wong C, 2019, Fun in Education, http://dx.doi.org
    Working Papers | 2019
    Dobrescu I; Faravelli M; Megalokonomou R; Motta A, 2019, Rank Incentives and Social Learning: Evidence from a Randomized Natural Experiment, http://dx.doi.org
    Working Papers | 2018
    Mookherjee D; Motta A; Tsumagari M, 2018, Bypassing Intermediaries via Vertical Integration, A Transaction-Cost-Based Theory, http://dx.doi.org
    Working Papers | 2016
    Ghosh A; Motta A, 2016, Budget Constrained Consumers and Pricing, http://dx.doi.org
    Working Papers | 2014
    Motta A; Burlando A, 2014, Can self-reporting reduce corruption in law enforcement?, http://dx.doi.org
    Working Papers | 2009
    Motta A, 2009, Collusion and Selective Supervision, University of Padua, http://dx.doi.org
    Preprints |
    Maitra P; Mitra S; Mookherjee D; Motta A; Visaria S, Financing Smallholder Agriculture: An Experiment with Agent-Intermediated Microloans in India, http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2607790
    Preprints |
    Dobrescu LI; Faravelli M; Megalokonomou R; Motta A, Rank Incentives and Social Learning: Evidence From a Randomized Controlled Trial, http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3406696
    Preprints |
    Chen J; Dobrescu LI; Foster G; Motta A, Can Rank Feedback Avoid Demoralization? A Randomized Controlled Trial, http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3748208
    Preprints |
    Dobrescu L; Motta A; Wong CY, Can Videogames Fix Online Learning? The Effect of Educational Videogames on Student Learning and Engagement, http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2772371
    Preprints |
    Christelis D; Dobrescu LI; Motta A, Early Life Conditions and Financial Risk-Taking in Older Age, http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1855286
    Preprints |
    Dobrescu LI; Luca M; Motta A, What Makes a Critic Tick? Connected Authors and the Determinants of Book Reviews, http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1980616
    Preprints |
    Burlando A; Motta A, Can Self Reporting Reduce Corruption in Law Enforcement?, http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1987306
    Preprints |
    Burlando A; Motta A, Collusion and the Organisation of the Firm, http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2163842
    Preprints |
    Burlando A; Motta A, Legalize, Tax and Deter: Optimal Enforcement Policies for Corruptible Officials, http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2332381
    Preprints |
    Wong J; Ortmann A; Motta A; Zhang L, Understanding Social Impact Bonds and Their Alternatives: An Experimental Investigation, http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2323057
    Preprints |
    Ghosh A; Motta A, Budget Constrained Consumers and Oligopoly Pricing, http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1923558
    Journal articles | 2021
    Dobrescu LI; Faravelli M; Megalokonomou R; Motta A, 2021, 'Relative Performance Feedback in Education: Evidence from a Randomised Controlled Trial*', The Economic Journal, vol. 131, pp. 3145 - 3181, http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/ej/ueab043
    Journal articles | 2020
    Christelis D; Dobrescu LI; Motta A, 2020, 'Early life conditions and financial risk-taking in older age', Journal of the Economics of Ageing, vol. 17, http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jeoa.2020.100266
    Journal articles | 2020
    Mookherjee D; Motta A; Tsumagari M, 2020, 'Consulting collusive experts', Games and Economic Behavior, vol. 122, pp. 290 - 317, http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.geb.2020.04.011
    Journal articles | 2017
    Motta A; Maitra P; Mitra S; Mookherjee D; Visaria S, 2017, 'Financing Smallholder Agriculture: An Experiment with Agent-Intermediated Microloans in India', Journal of Development Economics, vol. 127, pp. 306 - 337, http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jdeveco.2017.03.001
    Journal articles | 2016
    Burlando A; Motta A, 2016, 'Legalize, tax, and deter: Optimal enforcement policies for corruptible officials', Journal of Development Economics, vol. 118, pp. 207 - 215, http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jdeveco.2015.08.007
    Journal articles | 2016
    Mookherjee D; Motta A, 2016, 'A theory of interactions between MFIs and informal lenders', Journal of Development Economics, vol. 121, pp. 191 - 200, http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jdeveco.2014.11.009
    Journal articles | 2015
    Burlando A; Motta A, 2015, 'Collusion and the organization of the firm', American Economic Journal: Microeconomics, vol. 7, pp. 54 - 84, http://dx.doi.org/10.1257/mic.20130067
    Journal articles | 2015
    Dobrescu LI; Greiner B; Motta A, 2015, 'Learning economics concepts through game-play: An experiment', International Journal of Educational Research, vol. 69, pp. 23 - 37, http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ijer.2014.08.005
    Journal articles | 2013
    Dobrescu LI; Luca M; Motta A, 2013, 'What makes a critic tick? Connected authors and the determinants of book reviews', Journal of Economic Behavior and Organization, vol. 96, pp. 85 - 103, http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jebo.2013.08.008
    Journal articles | 2012
    Dobrescu L; Kotlikoff L; Motta A, 2012, 'Why aren't developed countries saving?', European Economic Review, vol. 56, pp. 1261 - 1275, http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.euroecorev.2012.04.003

Awards

2019  UNSW President’s Award for ‘Building Collaborations’

2017     UNSW Scientia Education Fellowship, (2) Wharton School Gold Medal in Social Sciences Reimagine Education International Awards

2016   (1) Australian Government’s Australian Awards for University Teaching (Citations for Outstanding Contributions to Student Learning), (2) UNSW Business School John Prescott Outstanding Teaching Innovation Award

2015   (1) Australian School of Business Student Choice Award, (2) UNSW Business School Silver Star Award for Research

2013     (1) Australian School of Business Student Choice Award, (2) Australian School of Business Outstanding Technology-Enabled Teaching Innovation Award, (3) University of New South Wales Innovation Award (finalist), (4) Vice-Chancellor Award for Excellence in the use of Learning & Teaching Technologies, (5) University of New South Wales Heinz Harant Award for Teaching Innovation

Grants

2020      (1) UNSW Business School Strategy Knowledge Hub, “Economics of Education” [with Holden, Piccoli, Dobrescu, Sahlberg, Muir, Walker] Total funding: AU$770,000(2) UNSW President’s Award for Collaboration [with Dobrescu] Total funding: AU$5,000, (3) UNSW Business School Strategy 2020 Network, “Organizational 
Economics’ Research Network” Total funding: AU$50,000

 

2019      (1) UNSW Business School Breakthrough / PVC-E / CEPAR, “Good Decisions in Education: The Smart Tech & Education Program (STEP UP)” [with Dobrescu, Holden, King] Total funding: AU$105,000, (2) UNSW Business School Strategy 2020 Network, “Organizational 
Economics’ Research Network” Total funding: AU$50,000

 

2018      (1) UNSW Scientia Academy, “What works in Education: A series of experiments” [with Motta] Total funding: AU$10,000, (2) UNSW Business School Strategy 2020 Network, “Organizational 
Economics’ Research Network” Total funding: AU$50,000

 

2017   (1) UNSW Business School Strategy 2020 Network, “Organizational 
Economics’ Research Network” Total funding: AU$50,000, (2) UNSW School of Economics ARC Project Booster, “Experiential Economics: A new paradigm for experiments” [with Dobrescu] Total funding: AU$5,000

 

2016   (1) Various UNSW Research Grants under the umbrella “Design and Assessment of Gamified and Virtual Reality Content to Improve Cognition, Learning Outcomes and Immersion in Higher Education” Total funding: ~AU$290,000, (2) Australian Government’s 2016 Australian Awards for University Teaching (Citations for Outstanding Contributions to Student Learning) Total funding: AU$10,000, (3) UNSW Business School “John Prescott Outstanding Innovation” Award [with Dobrescu] Total funding: AU$10,000, (4) UNSW Business School Strategy 2020 Network, “Organizational 
Economics’ Research Network”. Total funding: AU$50,000, (5) UNSW Business School Silver Star Award, “Health, wealth, care and social networks in old age” [with Dobrescu] Total funding: AU$20,000

 

2015   (1) Various UNSW Research Grants under the umbrella “Design and Assessment of Gamified and Virtual Reality Content to Improve Cognition, Learning Outcomes and Immersion in Higher Education” Total funding: ~AU$200,000, (2) UNSW Business School Strategy 2020 Network, “Organizational 
Economics’ Research Network” Total funding: AU$50,000, (3) UNSW BizLab, “Lessons from Experiential Economics” [with Motta] Total funding: AU$10,000

 

2014   (1) RGC Research Grant “How to Make a Miracle: Mechanisms by which Agent-Intermediated Micro-Lending Increases Rural Incomes” [with Mookherjee, Maitra, Mitra and Visaria] Total funding: US$57,738, (2) IEMS Research Grant “Can the Poor be Incentivized to Save: A Study of Migrant Domestic Workers in Hong Kong” [with Visaria] Total funding: HKD121,500, (3) International Growth Centre, “Designing Micro-finance for Agricultural Growth” [with Mookherjee, Maitra, Mitra and Visaria] Total funding: £29,835

 

2013     USAID, “Programs to Enhance Credit Access and Crop Marketing Success of Poor Farmers: A Field Experiment in West Bengal, India” [with Mookherjee, Maitra, Mitra, and Visaria] Total funding: US$100,000

 

2012   (1) ASBRG UNSW, “A new approach to Microcredit” Total funding: AU$18,000, (2) International Growth Centre, “Potato Traders in West Bengal: A Survey of Contractual Relations and Market Structure” [with Mookherjee, Maitra, and Visaria] Total funding: US$26,855

 

2011     (1) ASB UNSW, Learning and Teaching Grant [with Dobrescu] Total funding: AU$36,000, (2) ASBRG UNSW, “Why are saving rates declining in developed countries?” Total funding: AU$20,000

 

2010     (1) ITIP UNSW, “Simulated Economy Serious Games” [with Dobrescu] Total funding: AU$73,700, (2) ASBRG UNSW, “New Tools for Combating Collusion within Organizations and Regulatory Setups” Total funding: AU$10,000

Media

Publications

  • Relative performance feedback in education: Evidence from a randomized controlled trial, forthcoming Economic Journal [with Dobrescu, Faravelli & Megalokonomou] [Downloadable]

  • Consulting collusive experts (2020) Games and Economic Behavior 122: 290-317 [with Mookherjee & Tsumagari] [Downloadable]

  • Early life conditions and financial risk-taking in older age (2020) Journal of the Economics of Ageing 17 [with Christelis & Dobrescu] [Downloadable]

  • Financing smallholder agriculture: An experiment with agent-intermediated microloans in India (2017) Journal of Development Economics 127: 306-337 [with Maitra, Mitra, Mookherjee & Visaria] [Downloadable]

  • A theory of interactions between microfinance and informal lenders (2016) Journal of Development Economics 121: 191–200 [with Mookherjee] [Downloadable]

  • Legalize, tax, and deter: Optimal enforcement policies for corruptible officials (2016) Journal of Development Economics 118: 207–215 [with Burlando] [Downloadable] [Additional Proofs]

  • Collusion and the organisation of the firm (2015) American Economic Journal: Microeconomics 7(3) [with Burlando] [Downloadable]

  • What makes a critic tick? Connected authors and the determinants of book reviews (2013) Journal of Economic Behavior and Organization 96: 85-103 [with Dobrescu & Luca] [Downloadable]

  • Why aren't developed countries saving? (2012) European Economic Review 56: 1261-1275 [with Dobrescu & Kotlikoff] [Downloadable]

Other work

  • Social impact bonds: Theory and evidence (2016) Research in Experimental Economics 19 [with Wong, Ortmann, and Zhang] [Downloadable]

  • Learning economics concepts through game-play: An experiment (2015) International Journal of Educational Research 69: 23-37 [with Dobrescu & Greiner] [Downloadable]

 

Working papers

  • (Step Up 1A) Can rank feedback avoid demoralization? A randomized controlled trial [with Dobrescu, Chen & Foster] [Downloadable]

  • (Step Up 3A) The role of verifiability in the education production function [with Dobrescu & Kazmierczak] [submitted]

  • Serious games: Seriously good at preparing students for clinical practice? A randomized control trial [with Dobrescu, Ooi, Coffey et al]

  • Fun in education [with Dobrescu, Holden & Wong] [Downloadable]

  • Collusion, power and governance design [with Mookherjee & Tsumagari]

  • Budget constrained consumers and pricing [with Ghosh] [Downloadable]

  • Can self-reporting reduce corruption in law enforcement? [with Burlando] [Downloadable]

  • Collusion and selective supervision [Downloadable]

 

Work in progress

  • Step Up 2A) Fun: A complement or a subsitute in the education production function? [with Dobrescu, Holden, French & Lim]

  • (Step Up 4A) Gender and leadership [with Dobrescu & Feld]

  • (Step Up 4B) The symbolic power of female leadership: Lessons from a randomized experiment [with Dobrescu & Shanker]

  • (Step Up 5A) Wisdom of the crowds: Does it work in higher education? [with Dobrescu]

  • Culturally and context specific student assessment [Dobrescu, Holden, Piccoli, Roberts & Walker]

  • Prohibition, legalization and corruption [with Burlando]

  • Staying home or dining out? Social interactions and old-age consumption profiles [with Dobrescu and Gui] [Downloadable]

  • Ex-ante and ex-post corruption [Downloadable]

 

Chapters in books

  • The predictive power of Big Data in education (forthcoming) in Mendolia, O'Brien, Yerokhin and Paloyo (eds): Critical Perspectives on Economics of Education and Education Policy. Routledge [with Dobrescu & Scriven]

  • The impact of childhood health and cognition on portfolio choice (2011) in First Results Book SHARELIFE, Mannheim Research Institute for Economics of Aging [with Christelis and Dobrescu]

  • Functionings, Capacities and Social Interactions (2006) in Economic Theory and Interpersonal Relationships, Il Mulino

 

Textbooks

  • The Economic and Legal Principles of Business Decision Making, 1st ed., ebook (retrievable via www.unsw.edu.au) [with Dobrescu, French, Manwaring & Taylor]

  • Principles of Economics (2016) 4th ed., eBook (retrievable via www.playconomics.com) [with Dobrescu & McWhinnie]

  • Playconomics: Principles of Microeconomics (2015) 4th ed., eBook (retrievable via www.playconomics.com) [with Dobrescu, Faravelli & McWhinnie]