Jean-Paul Carvalho

Associate Professor

Department of Economics

Institute for Mathematical Behavioral Sciences 

University of California, Irvine


I am Associate Professor of Economics and Logic & Philosophy of Science (by courtesy) at the University of California, Irvine and Interim Director of the Institute for Mathematical Behavioral Sciences.

I work on Culture, Identity and Religion, building dynamic models of interaction in heterogeneous populations. Agents in these models are economic: they have agency and (bounded) rationality. But they also have what can be called ‘rich motivation’, including the desire for self and peer esteem, imperfect empathy, aspirations, temptation, and ingroup bias. The aim is to understand social, economic and political institutions under diversity. 

Topics I have worked on include: 

  • Norms of cooperation and conflict in diverse societies
  • Religious organizations and radicalization
  • Social/cultural integration of minorities
  • The effect of elite identity on political outcomes
  • Inequality based on identity (e.g. gender, race, religion)
  • The production of personal and social identity
  • The role of organizations in cultural transmission
  • The contemporary Islamic revival
  • Economic development and cultural polarization  

I am co-editor of the volume Advances in the Economics of Religion (Palgrave 2018) , Associate of the Network for Economic Research on Identity, Norms and Narratives (ERINN), and Faculty Fellow of the Association for Analytic Learning about Islam and Muslim Societies (AALIMS).

I was educated at the University of Oxford (DPhil, MPhil) , where I was a Monash scholar, and the University of Western Australia. Before joining UC Irvine in 2011, I was a Postdoctoral Fellow in Economics at Oxford and was awarded a Robert Solow Fellowship by the Cournot Centre for Economic Studies, Paris.

Working Papers



  • Advances in the Economics of Religion, co-edited with Sriya Iyer and Jared Rubin, Palgrave 2018.


University of California Irvine, 3151 Social Science Plaza, Irvine CA 92697