Robin D. Hanson

Associate Professor of Economics, George Mason University
Fairfax, VA 22030 703-993-2326
Research Associate, Future of Humanity Institute at Oxford University
Chief Scientist, Consensus Point


Seminars on Social Science & Health, American Medical Care System, 1997, U.C. Berkeley.

PhD 1998, California Institute of Technology,
    Advisors: J. Ledyard, R. McKelvey, T. Palfrey, S. Wilkie.
    Dissertation: Four Puzzles in Information and Politics: Product Bans, Informed Voters, Social
             Insurance, & Persistent Disagreement.

MS, MA (physics, philosophy of science) 1984, University of Chicago.

BS (physics) 1981, University of California at Irvine.


George Mason University, Associate Professor of Economics, 1999-present.
    Taught undergraduate: Microeconomics, Health Econ., Law & Econ., Enviro. Econ., Urban Econ.
    Taught graduate: Microeconomics, Industrial Organization

University of California - Berkeley, RWJF Scholar in Health Policy Research, 1997-1999.

California Institute of Technology,
    T.A. to C. Plott, I. Lee, economics principles, to R. Kiewiet, political science principles, 1995-1996.
    R.A. to J. Ledyard & D. Porter, institution design and experiments for FCC & NASA, 1993-1995.

NASA Ames Research Center, research in Bayesian statistics, 1989-1993.

Xanadu Inc., consultant on hypertext publishing design, 1988-1991.

Lockheed Artificial Intelligence Center, research in machine learning, 1984-1989.


Associate Editor, Journal of Economic Behavior and Organization, 2009+.

Associate Editor, Journal of Prediction Market, 2007+.

Alfred P. Sloan Dissertation Fellowship, 1996.

Global IdeaBank Web Social Innovations Award, 1996.

Prix Ars Electronica Golden Nica, World Wide Web, 1995.

Institute for Humane Studies Fellowship, 1993.

NASA Space Act Award, ARC-12799-1, 1992.

Honorable Mention, NSF Fellowship, 1982.

Peer Reviewed Publications

Social Science Journal Articles

Are Disagreements Honest?, with Tyler Cowen, Journal of Economic Methodology, to appear.

Shall We Vote on Values, But Bet on Beliefs?, Journal of Political Philosophy, 21(2):151-178, June, 2013.

Meet The New Conflict, Same As The Old Conflict, Journal of Consciousness Studies 19(1-2):119-125, 2012.

Gaming Prediction Markets: Equilibrium Strategies with a Market Maker, with Yiling Chen, Stan Dimitrov, Rahul Sami, Daniel Reeves, David Pennock, Lance Fortnow, Rica Gonen, Algorithmica, 58(4):930-969, 2010.

On Market Maker Functions, Journal of Prediction Markets 3(1):61-63, April 2009.

A Manipulator Can Aid Prediction Market Accuracy, with Ryan Oprea, Economica, 76(302):304-314, April, 2009.

An Experimental Test of Combinatorial Information Markets, with John Ledyard, Takashi Ishikida, Journal of Economic Behavior and Organization 69:182-189, 2009.

Insider Trading and Prediction Markets, Journal of Law, Economics, and Policy 4(2):449-463, Spring 2008.

The Promise of Prediction Markets, with Kenneth J. Arrow, Robert Forsythe, Michael Gorham, Robert Hahn, John O. Ledyard, Saul Levmore, Robert Litan, Paul Milgrom, Forrest D. Nelson, George R. Neumann, Marco Ottaviani, Thomas C. Schelling, Robert J. Shiller, Vernon L. Smith, Erik Snowberg, Cass R. Sunstein, Paul C. Tetlock, Philip E. Tetlock, Hal R. Varian, Justin Wolfers, and Eric Zitzewitz, Science 320(5878):877-8878, May 16, 2008.

Making Sense of Medical Paternalism, Medical Hypotheses 70(5):910-913, 2008.

Showing That You Care; The Evolution of Health Altruism, Medical Hypotheses 70(4):724-742, 2008.

The Policy Analysis Market: A Thwarted Experiment in the Use of Prediction Markest for Public Policy, Innovations 2(3):73-88, Summer 2007.

The Hanson-Hughes Debate on "The Crack of a Future Dawn", with James Hughes, Journal of Evolution and Technology 16(1):99-126, June 2007.

Logarithmic Market Scoring Rules for Modular Combinatorial Information Aggregation, Journal of Prediction Markets 1(1):3-15, February, 2007.

Uncommon Priors Require Origin Disputes. Theory and Decision 61(4):318-328, December 2006.

Information Aggregation and Manipulation in an Experimental Market. with Ryan Oprea, David Porter, Journal of Economic Behavior and Organization 60(4):449-459, August 2006.

Designing Real Terrorism Futures, Public Choice 128(1-2):257-274, July 2006. Also to appear in ed. Charles Rowley, The Political Economy of Terrorism, 2007, and ed. William Hancock, Business Continuity and Homeland Security, Edward Elgar, 2007.

Adverse Selection in Group Insurance: The Virtues of Failing to Represent Voters. Economics of Governance 6(2):139-157, July 2005. Version in Ph.D. thesis, 1997.

Warning Labels as Cheap Talk: Why Regulators Ban Drugs. Journal of Public Economics 87(9-10):2013-2029, September 2003. Version in Ph.D. thesis, 1997.

For Bayesian Wannabes, Are Disagreements Not About Information? Theory and Decision 54(2):105-123, March 2003. Version in Ph.D. thesis, 1997.

Combinatorial Information Market Design. Information Systems Frontiers 5(1):105-119, January 2003.

Disagreement Is Unpredictable. Economics Letters 77(3):365-369, November 2002.

Why Health Is Not Special: Errors in Evolved Bioethics Intuitions. Social Philosophy & Policy 19(2):153-179, Summer 2002. Reprinted in Bioethics, ed. E.F. Paul, F.D. Miller, & J. Paul, Cambridge University Press, 153-179, 2002.

How To Live In A Simulation. Journal of Evolution and Technology 7, September 2001. Reprinted in Folha de S.Paulo (a Brazilian newspaper) October 21, 2001. Covered in 10 press articles.

Decision Markets. IEEE Intelligent Systems 14(3):16-19, May/June, 1999. Reprinted in Entrepreneurial Economics, ed. Alexander Tabarrok, Oxford University Press, 79-85, 2002.

Consensus By Identifying Extremists. Theory and Decision 44(3):293-301, 1998.

Is A Singularity Just Around The Corner? Journal of Evolution and Technology 2, June 1998.

Correction to McKelvey and Page, "Public and Private Information: An Experimental Study of Information Pooling". Econometrica 64(5):1223-1224, 1996.

Could Gambling Save Science? Encouraging an Honest Consensus. Social Epistemology 9(1):3-33, 1995. First appeared in Gambling and Commercial Gaming: Essays in Business, Economics, Philosophy, and Science 399-440, ed. W. Eadington & J. Cornelius, 1992. (Is proceedings of August 1990 conference.) Summary published, Russ Ray, Idea Futures A Free-Market Approach to Academic Research. Futures Research Quarterly 12(2):81-91. Summer, 1996.

Comparing Peer Review to Information Prizes. Social Epistemology 9(1):49-55, 1995. See also Reply to Comments. 9(1):45-48 1995.

Buy Health, Not Health Care. Cato Journal 14(1):135-141, Summer 1994.

Can Wiretaps Remain Cost-Effective? Communications of the Association of Computing Machinery 37(12):13-15, December 1994. First appeared in The Third CPSR Cryptography and Privacy Conference Sourcebook 357-363, ed. David Banisar and Marc Rotenberg, June, 1993. Reprinted in The Electronic Privacy Papers: Documents on the Battle for Privacy in the Age of Surveillance 19-25, ed. B. Schneier & D. Banisar, John Wiley and Sons, 1997.

Comment on the scientific status of econometrics. Social Epistemology 7(3):255-256, 1993.

Idea Futures: Encouraging an Honest Consensus, Extropy 3(2):7-17, Winter , 1992; See also If Uploads Come First. 6(2):10-15 1994. Nanarchy. 6(1):32-36, 1994. Wormhole Warfare. 6(1):38-39, 1994. Lilliputian Uploads. 7(1):30-31, 1995. Great Idea Seeks Champion. 16:8, 1995. A Critical Discussion of Vinge's Singularity Concept. Editor & Discussant, October 1998. Idea Futures and A Critical Discussion reprinted in The Transhumanist Reader, Wiley-Blackwell, ed. Max More and Natasha Vita-More, 2013, pp.243-257,395-418.

Market-Based Foresight. Foresight Update 10:1,3-4, October 30, 1990. See also Reply. 11:11, March 15, 1991. Has Penrose Disproved A.I.? 12:4-5, August 1, 1991.

Other Journal Articles

Drift-Diffusion in Mangled Worlds Quantum Mechanics, Proceedings of the Royal Society A: Mathematical, Physical and Engineering Sciences 462(2069):1619-1627, May 8, 2006.

When Worlds Collide: Quantum Probability From Observer Selection? Foundations of Physics 33(7):1129-1150, July 2003.

Bayesian classification scheme. with John Stutz, Peter Cheeseman, Will Taylor, and Matthew Self, Applied Optics 31(27):5763 (in NASA Patter), September 20, 1992.

Toward Hypertext Publishing, Issues and Choices in Database Design. ACM SIGIR Forum 22(1-2):9-26, Winter 1988.


The Elephant In The Brain: Hidden Motives in Everyday Life, with Kevin Simler, Oxford University Press, fall 2017.

The Age of Em: Work, Love and Life When Robots Rule The Earth, Oxford University Press, June 1, 2016.

The Hanson-Yudkowsky AI-Foom Debate, with Eliezer Yudkowsky, Berkeley, CA: Machine Intelligence Research Institute. 2013.

Book Chapters

Employment In The Age of Em: Simulated Brains and the Economics of Labor, In Surviving the Machine Age: Intelligent Technology and the Transformation of Human Work, Ed. Kevin LaGrandeur, James Hughes, Springer, 2017.

Human Legacies When Robots Rule the Earth, pp. 162-177, In The Next Step: Exponential Life, BBVA, Open Mind, December 2016.

Decision Markets As Meta-Policy, pp. 109-112, In Reviving Economic Growth: Policy Proposals from 51 Leading Experts, Ed. Brink Lindsey, Cato Institute, September 29, 2015.

A Tale Of Two Transitions, in The End of the Beginning: Life, Society and Economy on the Brink of the Singularity, ed. Ben Goertzel, Ted Goertzel, pp. 70-80, Humanity+ Press, May 15, 2015.

What Will It Be Like To Be An Emulation? pp.298-309 in ed. Russell Blackford, Damien Broderick, Intelligence Unbound: The Future of Uploaded and Machine Minds, Wiley, August 18, 2014.

Comments on "Intelligence Explosion: Evidence and Import," pp.41-42, and Comments on "Some Economic Incentives Facing a Business that Might Bring About a Technological Singularity," p.159. in Singularity Hypotheses: A Scientific and Philosophical Assessment, ed. Amnon H. Eden, James H. Moor, Johnny H. Søraker, Eric Steinhart, Springer, 2013.

Enhancing Our Truth Orientation. Human Enhancement, ed. Julian Savulescu and Nick Bostrom, Oxford University Press, March 2009.

Catastrophe, Social Collapse, and Human Extinction, Global Catastrophic Risks, pp. 363-377, ed. Nick Bostrom, and Milan Cirkovic, Oxford University Press, July 17, 2008.

The Rapacious Hardscrapple Frontier, Year Million: Science at the Far Edge of Knowledge, pp. 168-192, ed. Damien Broderick, Atlas Books, May 19, 2008.

Decision Markets for Policy Advice. Promoting the General Welfare: American Democracy and the Political Economy of Government Performance, 151-173, ed. Eric Patashnik and Alan Gerber, Brookings Institution Press, November 2006.

Foul Play in Information Markets. Information Markets: A New Way of Making Decisions in the Public and Private Sectors 126-141, ed. Bob Hahn and Paul Tetlock, AEI Spring Press, May 2006.

Fear of Death and Muddled Thinking -- It Is So Much Worse Than You Think. Death And Anti-Death, Volume 3: Fifty Years After Einstein, One Hundred Fifty Years After Kierkegaard, ed. Charles Tandy, Ria University Press, December 2005.

Game Theory in Public Choice. The Encyclopedia of Public Choice II:258-261, eds. Charles Rowley and Friedrich Schneider, Kluwer Academic Publishers, 2004.

Was Cypher Right? (Part I): Why We Stay In Our Matrix. Taking the Red Pill: Science, Philosophy and Religion in the Matrix, pp.23-32, ed. Glenn Yeffeth, BenBella Books, 2003. (Reviews: 1, 2, 3.)

Published Conference Proceedings

Wei Sun, Hanson, R., Laskey, K.B. and Twardy, C. Trade-Based Asset Models for Combinatorial Prediction Markets. Proceedings of the Eleventh UAI Bayesian Modeling Applications Workshop. Quebec, Canada, July 2014.

Combinatorial Prediction Markets: An Experimental Study, with Walter Powell, Robin Hanson, Kathryn Laskey and Charles Twardy, Proceedings of the Seventh International Conference on Scalable Uncertainty Management, Washington DC, September 16-18, 2013.

Learning Parameters by Prediction Markets and Kelly Rule for Graphical Models, with Wei Sun, Robin Hanson, Kathryn B. Laskey, Charles Twardy, In Proceedings of the First Big Data meet Complex Models Applications Workshop, held at the Uncertainty in Artificial Intelligence Conference, Bellevue, WA, July 15, 2013.

Probability and Asset Updating using Bayesian Networks for Combinatorial Prediction Markets, with Wei Sun, Kathryn Laskey, Charles Twardy, pp.815-824, ed. Nando de Freitas and Kevin Murphy, Proceedings of the Twenty-Eighth Conference on Uncertainty in Artificial Intelligence, Catalina Island, August 15-17, 2012.

Economics of Brain Emulations, Unnatrual Selection - The Challenges of Engineering Tomorrow's People, pp.150-158, ed. Peter Healey and Steve Rayner, EarthScan, London, December, 2008.

Accept Interdependence, Ci'num - The Digital Civilizations Forum 2006, p.36, Acquitaine Europe Communications. 2006.

Five Nanotech Social Scenarios. Nanotechnology: Societal Implications II, Individual Perspectives, ed. Mihail C. Roco and William S. Bainbridge, Springer, 109-113, November 2006.

The policy analysis market: an electronic commerce application of a combinatorial information market. with Charles Polk, John Ledyard, Takashi Ishikida. Proceedings of the ACM Conference on Electronic Commerce 2003: 272-273. See also poster.

The Story of Idea Futures. with Mark James, Sean Morgan, Prix Ars Electronica 95, International Compendium of the Computer Arts, ed. H. Leopoldseder, C. Schopf, 54-59, 1995.

Super-Resolved Surface Reconstruction From Multiple Images. with P. Cheeseman, B. Kanefsky, R. Kraft, J. Stutz, Maximum Entropy and Bayesian Methods 293-308, ed. G.R. Heidbreder, Kluwer, 1996. Version of NASA Ames Tech Report FIA-93-02, February, 1993.

Reversible Agents: Need Robots Waste Bits to See, Talk, and Achieve? Proceedings of Workshop on Physics and Computation: PhysComp '92, 284-288. IEEE Computer Society Press, 1992.

Bayesian Classification with Correlation and Inheritance. with J. Stutz, P. Cheeseman, Proceedings of the 12th International Joint Conference on Artificial Intelligence 2:692-698. Morgan Kaufmann, 1991. Version of NASA Ames Tech Report FIA-90-12-7-01, May, 1991.

Research Patronage and Distributing A.I. Agents: Similar Problems with Similar Solutions? AAAI Fall Symposium on Knowledge and Action at Social and Organizational Levels 68-69, 1991.

Even Adversarial Agents Should Appear to Agree, Proceedings IJCAI-91 Workshop On Reasoning In Adversarial Domains, 1991.

Working Papers

Requested Revisions

Eliciting Objective Probabilities via Lottery Insurance Games, revising for Theory and Decision.

Long-Term Growth As A Sequence of Exponential Modes, revising for Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization.

Patterns of Patronage -- Why Grants Won Over Prizes in Science, revising for Economic Inquiry.

Burning the Cosmic Commons: Evolutionary Strategies of Interstellar Colonization, revising for Icarus.

Must Early Life Be Easy? The Rhythm of Major Evolutionary Transitions, revising for Origins of Life.

Economic Growth Given Machine Intelligence, revising for Journal of Artificial Intelligence Research.

Under Review

Price Elasticity of Demand in Employer-Provided Self-Insured Health Plans, with Iwona Kicinger

The Determinants of the Quantity of Health Insurance: Evidence from Self-Insured and Not Self-Insured Employer-Based Health Plans, with Iwona Kicinger

Can Manipulators Mislead Prediction Market Observers?, with Ryan Oprea, David Porter, Chris Hibbert, and Dorina Tila.

Choosing Between Health and Wealth - A Survey, with Robert F. Graboyes and James W. Monks.

The Informed Press Favored the Policy Analysis Market.

He Who Pays The Piper Must Know The Tune.

Location Discrimination in Circular City, Torus Town, and Beyond.

On Voter Incentives To Become Informed. Version in Ph.D. thesis, 1997. Version as Caltech Social Science Working Paper 968, September 1996.

In Preparation

Forager Facts, with David Youngberg.

When Do Extraordinary Claims Give Extraordinary Evidence?

Causes of Confidence in Conflict.

Book Orders for Market Scoring Rules.

Priors Over Indexicals.

An Experimental Test of Agreeing to Disagree, with William Nelson.

Is Fairness About Clear Fitness Signals?

World Peace, Thanks To Old Men?

The Great Filter - Are We Almost Past It?

Rational Bar Bets

Shared Secrets Come Cheap

Should Privately Enforced Laws Fix Punishment or Restitution?

Composing Bayesians: A Short Review

Other Publications

You May Be a Contrarian, but That DoesnÕt Necessarily Make You Correct, Huffington Post, September 7, 2016.

I Completely Reinvented My Career at 34, and This Is How I Did It, Huffington Post, September 7, 2016.

Ask The Robot Question: Expert, Activist, and Author Comments, Future Left, August 23, 2016.

First, we will upload brains to computers. Then, those computers will take over the world, Tech Insider, April 30, 2016.

The "Em" Economy: Imagine a future dominated by brain emulation robots, Angle Journal 13, June 22, 2015.

How to Survive a Robot Uprising, Reason 46(11), April 1, 2015.

Should Earth Shut the Hell Up?, PascalÕs Alien Wager, Slow Growth Is Plenty Fast,Adapted Aliens,Selection Is Coming, Cato Unbound, December 2014.

Regulating Infinity, Global Government Venturing, pp.30-31, September 2014.

When the Economy Transcends Humanity, The Futurist, January-February, 2014.

Who Cares About Forecast Accuracy?, Cato Unbound, July 2011.

A Hail Mary Pass, New York Times, Room for Debate, Medicare for 50-Somethings?, December 10, 2009.

Open-Source Government: How can we fix our political system?, BBC Focus 206:21, August 2009.

LHC forecasts: better than horoscopes?, Symmetry 5(5):32, November 2008.

Economics of the Singularity, IEEE Spectrum, 37-42, June 2008. Reprinted as: A New World Order, Cosmos 26:47-54, April/May 2009.

Cut Medicine In Half, CATO Unbound, September 10, 2007. Replies by David Cutler, Dana Goldman, Alan Garber. Responses Let Go The Monkey Trap, Are the Aggregate Studies Misleading? Why?, Still Seeking Specific Critiques, Yes, There are Costs of Change, Beware Double Standards, September 18,21,22,23,26.

Birds of a Feather; Letter On Why Hawks Win, Foreign Policy, pp. 10-12, March/April 2007.

You're Fired, Forbes, p.38, October 30, 2006.

The Myth of Creativity. Business Week p.134, July 3, 2006.

Reality and Fantasy in Economic Revolutions, CATO Unbound, Future of Work Issue, June 6, 2006. mirror

Letter, Wilson Quarterly 30(2):7,9, Spring 2006.

The Next Really Big Enormous Thing. Future Brief. October 6, 2004.

The Morality of Meat - Why eating your vegetables is cruel to animals. The American Enterprise Online Hot Flash, July 24, 2002.

Dreams of Autarky. Doctor Tandy's Guide to Life Extension and Transhumanity, ed. Charles Tandy, Ria University Press , 2001.

Why Cryonics Isn't Popular. Longevity Report 12(72), July 1999.

Market-based approaches to managing science return from planetary missions, European Space Agency (Special Publication) ESA SP 394(1):524-531, 1996.

24 short essays in DIY Futures - People's Ideas & Projects for a Better World, ed. Nicholas Albery. The Institute for Social Inventions, London, 1996. Also 4 short essays in Creative Speculations, 1997.

Hard to Tax Scenario, with Hal Finney, Hettinga's Best of the Month, Journal of Internet Banking and Finance 2(1), January 1997.

Idea Futures. Wired 3(9):125. Excerpt was Quotable Quote, Wall Street Journal A14, 30 August, 1995.

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