Katherine Coffman is an Assistant Professor of Economics at the Ohio State University. She received her B.A. in mathematics and economics from Williams College in 2007, graduating summa cum laude and Phi Beta Kappa. Dr. Coffman completed her Ph.D. in Economics at Harvard University and joined the Ohio State faculty in 2012.
She conducts research in the fields of microeconomic theory and experimental economics. Her theoretical work focuses primarily on collective decision-making and social choice, studying mechanisms that collect and aggregate information. She investigates the ways in which we can effectively elicit information and preferences from individuals and how we can process these inputs in a fair and efficient manner. One recent paper, written with Jerry R. Green, introduces a tool for quantifying disagreement among members of a population and proposes a method for minimizing disagreement with the collective decision. Another paper analyzes two popular classes of collective decision-making rules: direct and representative democracy. She develops models of direct and representative democracy and demonstrates that the two methods can lead to different collective outcomes even in simple choice environments.
Dr. Coffman also has a passion for experimental economics. Her recent experimental work has focused on exploring gender differences in behavior in strategic environments. One experimental project investigates willingness to guess on test questions, finding that women skip significantly more questions than men on a multiple choice test. She shows that this gender gap in willingness to guess results in women receiving significantly lower test scores than men with similar knowledge of the material.
Dr. Coffman greatly enjoys teaching and advising students. While at Harvard, she received the Derek C. Bok award for Excellence in the Graduate Student Teaching of Undergraduates and the Certificate for Distinction in Teaching. She teaches courses in introductory and intermediate microeconomics, microeconomic theory, and experimental economics.
- Microeconomic Theory
- Experimental Economics
- Gender and Economics