Elisa Cavatorta

I study behaviour and beliefs


I am an Associate Professor in Political Economy at King's College London who studies conflict, individual preferences and beliefs, and policy evaluation. I obtained my PhD in Economics from Birkbeck College, University of London and I was a Post-Doctoral Research Fellow at SOAS, University of London, and at the Institute for Fiscal Studies before joining King's College London.

My research is at the interface between economics, psychology and computer science. Empirically, it uses applied econometrics and data science methods to provide policy relevant answers to questions in the fields of development and public policy. I have expertise in the evaluation of policy interventions and the development of new measurement tools for applied research on human behaviour.

I address questions like: how and why living in a violent context shapes the formation of people's preferences and beliefs? What factors drive the willingness and the ability to negotiate and cooperate? How can we foster conflict-resolution skills in children through the use of technology? How can technology help peacemaking?

I use a variety of methods and data analysis techniques, among which lab and field experiments, RCTs, interactive surveys, Machine Learning and Natural Language Processing.


My current research has two themes. I study the impact of exposure to political violence on the formation of beliefs, preferences and behaviour towards others, and the design and evaluation of tech-education interventions aimed at fostering the development of social skills. I design and evaluate new measurement tools to quantify and analyse important behavioural inclinations for which we currently do not have good measurement.

My research has been funded by the Emirates Foundation, the Qatar National Research Foundation, King's ESRC Transformative Research Fellowship, the AXA Research Fund, Global Development Network-Economic Research Forum, King's College London, SOAS, and Birkbeck College.

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For students

Office hours

Fridays 5-6:30pm (London time)
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ArgÅ­o Chatroom

Help us build a large collection of dialogues to form the basis for educational training on conflict-resolution enhanced by Artificial Intelligence.

Borderless: the Econometric Competition

Challenge yourself and learn econometrics in a fun way: join a mixed team of students from King's and Queensland University.


Connect with some of my previous students doing MSc in Economics, Data Science and other cool topics (coming soon).


Open source computational tools for economics, econometrics and decision making.

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King's College London, Bush House, 30 Aldwych, London, WC2B 4BG