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Rong Rong  荣蓉                

Assistant Professor of Economics
John B. Goddard School of Business & Economics 
Weber State University
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star network formationWe human (animals and plants too!!) live in an interconnected world and more so than ever before. I, like many other social scientists, am constantly amazed by how effective these connections are at shaping our social and economic life. I spent most of my time trying to understand the fundamental principles behind social networks. My academic quest, therefore,  revolves around this theme as well.

How do social networks form? Which topology is stable under individual rationality? When do they maximizes social efficiency? Why some conditions
in natural environments facilitates their emergence but some not? How could we utlize these conditions to help achieve better economic outcomes?

My current research uses laboraory experiments to address the above questions under a variety of incentive settings. In one study, I show that certain institutional conditions, such as investment limits and the right of first refusal, promote the formation of efficient star networks . In another study, I show that social identity facilitates the truthful communication in networked groups. A third study investigates the impact of messaging protocol (private vs public) on truthful communication.

Additionally, field experiments greatly interest me. My recent collaboration with Jared Barton produces a novel natural field experiment to measure how people make promises and how often they fulfill them. I also received a faculty research grant for an artefactual field experiment to study intra-household time preference (joint with Therese Grijava and Matthew Gnagey).
       You can find out more about my current research projects and future academic plans in
my research statement.


Growing Stars: A Laboratory Analysis of Network Formation, with Daniel Houser, Journal of Economic Behavior and Organization, forthcoming

Deception in Networks: A Laboratory Study, with Daniel Houser, Journal of Public Economic Theory, forthcoming

Exploring Network Behavior Using Cluster Analysis, with Daniel Houser, New Perspectives on Internationalization and Competitiveness, Springer, 2015

China Bashing: Does Trade Drive the 'Bad' News about China in the U.S.?, with Carlos Ramirez, Review of International Economics, Vol. 20, Issue 2, pp. 350-363, 2012,

Completed Paper:

Money or Friends: Social Identity and Deception in Networks, with Daniel Houser and Yifan Dai, Revise and Resubmit, European Economic Review

Convex Time Budgets and Individual Discount Rates in the Long Run, with Douglass Shaw, Therese Grijalva and Jayson Lusk, Under Review, Environmental and Resource Economics

Working Paper:

Promoting the “Right” Stars: Network Formation with Heterogeneous Agents and Imperfect Information, with Daniel Houser, working paper

I’ll Be There: A Natural Field Experiment on Keeping and Breaking Promises, with Jared Barton, working paper

Shouts and Whispers: a Laboratory Analysis of Public Vs Private Communication in Networks, with Yifan Dai, working paper

Research in Progress:

Interpersonal Time Discounting, with Therese Grijalva, Douglass Shaw and Jayson Lusk

Introhousehold Time Discounting, with Therese Grijalva and Matthew Gnagey

Teach Social Dillema Using Experiential Learning Tools, [solo project]

Designing Tontine for Biodiversity, with Gregory Parkhurst

Weber State University |  Department of Economics
John B. Goddard School of Business & Economics