Julen Zarate-Pina


I am a research associate at the Economics Department at University College London (UCL), and laboratory manager at ELFE.

My research interests are experimental and behavioural economics, and decision theory, with particular emphasis on how ambiguity affects economic agents' decision-making processes.

I obtained a PhD in Economics from UCL in 2021.

Here you can find my .



Working papers

Risk preferences, Trust and Noncognitive Skills at the Time of COVID-19: An Experiment with Professional Traders and Students (with Marco Angrisani, Marco Cipriani, Antonio Guarino and Ryan Kendall)

Work in progress

Uncertainty is polarising: Social identity and decision-making under ambiguity

In this paper, I analyse how modal decisions within social groups influence decision-making under uncertainty. Specifically, I study how these modal decision are more often taken by members of the group as uncertainty increases. In a theoretical model, in which distancing from group's modal decision is penalised as a regret cost, I find that aligning with the in-group's modal decision happens more often the higher is the identification with the group and it is also more frequent under ambiguity than under risk. I design and run an online experiment with a sample of US citizens in which social groups are formed through political affiliation. Results show that higher self-identification with the group leads to higher alignment with the group's modal decision and higher uncertainty (about the probability of the states of the world) generates an even stronger alignment with this decision for those with a high self-identification with the group.

Preferences over the timing of uncertainty resolution under risk and ambiguity: an experimental approach

This paper empirically analyses two types of preferences over the timing of resolution of uncertainty: preferences between early and late resolution and preferences between one-shot and gradual resolution of lotteries under risk and ambiguity. In an online experiment with students, we find significant differences between treatments: under risk, a majority of participants show a strict preference against gradual resolution of uncertainty, for low, medium and high ex-ante probabilities of receiving the prize of the lottery. Under ambiguity, most participants show a preference for gradual resolution of uncertainty for lotteries with a low-likelihood of winning, and an aversion towards it for medium and high likelihoods. Additionally, in both treatments we find subjects show strict preferences more frequently in the one-shot vs. gradual resolution dimension than in the early vs. late resolution dimension. Results from the experiment contribute to the literature about the empirical validity of ambiguity models, as different models prescribe different preferences over the timing of the resolution of uncertainty.


I have been a teaching assistant for several courses in the Economics Department at UCL: Game Theory, Advanced Microeconomic Theory, Microeconomics, Basic Microeconomic Concepts.


I have experience in designing, implementing and conducting lab and online experiments at the Experimental Laboratory for Finance and Economics (ELFE).