Conference on Unawareness and Unintended Consequences

Organizers: Lorán Chollete, Sharon Harrison, and Pietro Battiston

If you have any questions, please email Samantha Li at

Date: Friday, January 8, 2021

Location: Virtual—all times listed in EST

Description: An event by the Unintended Consequences Lab, which is housed in the Department of Economics, Barnard College

Theme & Overview: Unintended Consequences and Unawareness impinge on economic life in a variety of ways. For example, during the Covid-19 pandemic, many government and individual decisions had to be made in a state of unawareness, i.e. with no recent precedent to guide the decisions. Furthermore, the policies that were implemented related to social distancing had far-reaching unintended consequences with regard to mental health and declines in global output.  Far from being of academic interest only, such topics are crucial for politicians and business leaders to comprehend. Our conference will feature speakers who discuss a variety of burning questions related to unawareness and unintended consequences, in both theory and empirical applications. 

Attendance: Aside from the speakers, we will include attendees from Barnard College and Welch College of Business.  



9:00 – 9:15     Welcome by Special Guest Alessandra Casella (Columbia University, NBER, and CEPR)

9:15 – 10:00  Analisa Packham (Vanderbilt University) 

        Discussant: Elira Kuka (George Washington University)

10:00 – 10:45  Lorán Chollete (Jack Welch College of Business), Sharon Harrison (Barnard College)

             Khawaja Mamun (Jack Welch College of Business)

          Discussant: Rosalie Pacula (University of Southern California)

10:45 – 11:00   Coffee Break

11:00 – 11:45   Jenna Stearns (UC Davis)

              The Long-Run Effects of Wage Replacement and Job Protection: Evidence

              from Two Maternity Leave Reforms in Great Britain

             Discussant: Brad Hershbein (Upjohn Institute for Employment Research)

PART 2: THEORETICAL AND POLICY MODELS                                                        

11:45 – 12:30  Adam Dominiak (Virginia Tech) 

              Discussant: Evan Piermont (University of London)

12:30 – 1:45     Lunch (Breakout Rooms)

1:45 – 2:30    Marie-Louise Vierø (Queens University)  

               Discussant: Scott Condie (Brigham Young University)

2:30 – 3:15    Burkhard Schipper (UC Davis) 

                Discussant: Kym Pram (University of Nevada, Reno)

3:15 – 3:30   Coffee Break

3:30 – 4:15     Lorán Chollete (Jack Welch College of Business), Sharon Harrison (Barnard College)  

              Discussant: Asen Kochov (University of Rochester)

4:30            Post-Conference Breakout Rooms


Alessandra Casella (Professor of Economics and Political Science, Columbia University and Director of the Columbia University Experimental Laboratory for the Social Sciences (C.E.L.S.S.))

Lorán Chollete (Associate Professor of Finance, Jack Welch College of Business & Technology)

Scott Condie (Associate Professor of Economics, Brigham Young University)

Adam Dominiak (Associate Professor of Economics Virginia Polytechnic Institute & State University )

Sharon Harrison (Professor of Economics, Barnard College)       

Brad Hershbein (Senior Economist, and Director of Information and Communications Services, Upjohn Institute for Employment Research)

Asen Kochov (Associate Professor of Economics, University of Rochester)

Elira Kuka (Assistant Professor of Economics, George Washington University)

Khawaja Mamun (Associate Professor of Economics, Jack Welch College of Business & Technology)

Analisa Packham (Assistant Professor of Economics, Vanderbilt University) 

Rosalie Pacula (Garrett Chair in Health Policy, Economics, and Law, & Professor, University of Southern California)

Evan Piermont (Lecture/Assistant Professor in Economics, University of London)

Kym Pram (Assistant Professor of Economics, University of Nevada, Reno).

Burkhard Schipper (Professor of Economics, UC Davis)

Jenna Stearns (Assistant Professor of Economics, UC Davis)

Marie-Louise Vierø (Associate Professor of Economics, Queens University)

If you have any questions, please email Sharon Harrison at or Lorán Chollete at