Lydia Ashton

Postdoctoral Fellow

Wisconsin Institute for Discovery

University of Wisconsin, Madison

I am a Postdoctoral Fellow at the the University of Wisconsin–Madison’s Wisconsin Institute for Discovery. I receive my Bachelor’s degree in Economics from the Universidad de Monterrey (Mexico) and my M.S. and Ph.D in Agricultural and Resource Economics from the University of California, Berkeley.


Prior to starting my graduate studies, I worked as a research assistant for various academic studies ranging from topics on retirement savings and social security privatization to  income shocks and consumption patterns for low income households. During this time I also participated in the design and implementation of large-scale household surveys.


My research interests include Psychology and Economics (a.k.a. Behavioral Economics), Experimental Economics, Neuroeconomics and Public Economics. I endeavor to increase our understanding of the role that physiological and psychological factors plays on economic decision-making. I believe that this knowledge can inform and guide policy makers in designing and improving public policies. In particular, I study the effects that cognitive biases and visceral states (e.g. inattention, mental fatigue, hunger) have on economic decisions.


Currently, I am working on establishing a relationship between hunger and economic decisions (e.g. time, risk and social preferences). In the future, I hope to expand my research using large-scale field studies. Additionally, I believe that alterations in brain activity is the main mechanism through which hunger affects decision making. Therefore, I would like  tocollaborate with neuroscientists to map the link between hunger, brain activity and decision making.

©2015 Lydia Ashton