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Market-Based Solutions to Vital Economic Issues


Kenan Institute 2023 Grand Challenge: Workforce Disrupted
Market-Based Solutions to Vital Economic Issues

Camelia Kuhnen

Director of Research, Kenan Institute of Private Enterprise; Faculty Director, NCGrowth; and Professor of Finance, UNC Kenan-Flagler Business School

Camelia Kuhnen is an expert in neuroeconomics, behavioral finance and corporate finance. Her work has an interdisciplinary nature, with the over-arching theme of trying to understand how people make financial and economic choices that concern them as individuals or as decision makers in firms.

Her dual training in finance and neuroscience led her to conduct pioneering research in the new field of neuroeconomics. In this work Dr. Kuhnen has studied the micro-foundations of financial decision making by investigating the brain and genetic mechanisms responsible for learning and risk taking in financial markets.

In her corporate finance work, Dr. Kuhnen has analyzed issues at the intersection of behavioral and organizational economics. She has studied how firms select and incentivize employees and has demonstrated the importance of social connections and social comparisons for these processes.

Top neuroscience, finance and management journals have published her work, which has attracted significant media coverage and public interest.

Her work has been recognized with her election to two roles. She served as president of the Society for Neuroeconomics and is a faculty research fellow at the National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER). She became the Kenan Institute’s director of research in August 2023.

Prior to joining the faculty at UNC Kenan-Flagler, Dr. Kuhnen served on the faculty of the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University.

She received a Ph.D. in finance from the Stanford Graduate School of Business and two bachelor’s degrees – in finance and neuroscience – from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.