Research Teams

Keynote speechs/plenary sessions

Ori Heffetz. Professor Heffetz's interests lie in the social and cultural aspects of economic behavior. His work examines how our predictions concerning the behavior of economic agents change once we incorporate into our models the observation that agents never operate in social isolation, and that economic decisions are always made in a cultural context. Heffetz has studied the empirical relationships between spending patterns of U.S. households and the extent to which spending on different consumer products and services is visible or displayable to other members of society. He has explored phenomena such as conspicuous consumption, whereby consumers purchase visible goods in their attempts to advertise their wealth and gain social status. He is similarly interested in the use of consumption as a language to convey meaning—what kinds of people buy or own what kinds of things, and why?—and in its relationship to fashion and advertisements. Most recently, he has been studying survey-based subjective well-being (SWB) data, such as people's self-reports on their own happiness and life satisfaction. In particular, he and his collaborators have been exploring what can and cannot be learned from such data; what the relationship is between these well-being data and the choices that people make; and if and how governments can use such data for tracking national well-being and for guiding policy. Heffetz holds a BA in physics and philosophy from Tel Aviv University and a PhD in economics from Princeton University. He has traveled extensively in developing countries, studying problems that lie at the crossroads of economics, society, and culture.
More information available at

Jay Drydyk is interested in how human rights, justice, and democracy can be understood from global and cross-cultural perspectives. With Peter Penz, he co-edited Global Justice, Global Democracy, which explores the meanings of ‘justice’ and ‘democracy’ in the face of globalization. Working with colleagues in India, he has studied ethical risks that arise when development displaces people and their communities. His current project, Global Ethics, Capabilities, and Human Rights, examines the capacity of diverse moral outlooks to reach agreement on practical conclusions, including the right to development. He won a Carleton University Teaching Achievement Award in 2002. He is currently President of the International Development Ethics Association. In 2007 he was elected a Fellow of the Human Development and Capability Association.
More information available at
© 2011 | | Tel: +598 24131007 | Gonzalo Ramírez 1926 | C.P. 11200 | Montevideo - Uruguay