A former child prodigy, Camerer received a B.A. in quantitative studies from Johns Hopkins University in 1977 (at age 17), followed by an M.B.A. in finance from the University of Chicago in 1979 and a Ph.D. in behavioral decision theory from that same institution in 1981 (at age 21). Camerer worked at Kellogg, Wharton, and the University of Chicago Booth school of business before moving to Caltech in 1994.
Camerer’s research is on the interface between cognitive psychology and economics. This work seeks a better understanding of the psychological and neurobiological basis of decision-making in order to determine the validity of models of human economic behavior. His research uses mostly economics experiments– and occasionally field studies– to understand how people behave when making decisions (e.g., risky gambles for money), in games, and in markets (e.g., speculative price bubbles).
He spoke at the Econometric Society World Congress in London on August 20, 2005 and at the Nobel Centennial Symposium in 2001 on Behavioral and Experimental Economics.