Erez Yoeli is a research scientist at MIT’s Sloan School of Management, where he directs the Applied Cooperation Initiative (ACI). His research focuses on altruism: understanding how it works and how to promote it. He collaborates with governments, nonprofits, and companies to apply the lessons of this research towards addressing real-world challenges like increasing energy conservation, improving antibiotic adherence, reducing smoking in public places, and promoting philanthropy.

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Applied Research

Peer-to-Peer Solar and Social Rewards: Evidence from a Field Experiment

with Stefano Carattini, Xiangyu Meng, and Kenneth Gillingham
CESifo Working Paper, December 2022

Can digital adherence technologies reduce inequity in tuberculosis treatment success? Evidence from a randomised controlled trial

with Justin Boutilier, Jon Rathauser, Philip Owiti, and Jonas Jonasson
BMJ Global Health, December 2022

Encouraging the resumption of economic activity after COVID-19: Evidence from a large scale field experiment

with Juan Palacios, Yichun Fan, Jianghao Wang, Yuchen Chai, Weizeng Sun, Dave Rand, and Siqi Zheng
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, January 2022

Global Behaviors, Perceptions, and the Emergence of Social Norms at the Onset of the COVID-19 Pandemic

with a large team led by Jon Jachimowicz
Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, January 2022

Improving TB Treatment Adherence Support: The Case for Targeted Behavioral Interventions

with Justin Boutilier and Jonas Jonasson
Manufacturing and Service Operations Management, December 2021

Don't get it or don't spread it: Self-interested vs. prosocial motivations for COVID-19 prevention behaviors

with Jillian Jordan and Dave Rand
Scientific Reports, October 2021

A Checklist for Prosocial Messaging Campaigns such as COVID-19 Prevention Appeals

with Dave Rand
Working Paper. Last Updated: April 2020

Heterogeneity in Banker Culture and its Influence on Dishonesty

with Zoe Rahwan and Barbara Fasolo
Nature, November 2019

Digital Health Support in Treatment for Tuberculosis

with Jon Rathauser, Syon Bhanot, Maureen Kimenye, Enos Masini, Philip Owiti, and Dave Rand
New England Journal of Medicine, September 2019

Putting Social Rewards and Identity Salience to the Test: A Field Experiment on Teachers in Philadelphia

with Syon Bhanot, Gordon Kraft-Todd, and Dave Rand
Journal of Behavioral Public Administration, January 2018

Behavioral Science Tools to Strengthen Energy and Environmental Policy

with a large team headed by Elke Weber
Behavioral Science & Policy, August 2017

Potential Follow-up Increases Private Contributions to Public Goods

with Todd Rogers and John Ternovski
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, May 2016

Promoting Cooperation in the Field

with Gordon Kraft-Todd, Syon Bhanot, and Dave Rand
Current Opinion in Behavioral Sciences, June 2015

Harnessing Reciprocity to Promote Cooperation and the Provisioning of Public Goods

with Moshe Hoffman and Dave Rand
Policy Insights from the Behavioral and Brain Sciences, October 2014.

Powering Up with Indirect Reciprocity in a Large-scale Field Experiment

with Moshe Hoffman, Dave Rand, and Martin Nowak
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, June 2013

Theoretical Research

DyPy: A Python Library for Simulating Matrix-Form Games

with Anjalika Nande, Eric Lubin, Andrew Ferdowsian, and Martin Nowak
Working Paper. Last Updated: July 2020

Coordinated Enforcement

with Moshe Hoffman, N. Aygun Dalkiran, and Henrik Sigstad
Working Paper. Last Updated: October 2018

Categorical Distinctions Facilitate Coordination

with Moshe Hoffman, N. Aygun Dalkiran, and Martin Nowak
Working Paper. Last Updated: October 2020

Cooperate Without Looking

with Moshe Hoffman and Martin Nowak
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, January 2015
Supplemental Information

The Benefits of Reducing Fraud

with Dan Becker and Doug Smith
Working Paper. Last updated: December 2012

Select Interviews and Media Mentions

How Game Theory Can Be Used To Explain Human Behavior

Behavioral Grooves; December 12, 2022

Moshe Hoffman and Erez Yoeli on the Surprising Power of Game Theory to Explain Irrational Human Behavior

The Michael Shermer Show; May 10, 2022

Three Game Theory Principles Can Create an Environment Where Cooperation and Altruism Thrive

The Economic Times of India; April 29, 2022

‘Hidden Games’ Review: Secret Equations

The Wall Street Journal; April 24, 2022

Ask Ariely: All Your Neighbors Are Going to the Comedy Club

The Wall Street Journal; February 16, 2021

Mask Communication

NPR Planet Money; August 8, 2020

How to Get TB Patients to Take Their Pills? Persistent Texting and a ‘Winners Circle’

The New York Times; September 4, 2019

How to Motivate People to Do Good

The Lisa Valentine Clark Show, BYU Radio; January 14, 2019; at minute 31:45

The Virtue of Sharing

Radio National; June 17, 2018; at minute 22:30

Playing the ‘Envelope Game’

Harvard Gazette; February 19, 2015

Theoretical Support Found for ‘Authentic Altruism’

The Boston Globe; January 28, 2015

The Psychology of Being Online

Huffington Post; October 8, 2013

Reputation vs. Cash Rewards: How to Inspire Good Behavior

TIME; June 14, 2013

‘Observability’ a Strong Influence on Deeds, Research Finds

Harvard Gazette; June 12, 2013

Resources for Students and Researchers

DyPy: A Python Library for Evolutionary Game Theory Simulations (White Paper)

Created by Anjalika Nande, Eric Lubin, and Andrew Ferdowsian

Other Interests

My Grandfather's Blog

Enthralling stories of hijackings and more


My Instagram page


Some recordings on Soundcloud