Iris Bohnet

Iris BohnetAcademic Dean and Roy E. Larsen Professor of Public Policy, Harvard Kennedy School

Director, Women in Public Policy Program, Harvard Kennedy School

A behavioral economist who combines insights from economics and psychology, Iris Bohnet explores questions of trust and decision making, often with a gender or cross-cultural perspective. She has been engaged in the teaching, training, and consulting of private- and public-sector leaders in the United States, Europe, India, and the Middle East.

Bohnet is co-chair of the Behavioral Insights Group at the Center for Public Leadership at the Harvard Kennedy School of Government, an associate director of the Harvard Decision Science Laboratory, and the faculty chair of the executive program “Global Leadership and Public Policy for the 21st Century” for the World Economic Forum’s Young Global Leaders. She also serves on the boards of the Graduate Institute of International Studies and Development in Geneva and the Vienna University of Economics and Business Administration and has been a member of the board of directors of Credit Suisse Group AG and Credit Suisse AG since 2012.

Research interests

Behavioral and experimental economics, negotiation, game theory, decision analysis, gender and culture


Ph.D., University of Zurich

Lic.Phil.L ., University of Zurich

Selected publications

  • With Benedikt Herrman and Richard Zeckhauser. “Trust and the Reference Points for Trustworthiness in Gulf and Western Countries.” Quarterly Journal of Economics (2010).
  • With Fiona Greig, Benedikt Herrmann, and Richard Zeckhauser. “Betrayal Aversion.” American Economic Review 98 no. 1 (March 2008): 294–310.
  • With Fiona Greig. “Is There Reciprocity in a Reciprocal-Exchange Economy? Evidence of Gendered Norms from a Slum in Nairobi, Kenya.” Economic Inquiry 46, no. 1 (2008): 77–83.
  • With K. Hong. “Status and Distrust: The Relevance of Inequality and Betrayal Aversion.” Journal of Economic Psychology 28, no. 2 (2007): 197–213.

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