Entrance MPI
Many goods are not obviously best provided by unregulated markets. This does not necessarily imply that government does a better job. But research can do society a service in defining why markets have a hard time with some goods, and in comparing institutional arrangements aiming at their provision. In a precise way, the problem is defined by the concept of public goods. Capitalising on the theory of mechanism design, it can be further improved. Using experimental methods, it can be put into perspective. Yet some social dilemmas are better analysed in alternative categories. It may even be preferable to start analytically from the political decision to intervene into markets. The institute tackles these questions from the combined perspectives of economics, law and psychology. While the institute started with applications from environmental problems, current work focuses on antitrust, regulation and financial stability.

Mit vielen Gütern kommen Märkte nicht gut zurecht. Dies bedeutet jedoch nicht unbedingt, dass Regierungen es besser machen. Die Wissenschaft kann der Gesellschaft einen Dienst erweisen, indem sie herausarbeitet, warum Märkte sich mit manchen Gütern schwertun, und indem sie institutionelle Arrangements vergleicht, die der Bereitstellung dieser Güter dienen. Das Problem wird durch das Konzept der öffentlichen Güter präzise definiert; durch die Theorie des Mechanismus-Design kann die Definition des Problems verfeinert, mit Experimenten kann sie in Perspektive gerückt werden. Manche sozialen Dilemmata versteht man aber besser in alternativen Kategorien. Womöglich ist es gar besser, analytisch bei der politischen Entscheidung anzusetzen, in die Märkte einzugreifen. Das Institut arbeitet an diesen Fragen interdisziplinär, aus der Sicht von Ökonomie, Recht und Psychologie. Seine Arbeit begann mit Fragen des Umweltschutzes. Heute sind Kartellrecht, Regulierung und die Stabilität der Finanzmärkte die wichtigsten Anwendungsfelder.


January 2018

Interview with Anna Baumert: "Civil courage is needed – everywhere“. Psychologist Anna Baumert and her team are trying to identify personality traits that enable people to intervene courageously in the face of injustice. (German version)

Contact: baumert@coll.mpg.de


November 2017

Jens Frankenreiter has received an ETH Medal for his Ph.D. thesis on "Judges, Politics, and the Law". ETH Medals are awarded each year to outstanding Ph.D. theses at ETH Zurich. Congratulations!



November 14, 2017

Angelo Romano published his paper "Parochial trust and cooperation across 17 societies" (with Balliet, D.; Yamagishi, T.; Liu, J. H.) in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS).

November 2017
October 2017

Matthias Sutter has been appointed a Member of the Scientific Advisory Board of the Institute for Advanced Studies/Institut für Höhere Studien (IHS) in Vienna. The Institute for Advanced Studies is an independent, non-profit research institute and one of the most renowned social and economic research institutes in Austria. It brings together expertise from economists, sociologists, and political scientists, among others, to address fundamental economic and social problems and policy choices. Founded in 1963 under the auspices of two former Austrian scholars of world renown, Paul F. Lazarsfeld and Oskar Morgenstern, with funds from the Ford Foundation, the IHS is today funded by the Austrian government and by other public organizations.