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Justin R Sydnor

Justin Sydnor
Professor | Risk and Insurance
5284B Grainger Hall


Justin Sydnor is the Leslie P. Schultz Professor in Risk Management and Insurance and Professor in the Department of Risk and Insurance at the Wisconsin School of Business.

Sydnor earned his B.A. in economics and German from UW-Madison and his Ph.D. in economics from the University of California, Berkeley. He is a research associate of the National Bureau of Economic Research in the Health Care are.

His research interests are in psychology and economics, applied microeconomics, insurance markets, and risk and decision making.


Selected Published Journal Articles

Sydnor, J. & Jaspersen, J. & Ragin, M. (2022). Insurance Demand Experiments: Comparing Crowdworking to the Lab Journal of Risk and Insurance

Liu, K. & Sydnor, J. & Carter, S. & Skiba, P. (2022). Time to Repay or Time to Delay? The Effect of Having More Time Before a Payday Loan is Due American Economic Journal: Applied Economics

Sydnor, J. (2022). Who Chooses Commitment? Evidence and Welfare Implications Review of Economic Studies

Sydnor, J. (2022). Predicting Insurance Demand from Risk Attitudes Journal of Risk and Insurance

Sydnor, J. (2022). Dominated Options in Health-Insurance Plans American Economic Journal: Economic Policy

Sydnor, J. (2020). Linking Subjective and Incentivized Risk Attitudes: The Importance of Losses Journal of Risk and Uncertainty

Carrera, M. & Royer, H. & Stehr, M. & Sydnor, J. (2020). The Structure of Health Incentives: Evidence from a Field Experiment Management Science

Damgaard, M. & Sydnor, J. (2019). Applying for jobs in the lab: The effect of risk attitudes. Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics

Carrera, M. & Royer, H. & Stehr, M. & Sydnor, J. & Taubinsky, D. (2018). The limits of simple implementation intentions: Evidence from a field experiment on making plans to exercise Journal of Health Economics

Collins, J. & Gjertson, L. & Sydnor, J. (2018). Incentives for Loan Repayments: Evidence from a Randomized Field Study” Journal of Consumer Affairs

Carrera, M. & Royer, H. & Stehr, M. & Sydnor, J. (2018). Can Financial Incentives Help People Trying to Establish New Habits? Experimental Evidence with New Gym Members Journal of Health Economics

Yao, Y. & Sydnor, J. & Schmit, J. (2017). The Role of Pregnancy in Micro Health Insurance: Evidence of Adverse Selection from Pakistan Journal of Risk and Insurance

Bhargava, S. & Loewenstein, G. & Sydnor, J. (2017). Choose to Lose: Health Plan Choices From a Menu With Dominated Options Quarterly Journal of Economics

Lacetera, N. & Larsen, B. & Pope, D. & Sydnor, J. (2016). Bid Takers or Market Makers? The Effect of Auctioneers on Auction Outcomes American Economic Journal: Microeconomics

Carvalho, L. & Prina, S. & Sydnor, J. (2016). The Effects of Savings on Risk Attitudes and Intertemporal Choices Journal of Development Economics

Lacetera, N. & Sydnor, J. (2015). Would You Buy a Honda Made in the U.S.? The Effect of Production Location on Manufacturing Quality Review of Economics and Statistics

Pope, D. & Pope, J. & Sydnor, J. (2015). Focal Points and Bargaining in the Housing Market Games and Economic Behavior

Royer, H. & Stehr, M. & Sydnor, J. (2015). Incentives, Commitments and Habit Formation in Exercise: Evidence from a Field Experiment with Workers at a Fortune-500 Company American Economic Journal: Applied Economics

Lacetera, N. & Pope, D. & Sydnor, J. (2012). Heuristic Thinking and Limited Attention in the Car Market American Economic Review

Pope, D. & Sydnor, J. (2011). Implementing Anti-discrimination Policies in Statistical Profiling Models American Economic Journal: Economic Policy

Garbarino, E. & Slonim, R. & Sydnor, J. (2011). Digit Ratios (2D:4D) Predict Risk Taking for Men and Women Journal of Risk and Uncertainty

Pope, D. & Sydnor, J. (2011). What’s in a Picture? Evidence of Discrimination from Journal of Human Resources

Sydnor, J. (2010). (Over)Insuring Modest Risks American Economic Journal: Applied Economics

Wharton, D. & Sydnor, J. (2010). Geographic Variation in the Gender Differences in Test Scores Journal of Economic Perspectives

Practitioner-Oriented Publications

Ericson, K. & Sydnor, J. (2017). The Questionable Value of Having a Choice of Levels of Health Insurance Coverage Journal of Economic Perspectives


Undergraduate Courses

Risk Analytics and Behavioral Science (RMI 660), Spring 2021. Download Syllabus
An overview about the challenges people face in situations with risk and uncertainty with a goal of enhancing the ability to navigate uncertainty. Use that knowledge to identify decision-making biases and to build a framework for thinking clearly about decisions in uncertain environments. Introduces techniques for improving the understanding of risk and uncertainty and the potential consequences of our choices. Practice working through making inferences and decisions in the face of ambiguity. Enroll Info: None

Graduate Courses

Experiments and Causal Methods for Business Insights (BUS 740), Fall 2021. Download Syllabus
Provides an introduction to experimental and causal methods for driving business insights. Topics include: (1) Review and distinction of correlation vs. causation; (2) design and analysis of randomized-controlled experiments; and (3) identification of “natural experiments” in business data and corresponding empirical strategies. Enroll Info: None