Saturday, July 27, 2013
...where they are justly proud of him:
Jul. 18, 2013
Dr. Gary Bolton's research focuses on how people negotiate, make decisions and build trust.
When Dr. Gary Bolton started college, inflation was at its highest point in decades. U.S. manufacturing was on the decline. And an oil shortage forced rising gas prices and long lines at the pump.
“As a kid growing up in the ‘70s, I would read the newspaper and wonder why the economy was so messed up,” he said.
Bolton’s interest in the economic conditions as a youth inspired an academic career that has been distinguished by prestigious academic appointments, multiple National Science Foundation grants, dozens of articles in top economic journals and speaking engagements around the world.
Last fall, Bolton, a professor of managerial economics, was named O.P. Jindal Chair and co-director of theCenter and Laboratory for Behavioral Operations and Economics in the Naveen Jindal School of Management. He runs the center with Dr. Elena Katok, his wife, an Ashbel Smith Professor of Operations Management.
The pair came to UT Dallas last year to open the new center and expand their research, he said. The center features laboratory methods, using simulated business situations on computer games, to study how student volunteers make decisions, bargain and negotiate.
“We found it to be an exciting opportunity,” Bolton said. “I think what’s exciting about UT Dallas is that it’s growing fast and has a goal of being a Tier One institution, which I think will happen soon.”
Bolton’s research is focused on decision-making, negotiations and trust-building. He said his graduate school mentor, Nobel Economics Prize winner Dr. Alvin Roth, now Craig and Susan McCaw Professor of Economics at Stanford University, has been a major influence.
Bolton worked on a consulting team for eBay in 2006 that redesigned a problematic feedback system used to gather information on the reputation of sellers and buyers. Bolton’s articles have been published in such journals as the American Economic Review, Management Science, Journal of Mathematical Psychology and Games and Economic Behavior. He was featured in a History Channel documentary, “Seven Deadly Sins: Greed.” He is on the editorial board of Experimental Economics.
Bolton has received research funding from the National Science Foundation and IBM. Bolton and Dr. Axel Ockenfels, professor of economics at the University of Cologne, developed the Theory of Equity, Reciprocity and Competition, which is explained in their highly cited paper in the American Economic Review. The premise of the theory is that people are not only motivated by their financial payoff but also how their monetary gain compares to the relative payoff of others.
Dr. Hasan Pirkul, Jindal school dean and Caruth Chair of Management, said that Bolton is an influential and renowned scholar whose innovative research contributions are expanding the field of economics.
“We are honored to have Dr. Bolton on our faculty,” Pirkul said. “He is a highly accomplished scholar whose expertise is a tremendous benefit to our students. We are excited about the research that will result from Dr. Bolton and Dr. Katok’s work at the new behavioral research center.”Gary is one half of a power couple of scientists: he is married to Elena Katok, also celebrated at Dallas:
TITLE: O.P. Jindal Chair of Management Economics, co-director, Center and Laboratory for Behavioral Operations and Economics, Bolton also sits on the board of advisors of the UT Dallas Negotiations Center
RESEARCH INTERESTS: Decision-making: negotiation, trust, reputation-building, social utility, strategic learning
PREVIOUSLY: Schwartz Professor of Business, Pennsylvania State University
Katok is a pioneer in the growing field of behavioral operations management, which examines the way human behavior affects operations management practices, such as production planning and inventory management.
"My interest in behavioral operations management evolved from my interest in experimental economics," she said. "Early on in my career, I was fortunate to have had an opportunity to work with Gary Bolton and Alvin Roth. The topics of market design and strategic procurement naturally lend themselves to being investigated using game theoretic models and laboratory methods, so this was a natural fit."
Her husband, Gary Bolton, holds the O.P. Jindal Chair in Managerial Economics at UT Dallas. Alvin Roth is an economics professor at Stanford University.
Katok helped establish the Behavioral Operations Management section of the Institute for Operations Research and the Management Sciences, which is also known as INFORMS. She is currently president of this section after previously serving as the vice president.
She said she is proud of co-organizing the first Behavioral Research in Operations Management conference, which was established in 2006. The conferences are now held annually, which she said is a testament to the growth of behavioral operations management.
In addition to behavioral operations management, her research expertise includes market design and strategic procurement. Her research has been published in top business and economics journals, including Management Science, Manufacturing and Service Operations Management, andProduction and Operations Management. She is currently a senior editor and the incoming department editor for Behavioral Operations for Production and Operations Management. The National Science Foundation and the Department of Defense are among the organizations that have supported her research.
Before joining UT Dallas this year, she was a professor of supply chain management in the Smeal College of Business at Pennsylvania State University.
She earned her bachelor of science degree in business administration with an emphasis in finance and economics from the University of California, Berkeley. She earned her MBA from Pennsylvania State University, where she also earned her PhD in management science.