Andrew Vorchik / Research


My research interests

  • microeconomics and behavioral economics (rationality, choice, decision theories)
  • macroeconomics (business cycles, economic growth and happiness)
  • cognitive and positive psychology (emotions, phenomenon of happiness)
  • philosophy (social theory, consciousness and brain, shifts in personal worldview)


  • «Quarantine Economics: Is Lockdown Effective and How Much Does It Cost»
    • Abstract. The paper presents a model of city stricken by epidemic. We count for-purpose and by-chance meetings happening to its citizens and derive formal relations of economic and epidemiological states of the city during quarantine. Theoretical factorization of disease reproduction number allows us to classify possible protective measures and evaluate their relative effectiveness in mitigating the epidemic. Lockdown and remote work turn out to be most effective. In the final part of the paper we study economic consequences of quarantine and partially disprove the health-wealth trade-off. We show that severity of lockdown affects duration, but not the time-averaged depth of the crisis.

Work in progress

  • «Modelling the Dunning-Kruger Effect» (with Murat Mamyshev)
    • Working paper
    • Abstract. In this paper we develop a formal mathematical model of the Dunning-Kruger effect that explain its variability and dependency on context. We begin with derivation of confidence function that relates person’s subjective confidence (individual belief about own competence in some field) to his/her objective expertness. This function allows us to specify the conditions under which learner can and cannot experience a temporary fall in subjective confidence and to derive numerical estimates for learner’s overconfidence. We also analyze economic consequences that Dunning-Kruger effect has on recruitment and employee success rate, and give some practical recommendations to teachers and learners.
  • mathematical theory of happiness and motivation
    • Abstract. In this research, I aim to construct a unified mathematical theory that describes emotional (value-based) choice as well as formation and updating of values. I abandon utility based on revealed preferences and approach choice rather ‘from the inside’. First, the theory distinguishes between ‘static’ quantitative values that store preferences and ‘dynamic’ emotions that act on the set of values, compare them to benchmarks, and cause behavior. Second, from a set of axioms I derive a specific h-function of emotional intensity that turns out to be logarithmic and have common properties of diminishing sensitivity and loss aversion. Third, it is argued that most types of stimuli such as amounts, probabilities, duration, and waiting periods are all processed via h-function and affect choice in the same principal way. Finally, I suggest that this h-function describes both craving-type emotions that produce choice and satisfaction-type emotions that form and update values. The proposed theory agrees with Bernoulli hypothesis (economics), Weber-Fechner and Stevens laws (psychophysics), matching law (behaviorism), Anokhin’s theory of functional systems and Simonov’s needs-information theory of emotions (psychology).
    • This course (in Russian) is closely connected to the research.
  • «Social Trust and Economic Growth»
    • Working paper
    • Abstract. In the present paper we are going to conceptualize and model the story behind social trust and try to understand its influence on economic growth. We express average productivity of capital through its components, extract the trust component from the general savings rate variable, and derive the expression for the aggregate growth rate. This analysis gives us theoretical evidence in support of Andrey Sharonov’s thesis (that social trust is of primary importance for country’s economic development) and allows us to make some additional conclusions regarding the sources of economic growth. If we had only few words to summarize the whole paper, these words would be the following: growth is credit, credit is culture.

If you are interested in any of these topics, I would be glad to talk to you. Just drop me a message.