skip to content

Prof. Dr. Bettina Rockenbach

Professor of Experimental and Behavioral Economics at the University of Cologne

Vice Rector of the University of Cologne

Member of the Senate of the German Science Foundation (DFG)

Member of the German National Academy of Sciences Leopoldina

Prof. Dr. Bettina Rockenbach holds a diploma in Mathematics from the University of Bonn. As an assistant of the Nobel laureate Prof. Dr. Reinhard Selten she received her Ph.D. and her Habilitation in Economics from the University of Bonn with contributions to game theory and experimental economics. From 2000 to 2011 Bettina Rockenbach held the Chair in Microeconomics at the University of Erfurt. She founded and directed the experimental economics laboratory (eLab) and the Center for Empirical Research in Economics and Behavioral Sciences (CEREB). From 2006 to 2008 Prof. Rockenbach served as the Dean of the Faculty of Economics, Law, and Social Sciences and from 2008 to 2011 as the Vice-President for Research and Young Academics at the University of Erfurt.

Since July 2011, Bettina Rockenbach holds the Chair for Experimental and Behavioral Economics at the University of Cologne. From October 2012 to March 2015 she served as the Vice Dean for Research and Young Academics of the WiSo-Faculty and since April 2015 Prof. Rockenbach is a Vice Rector of the University of Cologne.

In 2013, Bettina Rockenbach was appointed to the German National Academy of Sciences Leopoldina and since 2014 she is a member of the Senate of the German Science Foundation DFG.

A focus of Bettina Rockenbach’s often interdisciplinary research is in the design of institutions fostering cooperation in social dilemma situations and the frameworks promoting socially responsible economic behavior. She publishes in leading economic journals as well as in distinguished general interest journals such as Science and Nature.

Extended CV (English)

Extended CV (German)

Selected Publications

Altruistic punishment does not increase with the severity of norm violations in the field, Nature Communications, 2016, 7, 13327 (Loukas Balafoutas, Nikos Nikiforakis & Bettina Rockenbach) [link]

The competitive advantage of honesty, European Economic Review, 2016, 89, 407-424 (Mark Pigors & Bettina Rockenbach) [link]

Consumer Social Responsibility, Management Science, forthcoming (Mark Pigors & Bettina Rockenbach) [pdf] [link]

On Cooperation in Open Communities, Journal of Public Economics2014, 120, 220-230 (Özgür Gürerk, Bernd Irlenbusch, Bettina Rockenbach) [link] 

Direct and indirect punishment among strangers in the field, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America (PNAS)2014, 111/45, 15924-15927 (Loukas Balafoutas, Nikos Nikiforakis, Bettina Rockenbach) [link] [press release]

Measuring Lying Aversion, Journal of Economic Behavior and Organization, 2013, 93, 293-300 (Uri Gneezy, Bettina Rockenbach, Marta Serra-Garcia) [link]

To qualify as a social partner humans hide severe punishment, though their observed cooperativeness is decisive, Proceedings of the National Academy of Science of the United States of America (PNAS), 2011, 105/45, 18307-18312 (Bettina Rockenbach and Manfred Milinski) [link] [press release]

Monitoring in Teams: Using Laboratory Experiments to Study a Theory of the Firm, Journal of the European Economic Association, 2011, 9, 785-816 (Stefan Große, Louis Putterman, Bettina Rockenbach) [link] [full text]

In Search of Workers´Real Effort Reciprocity - A Field and a Laboratory Experiment, Journal of the European Economic Association, 2010, 8, 817- 837 (Heike Henning-Schmidt, Abdolkarim Sadrieh, Bettina Rockenbach) [link] [full text]

How to treat those of ill-repute, Nature, 2009, 457, 39-40 (Bettina Rockenbach & Manfred Milinski) [link]

Egalitarism in young children, Nature, 2008, 454, 1079-1084 (Ernst Fehr, Helen Bernhard, Bettina Rockenbach) [link] [press release]

Punisher pays, Nature, 2008, 452, 297-298 (Manfred Milinski & Bettina Rockenbach) [link]

Spying On Others Evolves, Science, 2007, 317/5837, 464-465 (Manfred Milinski & Bettina Rockenbach) [link]

The efficient interaction of indirect reciprocity and costly punishment, Nature, 2006, 444, 718-723 (Bettina Rockenbach and Manfred Milinski) [link]

The competitive advantage of sanctioning institutions, Science, 2006, 312/5770, 108-111 (Özgür Gürerk, Bernd Irlenbusch, Bettina Rockenbach) [link]

Collusion under Yardstick Competition, An Experimental Study, International Journal of Industrial Organization, 2004, 22, 1017-1038 (Jan Potters, Bettina Rockenbach, Abdolkarim SadriehEric van Damme) [link]

Detrimental Effects of Sanctions on Human Altruism, Nature, 2003, 422, 137-140 (Ernst Fehr and Bettina Rockenbach) [link]

Further Publications

Designing Institutions for Social Dilemmas, German Economic Review, forthcoming (Bettina Rockenbach & Irenaeus Wolff).

The Royal Lie, Journal of Economic Behavior and Organization, 2013, Vol. 93, 305-313 (Mareike Hoffmann, Thomas Lauer, Bettina Rockenbach).

The Inter-Group Comparison – Intra-Group Cooperation Hypothesis: Social Comparisons Between Groups Increase Efficiency in Public Goods Provision, PLOS ONE, 2013 8(2): e56152. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0056152 (Robert Böhm und Bettina Rockenbach).

On the interaction of the stick and the carrot in social dilemmasJournal of Theoretical Biology, 2012, 299, 139-143 (Manfred Milinski und Bettina Rockenbach).

Sharing Information, Journal of Economic Behavior and Organization, 2012, 81, 689-698 (Bettina Rockenbach und Abdolkarim Sadrieh).

Motivating Teammates: The Leader’s Choice of Positive and Negative Incentives, Journal of Economic Psychology, 2009, 30/ 4, 591-607 (Özgür Gürerk, Bernd Irlenbusch, Bettina Rockenbach).

Not just hot air: Normative codes of conduct induce cooperative behavior, Review of Managerial Science, 2008, 2/3, 183-197 (Thomas Lauer, Bettina Rockenbach, Peter Walgenbach).

Fairness Crowded Out by Law: An Experimental Study on Withdrawal Rights: Comment, Journal of Institutional and Theoretical Economics, 2007, 163/1, 106-108 (Bettina Rockenbach).

Teams Take the Better Risk, Journal of Economic Behavior and Organization, 2007, 63, 412-422 (Bettina Rockenbach, Abdolkarim Sadrieh, Barbara Mathauschek).

Option Pricing by Students and Professional Traders: A Behavioural Investigation, Managerial and Decision Economics, 2006, 27/6, 497-510 (Klaus Abbink und Bettina Rockenbach).

An Experimental Test of Design Alternatives for the British 3G / UMTS Auction, European Economic Review, 2005, 49, 503-530 (Klaus Abbink, Bernd Irlenbusch, Paul Pezanis-Christou, Bettina Rockenbach, Abdolkarim Sadrieh, Reinhard Selten).

A Strategic Analysis of Speculative Trade in a two-sided Asset Market with Information Diversity, International Game Theory Review, 2005, 7/2, 151-170 (Bettina Rockenbach).

Human Altruism: Economic, Neural, and Evolutionary Perspectives, Current Opinion in Neurobiology, 2004, 14, 784-790 (Ernst Fehr und Bettina Rockenbach).

The Behavioral Relevance of Mental Accounting for the Pricing of Financial Options, Journal of Economic Behavior and Organization, 2004, 53, 513-527 (Bettina Rockenbach).

The Fisherman's Problem: Exploring the tension between cooperative and non-cooperative concepts in a simple game, Journal of Economic Psychology, 2003, 24/4, 425-445 (Klaus Abbink, Ron Darziv, Zohar Gilula, Harel Goren, Bernd Irlenbusch, Arnon Keren, Bettina Rockenbach, Abdolkarim Sadrieh, Reinhard Selten, Shmuel Zamir).

The behavioural approach to the strategic analysis of spectrum auctions: The case of the German DCS-1800 auction, ifo Studien - Zeitschrift für empirische Wirtschaftsforschung, 2002, 3, 457-480 (Klaus Abbink, Bernd Irlenbusch, Bettina Rockenbach, Abdolkarim Sadrieh, Reinhard Selten). Reprinted in: Illing, Gerhard and Ulrich Klüh (Eds.): Spectrum Auctions and Competition in Telecommunications, MIT Press 2003.

Information, Aggregation, Speculation and Arbitrage in an Option Market Experiment, Revue d'Economie Politique, 2001, 111/1, 41-65 (Bettina Rockenbach).

Der Fluch der Erfahrung: Professionelle Trader versus Studenten in einem Optionsbewer­tungsexperiment, in: Elisabeth Hehn (Hrsg.): Innovative Anlagekonzepte, 2000, Gabler Verlag, Wiesbaden (Klaus Abbink und Bettina Rockenbach).