Zachary Wojtowicz


Postdoctoral Fellow at Harvard Economics & HBS

Ph.D. in Behavioral Economics &

M.A. in Machine Learning from Carnegie Mellon University

[cv]           [scholar]           [email]

I am a behavioral economist and cognitive scientist who studies the foundations of preferences, beliefs, and communication. My work applies economic methods to mental resources (especially attention) with the aim of generating novel insights into both individual minds and the social institutions that bring them together: markets, organizations, democracies, and digital platforms. I am especially interested in theory that deepens our understanding of artificial intelligence and other emerging technologies.

Working Papers










Context and Communication [link]



When and Why is Persuasion Hard? A Computational Complexity Approach

Under Consideration at ACM AIES'24



Push and Pull: A Framework for Measuring Attentional Agency

With Shrey Jain and Nicholas Vincent. Under Consideration at ACM EAAMO'24


The Economics of Attention

With George Loewenstein. Revise and Resubmit at The Journal of Economic Literature. [link]


Boredom and Flow: An Opportunity Cost Theory of Motivational Attention

With Nick Chater and George Loewenstein. [link]



Beliefs With Endogenous Explanation [link]

Peer-Reviewed Publications

Cognition: A Study in Mental Economy

With George Loewenstein. Cognitive Science, 2023. [link]



The Motivational Processes of Sense-Making

With Nick Chater and George Loewenstein. In Schultz, Eric, Cogliati-Dezza, Irene, & Wu, Charley (eds.) The Drive for Knowledge, 2022. [link]



Curiosity and the Economics of Attention

With George Loewenstein. Current Opinion in Behavioral Sciences, 2020. [link]



From Probability to Consilience: How Explanatory Values Implement Bayesian Reasoning

With Simon DeDeo. Trends in Cognitive Science, 2020. [link]



Modeling Online Discourse With Coupled Distributed Topics

With Nikita Srivatsan and Taylor Berg-Kirkpatrick. Empirical Methods in Natural Language Processing, 2018. [link]

Other Research

Further Analysis of Corporoate Bond Market Liquidity

With Tobias Adrian, Michael Flemming, and Erik Vogt. Liberty Street Economics, 2016. [link]



Corporate Bond Market Liquidity Redux: More Price-Based Evidence

With Tobias Adrian, Michael Flemming, and Erik Vogt. Liberty Street Economics, 2016. [link]



Did Third Avenue's Liquidation Reduce Corporate Bond Market Liquidity?

With Tobias Adrian, Michael Flemming, and Erik Vogt. Liberty Street Economics, 2016. [link]



Apparatus for Sealing Slide Bottom

World Patent No. Wo2010077975 A1, 2010. [link]