PhD student in behavioral economics
I am Thomas, a PhD student in economics at the School of Economics and Finance at Victoria University of Wellington (New Zealand). Prior to beginning my PhD degree, I worked for several financial corporations in short-term positions such as assistant auditor (KPMG), portfolio management intern (Deutsche Bank), and project management intern (UBS), while working on or preparing for my university degrees in business administration (majoring in finance and minoring in accounting and economics). I graduated with a master’s degree from the University of Trier, Germany, and participated in fully funded study abroad programs in the USA with scholarships (PROMOS and ISEP). My master’s thesis was a behavioral economics study on the susceptibility to framing effects by people who classify as thorough thinkers (as opposed to impulsive doers). I am currently funded as a scholar by the Chair in the Economics of Disasters PhD Scholarship and I am doing research in the behavioral economics sub-discipline of behavioral insurance.
My research interest is behavioral economics and behavioral finance, cross-research of social psychology, cognitive psychology and microeconomics/finance. I focus on the behavioral (i.e. emotional, intuitional and “irrational”) aspects of human decision making in various contexts.
In my PhD, I investigate empirically how and why people make insurance decisions. For my research, I use laboratory experiments and collect my own data to empirically study and understand property insurance decisions in the context of catastrophes. I am also doing research in personality economics. I try to further our knowledge about how people's personalities affect their decisions and choices.