Peter Bossaerts

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Peter L. Bossaerts (10 January 1960 in Antwerp, Belgium) is a Belgian-American economist. He is considered one of the pioneers and leading researchers in neuroeconomics and experimental finance.[1][2][3][4]


Peter Bossaerts grew up in Belgium and studied at the Universitaire Faculteiten Sint-Ignatius Antwerpen (today University of Antwerp) from 1977 to 1982, where he obtained a Licenciate (Bachelor) and Doctorandus (Master) in applied economics. After coursework towards a PhD in statistics at the Vrije Universiteit Brussel, he earned a Ph.D. at University of California in Financial Economics under the supervision of Richard Roll.

He began his academic career as a research associate at Carnegie Mellon University, then worked as an assistant professor in finance from 1986 to 1990. He joined the California Institute of Technology (Caltech) in 1990 as an assistant professor and became an associate professor in 1994, full professor in 1998, William D. Hacker Professor of Economics and Management in 2003, before being appointed as Dean ("Division Chair") of the Humanities and Social Sciences. From 2007 to 2009, he was Swiss Finance Institute professor at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology, Lausanne (EPFL). In 2013, he moved from Caltech to the Eccles School of Business of the University of Utah, and in 2016 on to the University of Melbourne (Australia), where he is now professor in experimental finance and decision neuroscience, and was awarded a Redmond Barry Distinguished Professorship. Peter Bossaerts is co-head of the Brain, Mind and Markets Laboratory. He is Honorary Professor at the Florey Institute of Neuroscience and Mental Health.

Bossaerts is an elected Fellow of the Econometric Society, the Society for the Advancement of Economic Theory, and the Academy of the Social Sciences in Australia.

Bossaerts has published numerous scientific articles in well-known field journals such as Econometrica, Journal of Political Economy, Journal of Finance, Review of Financial Studies, Neuron, Journal of Neuroscience, Econometric Theory, Mathematical Finance, as well as general science journals such as Science and Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. He summarised his earlier research on asset pricing and experimental finance in the 2002 book "The Paradox of Asset Pricing".[5]

Bossaerts is one of the pioneers of experimental finance, which is the use of controlled experiments to test theories in finance and designs for better allocation of risks and/or aggregation of information. He advanced the approach to test the core dynamic model used in finance, macro-economics and central banking to understand the link between asset prices, aggregate income, aggregate consumption, and business cycles (the "Lucas" model).[6]This allowed him to test some of the major models of asset pricing (CAPM,[7] Lucas Model or DGSE[8]) that are used widely throughout academia, industry and government, in teaching, analysis of historical data from the field, and in setting policy and regulation. This allowed him also to try novel market designs, such as combinatorial double auctions,[9] to improve allocation of risk, as well as to initiate a unique program on research and teaching of algorithmic (automated; robot) trading.

Bossaerts pioneered neuroeconomics, where decision theory and game theory is brought to bear on interpreting computational signals in the brain.[10][11] This has led to the emergence of the new fields of decision neuroscience and computational neuropsychiatry.

In the past, his work has focused on decision making under uncertainty, where uncertainty is understood as in probability theory. Recently, he has been studying uncertainty that is generated by computational complexity.[12][13]

Bossaerts was president of the Society for Neuroeconomics and the Society for Experimental Finance.

He is the father of two children and lives in Eltham, Victoria (Australia)


  1. ^ „Ein Dekan des California Institute of Technology (Caltech) kommt nach Lausanne“, Eidgenössische Technische Hochschule Lausanne, 4. Juli 2007
  2. ^ „Im Anleger-Hirn“, Neue Zürcher Zeitung, 10. Dezember 2007
  3. ^ "Revolutionary markets research focuses on the other AI". Financial Review. 2018-09-21. Retrieved 2018-11-10.
  4. ^ "Emerging insights into the way we choose". Pursuit. 2016-05-20. Retrieved 2018-11-10.
  5. ^ Peter Bossaerts (3 December 2013). The Paradox of Asset Pricing. Princeton University Press. ISBN 978-1-4008-5066-2.
  6. ^ "Prof Peter Bossaerts".
  7. ^ Bossaerts, Peter; Plott, Charles (2004-06-01). "Basic Principles of Asset Pricing Theory: Evidence from Large-Scale Experimental Financial Markets *" (PDF). Review of Finance. 8 (2): 135–169. doi:10.1023/b:eufi.0000035190.24818.e5. ISSN 1572-3097.
  8. ^ ASPAROUHOVA, ELENA; BOSSAERTS, PETER; ROY, NILANJAN; ZAME, WILLIAM (2016-11-10). ""Lucas" in the Laboratory". The Journal of Finance. 71 (6): 2727–2780. doi:10.1111/jofi.12392. ISSN 0022-1082. S2CID 13912491.
  9. ^ Bossaerts, Peter; Fine, Leslie; Ledyard, John (October 2002). "Inducing liquidity in thin financial markets through combined-value trading mechanisms". European Economic Review. 46 (9): 1671–1695. CiteSeerX doi:10.1016/s0014-2921(02)00240-4. ISSN 0014-2921.
  10. ^ Preuschoff, Kerstin; Quartz, Steven R.; Bossaerts, Peter (2008-03-12). "Human Insula Activation Reflects Risk Prediction Errors As Well As Risk". Journal of Neuroscience. 28 (11): 2745–2752. doi:10.1523/JNEUROSCI.4286-07.2008. ISSN 0270-6474. PMC 6670675. PMID 18337404.
  11. ^ Hampton, Alan N.; Bossaerts, Peter; O'Doherty, John P. (2008-05-06). "Neural correlates of mentalizing-related computations during strategic interactions in humans". Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. 105 (18): 6741–6746. Bibcode:2008PNAS..105.6741H. doi:10.1073/pnas.0711099105. ISSN 0027-8424. PMC 2373314. PMID 18427116.
  12. ^ Meloso, Debrah; Copic, Jernej; Bossaerts, Peter (2009-03-06). "Promoting Intellectual Discovery: Patents Versus Markets". Science. 323 (5919): 1335–1339. Bibcode:2009Sci...323.1335M. doi:10.1126/science.1158624. ISSN 0036-8075. PMID 19265019. S2CID 26498821.
  13. ^ Bossaerts, Peter; Murawski, Carsten (December 2017). "Computational Complexity and Human Decision-Making". Trends in Cognitive Sciences. 21 (12): 917–929. doi:10.1016/j.tics.2017.09.005. ISSN 1364-6613. PMID 29149998. S2CID 3591258.

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