Benjamin Golub is an up-and-coming macroeconomist with an interest in social and economic networks. His research asks how the structure of networks among decision makers affects processes such as trade and the provision of public goods. His work explores how network formation and maintenance can be formally studied in economic terms. He often poses these questions in relation to the presence of these networks in developing economies. His research focuses on how these networks form when agents invest strategically in relationships, how information is transmitted through them, and how they mediate important economic processes such as group cooperation. Applications of the research include measuring social segregation and understanding its consequences for polarization of beliefs or behaviors.
His current work focuses on
- the theory of group negotiations (e.g., over pollution) in settings where players' efforts have asymmetric effects on each others payoffs; and
- experimental studies of how social networks lead to contagion of incorrect beliefs or behaviors due to biases in the way individuals process and transmit information.
In 2012, Golub was awarded the Society for the Advancement of Economic Theory’s Aliprantis Prize for a recent paper titled “A Network Centrality Approach to Coalitional Stability.” As a graduate student at the Stanford Graduate School of Business, Golub was awarded a National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship beginning in 2007. Most recently, he received the Excellence in Refereeing Award from the American Economic Review in 2013.
After completing his PhD in Economic Analysis and Policy at Stanford University in 2012, Golub joined the Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s Abdul Latif Jameel Poverty Action Lab as a Postdoctoral Fellow. He was concurrently a Prize Fellow in Economic, History, and Politics at Harvard University, where he is currently a Junior Fellow on track to be appointed Assistant Professor in 2015.
Golub earned a BS in Mathematics from the California Institute of Technology in 2007 before pursuing his doctorate.