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Economic Rockstar

Oct 15, 2015

Christine Exley is Professor of Business Administration at Harvard Business School. Christine is also Co-founder and Chief of Research at Wagaroo - an organisation dedicated in re-housing homeless dogs to responsible and loving families.

Wagaroo was founded to bring a simple principle to life: When it comes to getting a pet, it's time to make it easier for people to do the right thing! No puppy mills. No backyard breeders. Just owners, rescues, responsible breeders, and shelters working together to find great homes for dogs who need them. Find out more at

In this episode you will learn:

  • the use of assumptions in economic models for testing.
  • how to encourage volunteering and whether monetary incentives work.
  • how a trip to Honduras changed Christine’s academic path from mathematics to economics.
  • how a story about an individuals’ plight can be a powerful message to have people react in a charitable manner, while the plight of millions with no media coverage of a personal story of suffering could become less powerful.
  • about Wagaroo and why Christine set it up to help save dogs from puppy mills.
  • what are thick and thin markets.
  • how to spot an irresponsible dog breeder.
  • about the family2family programme run by Wagaroo.
  • how localised knowledge is key to separate the responsible dog breeder from the irresponsible breeder.
  • why more must be done to regulate and protect animals.
  • how Christine saved a pups life from a dog shelter when she was 17 and became her family pet.
  • why people put in less effort once they hit a target.
  • about the motivating benefits of rewarding volunteers with gift cards rather than a cash equivalent.
  • how virtual rewards, like stickers and badges, can incentivize people to meet targets.
  • how people’s perceptions of a Pit Bull are an Econ 101 thing!
  • and much much more.
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