Moshe Hoffman

Moshe Hoffman is a Lecturer, in the Economics department at Boston College and Harvard, and an Independent  Scholar.

Moshe has previously been employed as a Research Scientist at Harvard's Department of Mathematics, MIT's Media Lab, and the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Biology. 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, evolution, and cognition, along with human-subject experiments, to decipher the (often non-conscious) role incentives play in shaping our 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.  His experimental work is done in close collaboration with Bethany Burum, who also teaches a handful of related courses in the Economics department at Boston College and ther Psychology department at Harvard.

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)

"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)