David Reinstein

Lecturer in Economics, University of Essex

David Reinstein’s research considers altruism, charitable giving, social and psychological influences, life choices, and consumer behavior. His work combines economic modeling, analysis of observational data, and lab and field experiments to answer a variety of interconnected questions, and build innovative policy and management tools.

These topics are examined in “The Influence of Expert Reviews on Consumer Demand for Experience Goods: A Case Study of Movie Critics” (Journal of Industrial Economics, 2005), in “Efficient Consumer Altruism and Fair Trade Products” (JEMS, 2012), in “Anonymous Rituals” (JEBO, 2012), in “Does One Contribution Come at the Expense of Another? Empirical Evidence on Substitution Between Charitable Donations” (BEJEAP Advances, 2011), in “Decomposing Desert and Tangibility Effects in a Charitable Giving Experiment” (Exp. Econ., 2012), and in “Reputation and Influence in Charitable Giving: An Experiment” (Theory and Decision, 2012).

Dr David Reinstein is a Lecturer with permanency (Assistant Professor) at the University of Essex. He teaches the Undergraduate Project module and Economics of Incentives, Contracts, and the Firm, and is currently serving as interim director for the ESSEXLab.

Recent honors include two generous grants from the British Academy to support ongoing experimental research into social influences on giving, a BA Mobility grant, and a Data Without Borders grant to use data from the Dutch educational lottery in connection with other administrative data.

David is a firm believer in public outreach of academic research and has recently presented at a British Academy Policy Centre conference, in conjunction with the Cabinet’s Behavioural Insights Team. [Presentation video here] He has been interviewed for BBC Radio to discuss his research on charitable giving, and his ongoing interaction with third-sector organizations.


  • –present
    Lecturer in Economics, University of Essex


  • 2006 
    University of California at Berkeley, Ph.D.