NACOGDOCHES, Texas — The student-led Economics Reading Group in Stephen F. Austin State University’s Rusche College of Business is hosting a virtual discussion with Dr. John A. List, author of “The Voltage Effect: How to Make Good Ideas Great and Great Ideas Scale,” at 5:30 p.m. Nov. 15 in the McGee Business Building, Room 133, and via Zoom.

List, the Kenneth C. Griffin Distinguished Service Professor of Economics at the University of Chicago, also co-authored the 2013 international bestseller “The Why Axis: Hidden Motives and the Undiscovered Economics of Everyday Life.” He is known for his extensive use of field experiments in his microeconomic research.

“It is an honor to get to hear from John,” said Dr. Ryan Phelps, associate professor of economics and finance at SFA as well as faculty advisor for the Economics Reading Group. “His consulting experience, including clients like Uber, Lyft and Walmart, is impressive.” 

“The Voltage Effect” explores how scaling good ideas can drive change in a variety of arenas, including schools, workplaces, communities and society at large.

To prepare for the discussion with List, Phelps is hosting virtual Read Lunch Learn sessions on Zoom from noon to 1 p.m. every Wednesday from Oct. 19 through Nov. 9. The first session covers the introduction through Chapter 2 of the book.

“I am hoping that anyone working on great ideas will consider joining our Read Lunch Learn sessions on Zoom as well as the main discussion with the author,” Phelps said. “We will cover scheduled readings and discuss our own efforts to scale great ideas toward changing lives.”

For decades, List’s field experimental research has focused on issues related to the inner workings of markets, the effects of various incentives schemes on market equilibria and allocations, how behavioral economics can augment the standard economic model, early childhood education and interventions, and, most recently, the gender earnings gap in the gig economy (using evidence from rideshare drivers). His research includes over 200 peer-reviewed journal articles.

The Read Lunch Learn sessions and the Nov. 15 virtual discussion with List are free and open to the public. The Zoom link for both is

For more information, email Phelps at