Posted on 31 October 2023 by

In Memory of Shabnam Mousavi (1968 – 2023)

Shabnam Mousavi died unexpectedly on October 12, 2023, at the age of 55. We have lost our long-time colleague, collaborator and brilliant spirit who sparked much creativity and original thinking in our field. Shabnam’s academic life began as an electrical engineer before she moved on to a PhD in economics and a PhD in statistics. She was a faculty at the Department of Statistics at Penn State University 2005-2008, the Department of Finance at Georgia State University, 2009-2012, and Johns Hopkins University Carey Business School, 2012-2017. She has been affiliated with the Center for Adaptive Behavior and Cognition (ABC) at the Max Planck Institute for Human Development since 2007 and a resident researcher at the ABC from 2015 till 2017. She also worked with the Harding Center for Risk Literacy and the Center for History of Emotions at the Max Planck Institute. From 2018-2020, she was President of the Society for the Advancement of Behavioral Economics.

Shabnam’s vision was to connect both behavioral economics and behavioral finance with the study of heuristic decision making under uncertainty. In the very spirit of Herbert Simon, she worked hard to reorient these fields from the focus on logical rationality toward a focus on ecological rationality, and from optimizing models toward developing realistic models of satisficing behavior. To this end, she was coauthor and coeditor of the Routledge Handbook of Behavioral Economics (2016), The Behavioral Finance Revolution (Elgar 2018), A Fast and Frugal Finance (Academic Press 2019), Financial Education and Risk Literacy (Elgar 2021), Artificial Intelligence and Financial Behavior (Elgar 2023) and the Elgar Companion of Herbert Simon (Elgar 2024).

Shabnam connected the academic world of behavioral economics and finance with international economic and financial institutions. Among others, she served on the steering committee of the Bank of Italy BEFAIRLY initiative, the advisory boards of Evonomics and the Ethics Labs of the Technical University of Munich, and most recently worked as a senior researcher at CENTAI (Center for AI) in Turin.

Shabnam was a force of nature: firm in her convictions yet always open to new ideas, and resolute in her pursuit of innovation. She had a rare gift for establishing instant personal connections with people from all perspectives and persuasions, and was whole-heartedly dedicated to her family and friendships. Her memory will continue to inspire those of us who were fortunate to have known her, and her work will live on and bear fruit among its readers.

We miss a wise voice, a passionate and loyal friend, and a unique human being. 

Gerd Gigerenzer, Shyam Sunder and Riccardo Viale

Shabnam Mousavi’s Celebration of Life

I would like to invite you to a hybrid (in-person and online) event for Shabnam Mousavi’s Celebration of Life in Atlanta, Georgia, USA which is set for Sunday November 5th, 1:00pm local time (EST). Please see the attached file. The ceremony will be held at the Persian Cultural Center of Atlanta (a.k.a. Kanoon) located at 3146 Reps Miller Rd NW, Norcross, GA 30071.

For those of you who are attending online, here is the information about the scheduled Zoom meeting:

Time: Nov 5, 2023 01:00 PM Eastern Time (US and Canada)
Join Zoom Meeting:
Meeting ID: 833 7148 3141
Passcode: 825205