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Dr. Kessler Named Inaugural Howard Marks Endowed Professor by Wharton

kessler headshot
kessler headshot

Judd Kessler, PhD, a CHIBE-affiliated faculty member, has been named the inaugural Howard Marks Endowed Professor at the Wharton School. This professorship is given to Wharton faculty involved in behavioral economics and behavioral investing.

“It’s a phenomenal honor — and I am incredibly grateful — to be the inaugural Howard Marks Endowed Professor,” Dr. Kessler said.

“As a scholar and specialist in experimental economics and market design innovation, Judd embodies Wharton’s commitment to preparing the next generation of great business leaders with the tools to translate theory into practice and drive meaningful change,” Wharton School Dean Erika James said in a press release.

Currently, Dr. Kessler is working on two projects exploring motivated reasoning and information avoidance and how they each can contribute to more selfish decisions. (See Motivated Errors paper with Christine Exley, PhD, invited for revision at American Economic Review, and Information Avoidance and Image Concerns paper with Dr. Exley, invited for revision at Economic Journal.)

Dr. Kessler also has a project investigating whether people optimally invest in technologies that can improve their attention and follow-through — a project that was inspired by earlier work he conducted on medication adherence and testing how to help people remember to take their pills.

(See Is Attention Produced Optimally? paper with Erin T. Bronchetti, PhD, MA; Ellen B. Magenheim, PhD, MA; Dmitry Taubinsky, PhD; and Eric Zwick, PhD.)

The professorship is funded by Wharton alumnus Howard S. Marks, who is Co-Chairman of Oaktree Capital Management.

“The behavioral aspects of economics and investing are something I’m most interested in, and I think understanding them often makes the difference between average participants and those who are exceptional,” Marks told Wharton. “I am thrilled that this professorship will support such an important area of study, ensuring that today’s students understand and explore the intersection of behavior and business in the global marketplace, and advancing knowledge and outcomes in industry and community.”