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Geoffrey Castillo

Senior Researcher, Vienna Center for Experimental Economics


I am on the job market this year!

I am a senior researcher at the Vienna Center for Experimental Economics of the University of Vienna. I am also lab manager of our lab.

I have put together a list of resources that I have found helpful when starting in academia. If you know any other, please let me know.


Job market paper

  • Similarity and social discounting, with Benjamin Beranek

    We show how to measure social distance and study social discounting. Social discounting refers to the idea that decision-makers discount payoffs received by others as a function of social distance. We measure social distances via interpersonal similarity; that is, how similar or different others are to the decision-maker. In two large, pre-registered online experiments, we set up a choice task where subjects make repeated choices between options that provide different amounts of money to recipients at different degrees of similarity. Our experiment controls for a number of factors to cleanly measure preferences. We estimate a social discount function and find evidence for social discounting. Our estimates imply that $1 given to to a dissimilar other is worth only about $0.83 to the decision-maker. We also find evidence for quasi-hyperbolic social discounting.

Working papers

  • Generating ambiguity with a virtual bingo blower, with Ola Andersson and Erik Wengström.

    We propose the Virtual Bingo Blower (VBB) as a way to create ambiguity in computerized experiments. The VBB mimics a physical bingo blower using a physics engine. The number of balls, their colour and their speed, among other things, can be easily modified. We use the VBB to measure ambiguity attitudes in an online experiment. We find that it elicits similar ambiguity preferences compared to natural events. Further, we find that the VBB can be used to manipulate the level of ambiguity.

  • How does the way we represent lotteries affect risk preferences?, with Chris Starmer.

    In a risk preference elicitation experiment, we manipulate the way we represent lotteries. We represent probabilities, payoffs, or both at the same time. We find that the representation has no effect on the raw, elicited certainty equivalents. We find, however, a significant effect on the structural parameters estimated via maximum likelihood.

  • Continuous Inclusion of Other in the Self, with Benjamin Beranek, R&R at Journal of the Economic Science Association.

    The Inclusion of Other in the Self (IOS) scale is a popular tool to measure interpersonal closeness that is increasingly being used in economics. We propose a new implementation of the IOS scale that, contrary to existing implementations, meets its theoretical requirements. We also develop and validate a continuous version of the IOS scale. This Continuous IOS scale gives a more precise measure and solves a no-overlap avoidance bias present in the standard IOS scale. Our IOS scales are easy-to-use, well-documented, and available on GitHub at

  • Do different people report the same social norms?, with Lawrence Choo and Veronika Grimm.

    If the Krupka-Weber (2013) norm-elicitation task captures pre-existing social norms, then the elicited norms should be independent of one’s role in a game or one’s social preferences. We test this idea in a complex game that features rich interactions. We find that different people, even when they have conflicting incentives, report the same social norms. Our results further validate the use of the Krupka-Weber task to measure social norms.

In progress


  • bingo-blower.js, a virtual bingo-blower for ambiguity experiments
  • ios.js, a continuous implementation of the Inclusion of Other in the Self scale

Teaching experience

  • Microeconomic theory
  • Designing economic experiments
  • Philosophy and economics