SMU Economics Faculty Directory


Danila Serra

Assistant Professor

Ph.D., University of Oxford
Umphrey Lee 301C

Danila Serra has been a professor in the Department of Economics at Southern Methodist University since 2012. Previously, she was an economics professor at Florida State University. She received a BSc in economics and social sciences from Bocconi University in Milan, Italy, in 2001, an MSc in Economics from the London School of Economics and Political Science in 2003, and a PhD in economics from the University of Oxford in 2009. Professor Serra’s research explores the behavioral foundations of corruption and accountability, using novel experimental methodologies. She has collected data in a number of developed and developing countries, including Ethiopia, Rwanda and Albania.

Research Interests

Experimental Economics, Development Economics, Institutions and Culture, Economics of Corruption.

Courses Taught

Price Theory, Economics of Corruption, Development Economics, Analysis of Economic Data.

Selected Publications

  • “Participatory accountability and collective action: Experimental evidence from Albania”, with A. Barr and T. Packard, European Economic Review, 68: 250–269, 2014.
  • “Intermediaries in corruption: An experiment”, with M. Drugov and J. Hamman, Experimental Economics, 17 (1): 78-99, 2014.
  • “Combining top-down and bottom-up accountability: Evidence from a bribery experiment”, The Journal of Law, Economics and Organization 28(3): 569-587, August 2012
  • “How corruptible are you? Bribery under uncertainty” with D. Ryvkin, Journal of Economic Behavior and Organization, 81: 466-77, 2012.
  • “Corruption and culture: An experimental analysis”, with A. Barr, Journal of Public Economics, 94, Issues 11-12, December 2010.
  • “Intrinsic motivations and the non-profit sector: Evidence from Ethiopia”, with P. Serneels and A. Barr, Personality and Individual Differences, 31(3): 309-314. Special issue on Economics and Personality.
  • “The effects of externalities and framing on bribery in a petty corruption experiment”, with A. Barr, Experimental Economics, 12(4): 488 – 503, 2009.
  • “Empirical determinants of corruption: A sensitivity analysis”, Public Choice 126 (1-2): 225-256, 2006.
  • EDITED VOLUME: New Advances in Experimental Research on Corruption, with Leonard Wantchekon (eds), Emerald Group Publishing, June 2012.



  • 2016: Barbara and James Mangum Award for Teaching Excellence. 
  • 2012 Economic Journal Annual Referee Prize
  • 2009 Edgeworth Prize for Outstanding Doctoral Thesis, Department of Economics, University of Oxford

Personal Website