Skip to main content

Joseph Vecci wants to know what forms our social identity


Joseph Vecci has left Australia to take up a postdoc position in development economics in at the University of Gothenburg. He was attracted to the strong research environments in both behavioural and development economics.

Joseph Vecci, who are you?
I recently graduated from Monash University in Melbourne, Australia. My research interest is a combination of development economics and behavioural economics.

At the moment I am researching how gender policies affect ones’ social identity, that is how people define themselves based on their group membership. For example, I have studied how affirmative action, such as gender quotas, affect people’s behavior towards women in India. Similarly, I have research that examines how a societies surrounding ecology influences the social norms they adopt.

How did you end up being a development economist?
After high school I travelled in Africa for almost one year. I was interested in development worked as an economist in Zimbabwe for a while, and realised I really enjoyed doing that. I went back to school and completed a Master’s and PhD. As an economist I am able to continue working with development but in the academic sphere.

Why did you decide to work at the University of Gothenburg of all places in the world?
I was actually recommended this Department by a colleague in Australia and I picked it because there is strong research in both development and behavioural economics, which is quite unique.

What about present research projects?
I will be working together with Arne Bigsten in project on aid in Africa but I will also continue research on affirmative action policies and social identity.

You recently arrived here but how do you find life in Gothenburg so far?
I'm still learning about where everything is in the city. But its been great so far, its a very beautiful city and there seems to be a lot going on. One of the best things is how easy it is to get around.

Link to Joseph Vecci's web page