Matthew Olckers

Postdoctoral Fellow, UNSW Sydney

I work as a research fellow in the School of Computer Science and Engineering at UNSW Sydney. I am part of team, led by Toby Walsh, studying how to build fair, transparent, and explainable AI.

Although I now work in an engineering department, my training is in economics. I completed my PhD in Economics at the Paris School of Economics.

My research interests include social networks, development economics, and household finance. I am particularly interested in the intersection of economics and computer science, such as using mechanism design in practical applications or using alternative data sources to answer questions about poverty and development.

I co-lead the Conversations with Practitioners working group within the Mechanism Design for Social Good (MD4SG) community. I am an affiliate of SoDa Labs.

Outside of my research, I love surfing, helping out at church, travelling with my wife, and seeing graffiti on trains. I compiled a book about graffiti in Cape Town, South Africa, which subsequently evolved into a documentary.


Aug 10, 2021 My first sole-authored paper—On Track for Retirement?—has been published in the Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization. Whoop whoop!
Mar 1, 2021 I joined UNSW to work with Toby Walsh on fair, transparent and explainable AI.
Jan 14, 2021 Here’s a video of my presentation at the AEA Annual Meeting last week.
Nov 4, 2020 New working paper—Gamblers Learn from Experience—about sports betting in Kenya.
Sep 6, 2020 I will be presenting at the AEA Annual Meeting 2021 in a session titled “Information in Social Networks”, organized by Lori Beaman.