Skip Content

Professor Robert Sugden FBA

Robert Sugden profile picture

About this Fellow

Robert Sugden was born in West Yorkshire in 1949. After attending a state grammar school, he took a first degree in history and economics at the University of York and a master's degree in economics at University College Cardiff. He became a lecturer in economics at the University of York in 1971, moving to a readership at the Newcastle University in 1978 and to his current professorship at the University of East Anglia in 1985. He became a Fellow of the British Academy in 1996. His first research interest was in cost-benefit analysis. From the mid 1970s, influenced by James Buchanan, he worked in social choice theory, particularly on the representation of rights and the measurement of opportunity. Working with Graham Loomes from the early 1980s, he was a pioneer of experimental and behavioural economics. Around the same time, he developed one of the first evolutionary game-theoretic analyses of social norms and one of the first economic theories of reciprocity. His continuing research uses theoretical, experimental and philosophical methods to investigate a wide range of topics, including the methodological status of economic models, the role of focal points in solving coordination problems, and the reconciliation of normative and behavioural economics.



Current post

  • Professor of Economics, University of East Anglia

Past Appointments

  • Lecturer in Economics, University of York, 1971 - 1978
  • Reader in Economics, Newcastle University, 1978 - 1985
  • Professor of Economics, University of East Anglia, University of East Anglia, 1985


The nature of salience: an experimental investigation of pure coordination games American Economic Review 1994

Credible worlds: the status of theoretical models in economics Journal of Economic Methodology 2000

The opportunity criterion: consumer sovereignty without the assumption of coherent preferences American Economic Review 2004

Regret theory: an alternative theory of rational choice Economic Journal 1982

Reciprocity: the supply of public goods through voluntary contributions Economic Journal 1984

The economics of rights, co-operation and welfare 1986

Other Economics and Economic History Fellows

Professor Sir Paul Collier

The economic development of Africa; the causes of state fragility and implications for public policy; the management of natural resources; the management of urbanization

Professor Franklin Allen

Financial Economics; corporate finance, asset pricing, financial innovation, comparative financial systems, financial crises, and financial regulation

Professor Christian Dustmann

Labour Economics (inequality, wage structures, minimum wages; peer effects); the Economics of Migration; the Economics of Education; the Economics of Crime; Population Economics

Professor Mark Casson

Economics of business: theories of entrepreneurship and international business, with historical applications to medieval towns and industries, Victorian railways and twentieth-century multinational firms