Moshe Hoffman

Moshe Hoffman is a Research Scientist at the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Biology and Lecturer at Harvard's Department of Economics.

Moshe obtained his Ph.D. in Economics from the University of Chicago, Booth School of Business and his B.S. in Economics from the University of Chicago.

Moshe applies game theory, models of learning and evolution, and experimental methods, to try to decipher the (often non-conscious) motives that shape our social behavior, preferences, and ideologies.

Together with Erez Yoeli, he co-designed and teaches "Game Theory and Social Behavior" which lays out this approach. The approach is also presented in their recent book "Hidden Games", published with Basic Books, and in this research statement.

Working Papers (feedback welcome):

"Incentivizing Giving Increases Empathy" Bethany Burum, Moshe Hoffman, Dave Rand

"Probelms with Proximate Explanations" Moshe Hoffman, Bethany Burum, Erez Yoeli

"A Reputation Based Account of Principled Behavior" Manvir Singh, Moshe Hoffman

"Coordinated Enforcement" Moshe Hoffman, N. Aygun Dalkiran, Henrik Sigstad, Erez Yoeli

"Why norms are categorical" (appendix) Moshe Hoffman, Erez Yoeli, Aygun Dalkiran, Martin Nowak

Select Publications:

"Hidden Games: The Surprising power of Game Theory to Explain Irrational Human Behavior" Moshe Hoffman, Erez Yoeli, Basic Books (2022)

"An Evolutionary Explanation for Ineffective Altruism" Bethany Burum, Martin Nowak, Moshe Hoffman (Appendix), Nature Human Behavior (2020)

"Why We Obscure Positive Traits and Good Deeds," Moshe Hoffman, Christian Hilbe, Marin Nowak, Nature Human Behavior (2018)

"Third-Party Punishment as a Costly Signal of Trustworthiness," Jillian Jordan, Moshe Hoffman, Paul Bloom, Dave Rand. Nature (2016)

      • Related Op-Ed, New Tork Times, Jillian Jordan Paul Bloom, Moshe Hoffman, and Dave Rand

"Cooperating without looking: Why we care what people think and not just what they do," Moshe Hoffman, Erez Yoeli, and Martin Nowak. PNAS (2015).

"Harnessing Reciprocity to Promote Cooperation and the Provisioning of Public Goods," Dave Rand, Erez Yoeli, and Moshe Hoffman. Policy Insights from Behavioral and Brain Sciences (2015).

"Powering Up with Indirect Reciprocity in a Large-Scale Field Experiment," Erez Yoeli, Moshe Hoffman, David G. Rand, Martin A. Nowak. Published in PNAS (2013)