Afras Sial

Economics PhD Student,
University of California, Berkeley






I’m a PhD student in the Department of Economics at UC Berkeley. I’m generally interested in researching how insights from psychology and behavioral economics can inform how we design and understand the effects of public policies.

I previously worked as a research coordinator in the Business Economics and Public Policy Department at Wharton, and I completed my undergraduate studies at Georgetown University in 2019.

 (Updated December 2022)


Designing, not Checking, for Policy Robustness: An Example with Optimal Taxation

(with Benjamin Lockwood and Matthew Weinzierl)

Tax Policy and the Economy, 2021

Abstract (click to expand)

NBER webpage

Replication folder (.zip file)

Working Papers

What Drives Demand for State-Run Lotteries? Evidence and Welfare Implications

(with Hunt Allcott, Benjamin Lockwood, and Dmitry Taubinsky)

Current version: March 2022

Revise and Resubmit at The Review of Economic Studies

Abstract (click to expand)

NBER webpage

Biased Memory and Perceptions of Self-Control

(with Justin Sydnor and Dmitry Taubinsky)

Current version: December 2022

Abstract (click to expand)

Selected Work in Progress

Ideology and Moral Hazard

(with Na’ama Shenhav and Dmitry Taubinsky)

I’m grateful to Gautam Rao for sharing the code for his website, created by Xinyue Lin, in his GitHub repository. I also thank Jonathan Old for the instructions provided in the GitHub repository for his website.