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Research statement

We strive to promote the understanding of human behavior in economically relevant situations by using the tools of experimental economics and game theory.

In particular, we study the individual willingness to act to the benefit of the collective interests, especially in situations in which ‘homo economicus’ would not do so. In these social dilemma situations we focus on factors as fairness, reputation, punishment, leadership, social identity, and social norms.

The inter-disciplinary nature of our research questions is reflected in close collaborations with researchers from neighboring disciplines such as management sciences, evolutionary biology, social psychology, moral philosophy, and social anthropology.

The experimental and theoretical results, published in leading international journals, provide new insights for basic research in behavioral economics and for the design of mechanisms for real-world economic problems.

Our research activities have been funded by, for instance, the “Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft” as well as through the University of Cologne’s award as a “University of Excellence”.