About me

I am a Microeconomist teaching at Simon Fraser University. My research is focused on studying the different channels that social interactions and networks impact individuals' choices and their respective outcomes. In my job market paper, "On the Impact of Social Networks On Charitable Behaviour: Theory and Evidence", I study this question in the context of charitable activities using a dataset and several network configurations that I constructed from the resources provided by Engineers Without Borders, Canada. Additionally, I plan to study opinion leaders and learning processes in these networks as well as the diffusion of fundraising campaigns and investigate how the position of individuals in the network impacts their decisions to participate in a campaign both in terms of their own contribution as well as the spread of information.

The other area of my existing research is studying games on networks. In a theoretical paper (co-authored with Anke Kessler), we model Twitter as a dynamic network formation game where agents choose what to say and who to follow simultaneously in every period. We characterize the equilibrium networks, and show that although many individuals are directly or indirectly linked in these networks, the news does not travel very far as each individual strategically filters the information they receive before passing it on. I plan to test the predictions of this model using actual data from Twitter, and study the extent that networks facilitate diffusion of ideas and information. Third, in a joint paper with Alex Karaivanov and Stephen Easton, we study a network-based model of criminal activity where agents' payoffs depend on their networks and are determined in a Nash equilibrium of a crime effort supply game.

I have a BSc in Physics from Sharif University of Technology (Tehran, Iran), a MSc in experimental particle physics from SFU (transferred to economics), and a PhD in economics from SFU. My masters research project was "Systematic studies on energy calibration for ATLAS Detector using data from CERN". I also spent some time at the Economics department at Stanford University visiting Matthew Jackson in spring of 2014.

I will be available for interviews at the CEEE Meeting in Toronto in December 2015, and the AEA/ASSA Meeting in San Francisco in 2016.

Research Interests

  • Applied Microeconomics, Social and Economic Networks, Public Economics, Development Economics

  • Department of Economics
    Simon Fraser University
    Office n. WMC 3607