Overseas posting for economics whizz

Methven's Daniel Woods is heading offshore for a post-doctorate research position in Austria.

Daniel Woods is preparing for an overseas posting to Europe to further his academic career.

He is a researcher at the University of Innsbruck, in Austria, and so far has been working remotely from the family home in Methven but is due to head offshore in January to take up the post at the university.

It’s a bit of a daunting process.

He is still trying to find available housing in a country just coming out of lockdown after increasing coronavirus infections.

Then there is an international watch on covid variant, Omicron.

Innsbruck is surrounded by mountain ranges, so there is not a lot of land to live on, he said.

Added to that he has limited German language under his belt. He took German language
while at University of Canterbury many moons ago, which was a start, but admits it is a bit rusty.

The academic job market, as with others, has been disrupted by covid and academics took up opportunities where they were available, Daniel said.

His job in Europe is a temporary post-doctorate research position with a maximum timeframe of four years, he said.

Daniel’s specialty fields are experimental economics, and behavioural economics.

The first uses ‘‘controlled settings and randomisation to infer casual relationships’’.

It could include laboratory experiments to look at the effect of competition on prices, or field experiments to investigate policy implications in the real world.

You have a proposal and you put it into a toy economy to simulate real time scenarios, he said.

Behavioural economics however was the study of human biases in economic decision-making.

‘‘One example is loss aversion, people react more strongly to losing something than gaining that exact same thing,’’ he said.

Daniel, 33, grew up on a crop and sheep farm near Methven, but his parents, Karen and
Maurice, had since retired to Methven township.

His upbringing gave him invaluable knowledge and could help him transfer his skills in future years to economic and agri-economic fields.

However while in Europe, Daniel will be furthering his research agenda which includes generosity and reciprocity, cybersecurity, the exploration of new ideas, and credence goods.

Daniel, who has a doctorate title but chooses not to use it, has already been involved in
the publication of four papers: ‘Network defence and behavioral biases: an experimental study’ (Woods, D, Abdallah, M, Bagchi, S, Sundaram, S, & Cason, T (2021); ‘Nice to you, nicer to me: Does self-serving generosity diminish the reciprocal response?’ (Woods, D &
Servátka, M (2019); ‘Price-setting and attainment of equilibrium: Posted offers versus an administered price.’ (Collins, SM, James, D, Servátka, M, & Woods, D (2017), and ‘Testing Psychological Forward Induction and the Updating of Beliefs in the Lost Wallet Game’ (Woods, D & Servátka, M (2016).

I would not want to be called on to help someone in a medical emergency, he jokes, of not using his doctorate title.

Daniel studied at Mount Hutt College, before heading to University of Canterbury where he earned a Bachelor of Science with first class honours and a Master of Commerce.

It stood him in good stead and he went on to complete a Doctorate of Philosophy (PhD) at Purdue University in Indiana, USA.

It was a six year process; three years for course work, and a further three years for the doctoral dissertation.