Harvard Business School Doctoral Candidate Neil Thakral Receives Research Award

BOSTON– Harvard Business School doctoral candidate Neil Thakral has received the Roger Martin Fund Award for for excellence in Doctoral Student Research in Business Economics.

Thakral’s research investigates the way people make decisions, with an emphasis on implications for the design of markets and incentives. He examines the effect of fluctuations in earnings on the decision of how much to work, focusing on workers who can flexibly choose their hours, Harvard Business School said in a statement.

“The findings are consistent with the intuition that people overreact to surprises, as they work less in response to higher accumulated earnings. In addition, surprises wear out over time, since responses to recently accumulated earnings are much stronger,” the statement said. “This points toward a model in which behavior is influenced by a reference point that adjusts over time. The result that behavior is sensitive to the timing of payments can be applied to develop more effective policies for stimulating consumption.”

Neil Thakral

Thakral has also done research on the optimal allocation of public housing. He proposes a new mechanism for allocating public housing that improves the matching between tenants and housing units by allowing households to trade off their preferences for different units and waiting times. He shows that implementing this in practice would lead to substantial welfare gains.

The Roger Martin Fund for Doctoral Research was established in 2006 through the generosity of Roger Martin, former dean of the Rotman School of Management at the University of Toronto. The fund was created in memory of Harvard Business School professor John Lintner, a world-renowned expert in finance and one of Martin’s mentors. Harvard Business School grants the Doctorate in Business Administration (DBA) in five areas of study: accounting and management, marketing, management, strategy, and technology and operations management. It also offers PhD programs in collaboration with the Harvard Graduate School of Arts and Sciences in business economics, health policy management, and organizational behavior. At any given time, approximately 130 HBS doctoral students are completing course work or working on their dissertations at the School.

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