Research Students

Alejandro Pacheco PhD Candidate



National Centre for Social and Economical Modelling (NATSEM)


Institute for Governance and Policy Analysis at the University of Canberra

Research Interests

Inequality, decision-making process, Behavioural Economics, Welfare, Altruism, Happiness, IT for reducing education inequalities.


Understanding the Influence of Prosocial Activities on Individual’s Subjective Wellbeing. An Ecuadorian Case Study


While a fundamental principle of economics is that economic agents act primarily according to their self-interest, there is significant evidence that prosocial behaviour (e.g. sharing activities) can mitigate that behaviour and simultaneously increase subjective wellbeing (SWB). This study takes a behavioural economics approach to explore this question in the particular context of the Ecuadorian Republic. The project uses an experimental laboratory method together with annual data samples of between 30.000 and 42.000 heads of households from 2006 to 2016 to examine whether prosocial activities (proxied by sharing activities) improve subjective wellbeing. This research contributes to understanding a complex socio-political process aiming to encourage prosocial activities in Ecuador. The process started with a constitutional change, and the research project aims at evaluating how this process has an impact on the everyday lives of Ecuadorians.  



Prof Laurie Brown (primary supervisor) and Assoc Prof Riyana Miranti (secondary supervisor)



Alejandro Pacheco is an Ecuadorian-born and based economist, consultant, IT advisor, and lecturer. Over the past two decades, he has worked in a wide variety of professional capacities in both the private and public sectors.

He has collaborated as an assessor at the National Congress of Ecuador, Parliamentary Confederation of America (COPA), Director at the Ministry of Economic and Social Inclusion (MIES), Lecturer at the Institute of Development in Latin America (IDL). He has been a Lecturer of Economics (CEACES), and an assistant professor (PUCE). In the private sector, he has worked in the technology (APT entrepreneurship) and auto-parts industry (Metaltronic). He also has been a consultant in strategic planning in Mexico (CRECE). He earned his B.A in Economics in 2001 from the International University of Ecuador, Diploma M.A in 2011 at the Faculty Latin-American of Social Science, M.A (Economics) in 2012 through Faculty Latin-American of Social Science, M.A (Economics & Environment) in 2015 through James Cook University. He has received two scholarships by the Ecuadorian Government in 2011 and 2012. Currently, he is a Ph.D. candidate in the Institute for Governance and Policy Analysis at the University of Canberra.

International conferences: Altruism and the good way of living, Perth, July 2016; Sustainability in the tropics, Cairns, November 2015.



  • Graduated in Economics at UIDE,
  • Diploma and Master in Economics from FLACSO
  • Master in Economics and Environmental Management (JCU), PhD Student in Economics in JCU.

Selected publications:

  • Interpretations of development and underdevelopment in Latin America (Alejandro Pacheco, a cura di Maria Rossi) 1 ottobre 2016 La macchina sognante, La macchina sognante num. 4, Saggi America latina, benessere sociale., sottosviluppo, sviluppo [More information]

  • Innovation as a factor of competitiveness in the Ecuadorian software industry. WA Pacheco Jaramillo - 2013 - [More information]

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