SMU Economics Faculty Directory


Danila Serra

Associate Professor

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

Danila Serra is an Associate Professor in the Department of Economics at Southern Methodist University. Before joining SMU, she was an Assistant Professor at Florida State University. Professor Serra received an MSc in Economics from the London School of Economics and Political Science and a PhD in Economics from the University of Oxford. Professor Serra’s research explores the behavioral foundations of corruption, governance and accountability, using novel experimental methodologies. Her latest work focuses also on issues related to gender and economics, including gender differences in students' choice of major and the gender leadership gap. Professor Serra is the inaugural recipient of the Vernon Smith Ascending Scholar Prize. The prize is presented by the International Foundation for Research in Experimental Economics (IFREE) to an exceptional scholar in the field of experimental economics whose work embodies IFREE’s mission to Promote Human Betterment through Experimental Economics to Improve the Understanding of Exchange Systems.

Research Interests

Experimental and Behavioral Economics, Development Economics, Economics of Corruption, Gender and Economics

Courses Taught

Price Theory, Experimental and Behavioral Economics, Development Economics

Selected Publications

  • Corruption, Social Judgment and Culture: An Experiment,” with T. Salmon (SMU). Journal of Economic Behavior and Organization, 142: 64-78, 2017.
  • “I paid a bribe: An experiment on information sharing and extortionary corruption,” with D Ryvkin and James Tremewan. European Economic Review, 94: 1-22, 2017
  • “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: 78-99, 2014. Winner of Editor's prize for best paper published in Experimental Economics in 2014.
  • “Combining top-down and bottom-up accountability: Evidence from a bribery experiment,” 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.
  • 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.


  • 2017: Inaugural recipient of the Vernon Smith Ascending Scholar Prize.
  • Journal of the European Economic Association Excellence in Refereeing Award.
  • 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