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Marina Agranov

Professor of Economics
Marina Agranov headshot
Contact information for Marina Agranov
Contact Method Value
Mail Code: MC 228-77
Office: 301E Baxter Hall (77)
Phone: 626-395-3559
Administrative Assistant:

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B.A., St. Petersburg State Technical University, 1999; M.A., Tel Aviv University, 2004; Ph.D., New York University, 2010. Assistant Professor, Caltech, 2010-17; Professor, 2017-.

Research Interests

Information Transmission in Elections; Effects of Cheap-Talk Communication in Strategic Environments; Properties of Natural Language; Signaling Games with Asymmetric Information; Decision-Making Mechanisms; Redistribution and Taxation


Economic Theory; Experimental Social Science; Political Economy


Marina Agranov, who is trained both as an economic theorist and an experimentalist, studies how communication affects outcomes in various strategic environments. She combines theory and experiments to study how institutions affect credible transmission of information. In particular, her research has explored signaling games with asymmetric information in the context of elections and announcement games. . She also investigates the vagueness property of natural language. For example, she has studied the efficiency of using natural language (words) with precise and ambiguous messages. From experiments, she and her colleagues have shown that under the proper circumstances, using words does not decrease the efficiency of communication. Economics often studies the outcomes of interactions between agents, but by studying the process of decision making—instead of just the final decision—Agranov is trying to understand the mechanisms that govern decision making and ultimately improve the predictive power of economic theory.

Agranov received the Dean's Dissertation Fellowship (2009–2010) and the MacCracken Fellowship (2004–2010) at NYU. At Tel Aviv University, she received an honors scholarship from the Gershon H. Gordon Faculty of Social Sciences (2003), the Alfred Akirov scholarship, and a merit-based scholarship from the Eitan Berglas School of Economics.

Selected Publications


"Ignorance is Bliss: An Experimental Study of the Use of Ambiguity and Vagueness in the Coordination Games with Asymmetric Payoffs" (with A. Schotter) AEJ: Microeconomics, 2012, Vol. 4 (2), pp. 77-103.

"Beliefs and Endogenous Cognitive Levels: an Experimental Study" (with E. Potamites, A. Schotter and C. Tergiman) Games and Economic Behavior, 2012, Vol. 75, pp. 449-463.

"Incentives and Compensation Schemes: an Experimental Study" (with C. Tergiman) International Journal of Industrial Organization, forthcoming.

"Language and Government Coordination: An Experimental Study of Communication in the Announcement Game" (with A. Schotter) Journal of Public Economics, forthcoming.

"An Experimental Study of the Impact of Competition for Other People's Money: the Portfolio Manager Market" (with A. Schotter and A. Bisin) Experimental Economics, forthcoming.


"Flip-flopping, Intense Primaries and the Selection of Candidates" - submitted

"What Makes Voters Turn Out: the Effects of Polls and Beliefs" (with J. Goeree, J. Romero and L. Yariv) - submitted

"Naïve Play and the Process of Choice in Guessing Games" (with A. Caplin and C. Tergiman) - submitted

"The Effect of Negotiations on Bargaining in Legislatures" (with C. Tergiman) - submitted

"Equilibrium Tax Rates and Income Redistribution: A Laboratory Study" (with T. Palfrey) – submitted NBER working paper N19918

"Stochastic Choice and Hedging" (with P. Ortoleva) - submitted