Behavioral Economics, Development Economics, Experimental Methods

I am interested in how insights from behavioral economics can help inform development economics. With my research, I want to understand how social preferences, economic preferences and norms influence individual and group decision making and which consequences arise for institutional or product design. My research projects tackle questions of dishonesty in groups, microfinance (credit & savings) product design and high-stakes non-monetary decisions.



I lie? We lie! Why? Experimental Evidence on a Dishonesty Shift in Groups, with Martin Kocher & Simeon Schudy, Management Science, Articles in Advance, pp. primary_article. Link

Unethical behavior such as dishonesty, cheating and corruption occurs frequently in organizations or groups. Recent experimental evidence suggests that there is a stronger inclination to behave immorally in groups than individually. We ask if this is the case, and if so, why. Using a parsimonious laboratory setup, we study how individual behavior changes when deciding as a group member. We observe a strong dishonesty shift. This shift is mainly driven by communication within groups and turns out to be independent of whether group members face payoff commonality or not (i.e. whether other group members benefit from one’s lie). Group members come up with and exchange more arguments for being dishonest than for complying with the norm of honesty. Thereby, group membership shifts the perception of the validity of the honesty norm and of its distribution in the population.

Coverage (selected): International Business Times, Public Management (December 2017, p.19), Analytics Magazine, PsychCentral, ScienceDaily, Harvard Business Manager (January 2018, pp. 18-19, in German), WirtschaftsWoche (13/2018, pp.84-87, in German), Deutschlandfunk Nova (radio interview, in German), NZZ (in German), SZ (in German), Haufe (in German), Creditreform (in German), Informationsdienst Wissenschaft (in German), Welt kmpkt (in German), (in German), Latest Thinking (interview with Simeon Schudy), rbb (radio interview with Martin Kocher, in German)


Work in Progress

Mental Accounting and Saving Decisions of the Poor

status: analysis in progress, draft coming soon


Maintaining Repayment Discipline while Reducing Peer Pressure in Microfinance: Repayment Flexibility vs Mutual Insurance, with Kristina Czura & Anett John

status: analysis in progress, draft coming soon


The Effects of Information Sharing on Moral Hazard in Credit Markets – Evidence from a Randomized Evaluation in the Philippines, with Kristina Czura & Matthias Fahn

status: field data collected, data cleaning in progress


High-Stakes Non-Monetary Decisions under Risk and Uncertainty, with Florian Englmaier, Martin Kocher, Jens Meier & Clemens Steinwender

status: preparation of data collection


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