PhD in Economics, Texas A&M University, 2019
MSc in Economics, University of Southampton, 2011
Billur is a behavioral and experimental economist and her research interests broadly cover the fields of experimental, behavioral, and public economics.
One of her research areas focuses on social preferences using lab experiments. Research shows that people care about fairness, reciprocity, as well as others' wellbeing, and these social preferences play an important role in many economic decisions. Billur studies both the factors that impact social preferences, and also how these preferences impact economic decisions such as workers’ productivity.
She also does research on scarcity using field experiments. Scarcity appears in various domains: financial, cognitive, attention, time and so on. And research shows that scarcity impairs decision making. In her recently published paper, she studies how scarcity impacts social preferences and dishonesty by running a field experiment with coffee farmers in Guatemala.
More recently, she, along with her co-authors, received a J-PAL full research project award to study how incentives and soft-commitment mechanisms can help improve self-control problems with smartphone usage. By partnering with an app company that awards students for not using their phones while in class, she plans to study how incentives and soft-commitment devices against smartphone usage can help improve academic outcomes.