Faculty Directory

Avni Shah

Visiting Assistant Professor of Marketing





PhD, Duke University, Fuqua School of Business, 2015; AB, Dartmouth College, 2007

Areas of Expertise

Marketing, consumer behavior, behavioral economics


Professor Shah is an assistant professor of marketing at the University of Toronto, Scarborough and at its Rotman School of Management in Toronto, and is cross-appointed at the Munk School of Global Affairs. She uses a multi-method approach combining field and lab experiments as well as empirical modeling to investigate what motivates consumer decision-making, spending, and well-being in household financial settings (i.e. daily spending habits, mortgage decisions, retirement contributions, and restaurant spending).

Current Research Topics

  • Psychology of money
  • Consumer preference and choice
  • Financial decision-making
  • Intertemporal choice
  • Consumer well-being
  • Behavioral economics

Professional Activities

Academic positions

  • Visiting Assistant Professor of Marketing, Tuck School of Business, 2019
  • Assistant Professor of Marketing, University of Toronto, Scarborough and Rotman School of Business (Toronto), 2015–present
  • Research Affiliate, Ideas42, 2016–present
  • Research Fellow, Behavioural Economics in Action at Rotman (BEAR), 2015–present
  • Guest Lecturer, Duke University, Fuqua School of Business, 2011–13
  • Post-Baccalaureate Research Fellow, National Institutes of Health, 2009–10
  • Guest Lecturer, Dartmouth College, Department of Psychology, 2008

Editorial positions

Ad hoc reviewer: Journal of Consumer Psychology, Journal of Consumer Research, Journal of Marketing Research, Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes 

Working Papers

  • With W. Benedict McCartney “‘I’ll Have What She’s Having’: Identifying Social Influence in Household Mortgage Decisions”
  • With M. Osborne, J. Lefkowitz, A. Fertig, D. Soman, and N. Mažar, “Can Making Family Salient Increase Retirement Contributions?: Evidence from Field Experiments in Mexico”
  • With M. Osborne, J. Lefkowitz, A. Fertig, and D. Soman, “The Medium is the Message: Increasing Engagement Through Financial Innovation”
  • With M. Osborne, J. Lefkowitz, A. Fertig, and D. Soman, “Causal Linkage for Family-Appeal Intervention Success: Evidence from Field Experiments in Mexico”
  • With J. Pomerance and N. Reinholtz, “A Slack-Based Account of Pain of Payment”
  • With X. Li, “The Last Hurrah Effect: End-of-Week and End-of-Month Time Periods Increase Financial Risk-Taking”
  • With J.R. Bettman and J. Payne, “How Increasing (Decreasing) the Pain of Payment can Magnify (Attenuate) Choice Overload Effects” 
  • With N. Eisenkraft, T.L. Chartrand, J.R. Bettman, and K.D. Vohs, “How the Pain of Payment Affects Interpersonal Rapport and Commitment”
  • With J. Addoum and H. Kung, “Money and (Bargaining) Power: Increasing the Relative Pain of Payment of an Individual Influences Asset Allocation Decisions Within a Household”

Selected Publications

  • With N. Eisenkraft, J.R. Bettman, and T.L. Chartrand, “Paper or Plastic?: How We Pay Influences Post-Transaction Connection,” Journal of Consumer Research, February 2016
  • With J.R. Bettman, P.A. Ubel, P.A. Keller, and J.A. Edell, “Surcharges Plus Unhealthy Labels Reduce Demand for Unhealthy Menu Items,” Journal of Marketing Research, 51, December 2014
  • With G. Wolford, “Buying Behavior as a Function of Parametric Variation in Number of Choices,” Psychological Science, 18(5), 2007