I am an Assistant Professor of Economics (with tenure) at Radboud University (2023-now). In 2016, I obtained my PhD in Economics from Radboud University - under the supervision of Prof. Utz Weitzel and Prof. Alan Sanfey - with my thesis titled ‘Behavioral and neuroscientific essays on decision-making under uncertainty’. Following my PhD, I did a postdoctoral study (2016-2018) at the Department of Psychology and Neuroscience at the University of Colorado Boulder and worked as an Assistant Professor of Economics at the Department of Economics at Leiden University (2018-2023), where I received tenure in 2020.

My academic work focuses on decision-making processes concerning choices which involve risks and uncertainties and which (mostly) cover the themes of education, personal finance and health. You can read more about the specifics of my research here.

I believe that many people are eager to learn about and engage with academic research, and so I spend a lot of time disseminating research findings in an accessible manner. I enjoy explaining difficult nitty gritty research analysis, models and results in easier to understand language.

I am passionate about (my) research, but also very passionate about life in general. I love the outdoors and was very fortunate to have lived three wonderful years overlooking the peaks of the Rocky Mountains. Although I consider myself very lucky to live in the Netherlands, I like to complain about the flatness of our country from time to time, sigh… When possible, we escape the Flat Lands and hop in the car to the mountains with bikes, hiking shoes, and toddler carriers. Besides me, we consists of my, even more outdoor obsesssed, husband and our three little sons, who desperately need outdoor movements to release all that excess energy... If you know, you know!


My research portfolio consists of several research lines. Since my PhD research I study decision making under uncertainty, thereby aiming to characterize people’s risk and ambiguity attitudes, and how these preferences line up with behavior. For instance, I have related students’ aversion to risk and ambiguity to their decision to take out study loans. In another study, I introduced a new risk task, the Balloon Economic Risk Protocol (BERP), and described its relationship to students’ risky health choices like substance use and smoking.

A more recent line of research empirically investigates the social policy themes of education, personal finance and health. With help of panel surveys and microdata from Statistics Netherlands, several research projects focus on e.g. Dutch attitudes regarding the Dutch welfare system, the effectiveness of supplementary education on school performance and the consequences of parental transition on health behaviors. Several of these research projects are funded by Ministries as social policy evaluation is an important element of my research aims.

What ties this seemingly wide range of research lines, is the underlying experimental methodology as research tool. I have experience in a variety of experimental methods, ranging from quasi-experimental methods to laboratory, field and even neuroimaging experiments. Altogether, my research portfolio has developed through fruitful collaborations with fellow economists, neuroscientists, psychologists and computer scientists.

I enjoy sharing my research at conferences and with governmental agencies who wish to make use of my expertise. A few of my highlights were my presentation at the prestigious Barcelona Summer Forum in 2019, a contribution at the 2020 plenary meeting of the Social Sciences Council of the Royal Dutch Academy of Sciences organized my Prof. Esther-Mirjam Sent and my selection into the 2020 cohort of the Economic Science Association mentoring program.

My Full CV can be downloaded here.


International peer-reviewed articles:
- Fairley, K., H. Fornwagner, A. Okbay, 2024. Brains, hormones and genes: Introduction to the special issue on the biological foundations of economic decision making, Journal of Economic Psychology, 100, 102683. [Link]
- Fairley, K., A.G. Sanfey, J. Vyrastekova, U.G. Weitzel, 2022. Beyond lottery-evoked ambiguity aversion: the neural signature of types and sources of uncertainty, NeuroImage, 251, 119007. [Link]
- Anderson, Z., K. Fairley, C. Villanueva, R. McKell Carter, J. Gruber, 2021. No Group Differences in Traditional Economics Measures of Loss Aversion and Framing Effects in Bipolar I Disorder, PlosOne, 16(11), e0258360. [Link]
- Fairley, K., A.G. Sanfey, 2020. Risk, ambiguity and prudence during adolescence, Journal of Economic Behavior and Organization, 179, pp. 784-796. [Link]
- Rezaeinia, P., K. Fairley, F. Meyer, R. McKell Carter, 2020. Identifying Brain Network Topology Changes in Task Processes and Psychiatric Disorders, Network Neuroscience, 4(1), pp. 257-273. [Link]
- Fairley, K., A.G. Sanfey, J. Vyrastekova, U.G. Weitzel, 2019. Subjective beliefs about trust and reciprocity activate an expected rewards signal in the ventral striatum, Frontiers in Neuroscience, 13, Article 660. [Link]
- Fairley, K., J.M. Parelman, M. Jones, R. McKell Carter, 2019. Risky health choices and the Balloon Economic Risk Protocol. Journal of Economic Psychology 73, pp. 15-33. [Link]
- Fairley, K., U.G. Weitzel, 2017. Ambiguity and risk measures and students’ real-life borrowing decisions. Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics 67, pp. 85-98. [Link]
- Fairley, K., A.G. Sanfey, J. Vyrastekova, U.G. Weitzel, 2016. Trust and risk revisited. Journal of Economic Psychology 57, pp. 74-85. [Link]

Dutch policy articles:
- Diris, R., K. Fairley, S. Pietersma, 2023. Gebruik van aanvullend onderwijs op basisschool niet ongelijk verdeeld. Economisch Statistische Berichten 108 (4819), pp. 108-111. [Link]
- Collewet, M., K. Fairley, R. Kessels, M. Knoef, O. van Vliet, 2022. Nederlanders zijn voor een genereuze én activerende bijstand. Economisch Statistische Berichten 107 (4813), pp. 412-515. [Link]
- Fairley, K., 2020. Huidige herinrichting vmbo zorgt niet voor daling voortijdig schoolverlating. Me Judice. [Link]
- Fairley, K., 2020. Meten van risicovoorkeuren is wel zinvol met risicotaken. Economisch Statistische Berichten 105 (4787), pp. 343-345. [Link]
- Fairley, K., 2020. Onderschatting en volop hamsteren: menselijk gedrag tijdens de corona-uitbraak. Economisch Statistische Berichten. [Link]
- Fairley, K., M. Stallen, E-M Sent, 2013. De kracht van sociale normen. Economisch Statistische Berichten 98 (4672S), pp. 27-31. [Link]

Work in progress (selection):
- Support and sanctions for social assistance benefit recipients: what are Dutch citizens’ preferences with M. Collewet, R. Kessels, M. Knoef and O. van Vliet (writing).
- The magnitude of Dutch shadow education and its effect on school performance with R. Diris (writing).
- Parenthood transition and healthy lifestyle choices with J. Been (Data analysis).
- Which school characteristics drive parents’ choice in selecting primary school education for their children with Lex Borghans and Ron Diris (Data analysis).


You can find an overview of my Dutch media appearances here:

- Radio Interview at 'Vroeg' from BNNVARA (NPO1) regarding lottery participation (22 December 2023). Listen here.
- Podcast interview for the program 'In a nutshell' from VOX on 'Why we risk it' (4 December 2023). Listen here.
- Opinion article 'Van een luttele bijles per week ga je niet beter presteren'. NRC, 17 April 2023. Read here.
- Video by Universiteit van Nederland about the risks of internet gambling. Watch here.
- Video by Universiteit van Nederland about your chances to win the lottery. Watch here.
- Interview in the Funda Barometer. Read here.
- Live cast: de onzekere toekomst van onze woningmarkt. Hosted by Pakhuis de Zwijger. Watch here.
- Video-call: Economen in tijden van Corona. Hosted by ESB. Watch here.

Contact Me?

Email: kim.fairley@ru.nl
Tel: +31 (0)631132900

Nijmegen School of Management
Department of Economics
Radboud University
The Elinor Ostrom Building
Roomnumber N02.560
Heyendaalseweg 141
6525 AL Nijmegen



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