Max Planck Day 2018: Experiments in schools on behavior under risk

November 29, 2018

In September and October, researchers of Prof. Sutter's research group led by Dr. Sebastian Schneider visited schools in North-Rhine Westphalia, Rhineland Palatinate and Baden-Württemberg in the context of the Max Planck Day. The purpose of this day is to present the Max Planck Society and the research that is being conducted in the various institutes to school children, thereby sparking their interest in doing research and the profession of a researcher.

As one of the research topics of the group are economic preferences among adolescents, and the standard method are incentivized experiments, children were given the possibility to participate in such an experiment on behavior under risk. Afterwards, the experiment was discussed and explained. First results have already been presented at the MPI-CREED-Workshop on 29 November.
Read more on our school visits on school's homepages or the following newspapers:








SIAF Award for Jens Frankenreiter

November 22, 2018

Jens Frankenreiter received the SIAF Award for his Ph.D. thesis on "Judges, Politics, and the Law". The Swiss Institute of International Studies together with Ernst & Young award for the eighth time the annual SIAF Award for an outstanding PhD or master’s thesis at the University or ETH Zurich.

Mit Ausdauer lässt sich viel erreichen

November 21, 2018
Report on the Max Planck Forum in Bonn: "Mit Ausdauer lässt sich viel erreichen"
Das Max-Planck-Forum am 20. November in Bonn widmete sich Faktoren, die das Leben erfolgreich verlaufen lassen
"Ohne Fleiß kein Preis. Was so langweilig und hausbacken klingt, scheint aktueller denn je. Im Festsaal der Universität Bonn haben Verhaltensforscherinnen und -forscher ihre aktuellen Ergebnisse vorgestellt. Eines steht dabei fest: Wer sich schon als Kind in Geduld übt, hat größere Chancen auf mehr Erfolg im Leben." (read more)

Erfolg: Geduld zahlt sich aus

November 19, 2018

Interview with Matthias Sutter on the Max Planck Homepage:

Erfolg: Geduld zahlt sich aus

„Weiter, immer weiter!“ hieß die Devise des Nationaltorwarts Oliver Kahn. Matthias Sutter vom Max-Planck-Institut zur Erforschung von Gemeinschaftsgütern in Bonn hat das, was Erfolg ausmacht, nun wissenschaftlich untersucht und Erfolgsbedingungen definiert, die von Kahns Motto gar nicht so weit entfernt sind. Welche Eigenschaften jemand mitbringen muss und wie man sie am besten lernt, erklärt er im Interview... (read more)


"Nature Communications" published a paper by Matthias Sutter, Loukas Balafoutas and Helena Fornwagner

October 19, 2018
"Nature Communications" published an article by Matthias Sutter, Loukas Balafoutas and Helena Fornwagner: "Closing the gender gap in competitiveness through priming"

Men have been observed to have a greater willingness to compete compared to women, and it is possible that this contributes to gender differences in wages and career advancement. Policy interventions such as quotas are sometimes used to remedy this but these may cause unintended side-effects. Here, we present experimental evidence that a simple and practically costless tool—priming subjects with power—can close the gender gap in competitiveness. While in a neutral as well as in a low-power priming situation men are much more likely than women to choose competition, this gap vanishes when subjects are primed with a high-power situation. We show that priming with high power makes competition entry decisions more realistic and also that it reduces the level of risk tolerance among male participants, which can help explain why it leads to a closing down of the gender gap in competitiveness.


Cluster Proposal "ECONtribute: Markets & Public Policy" Selected by German Research Foundation as Part of Excellence Strategy

September 28, 2018

Directors Hellwig and Sutter to Form Part of a Team of Principal Investigators

"ECONtribute: Markets & Public Policy", a joint proposal from the universities of Bonn and Cologne, is the only mainly economics-based proposal in Germany to have been selected as a so-called Cluster of Excellence within the framework of the German Universities Excellence Initiative. The researchers will study the functioning and workings of markets, as well as the reasons for the failure of these markets in the face of societal challenges, such as global financial crises, increasing inequality and digitization. The Cluster of Excellence goes beyond traditional analyses of economic policy by systematically combining model-based theoretical approaches and behavioural explanatory models with legal and political frameworks. In this way, the interdisciplinary working groups can offer political decision-makers innovative solutions that have so far barely found their way into economics and economic policy: How can market power be measured and how should it be faced in a digital age where many services are available virtually free of charge and are instead paid for by people disclosing their data? Further, what consequences does this have for consumer protection? What influence do preferences for fairness or justice have on the design of minimum wages or inheritance taxes? Can and should individual behaviour be controlled by instruments such as nudging if this appears to be for the benefit of the individual? The ECONtribute network intends to stimulate an intensive exchange between top research, politics and the public. The research will be undertaken in the Reinhard Selten Institute, which was founded by both universities in 2017.

Prof. Dr. Isabel Schnabel (University of Bonn) and Prof. Dr. Felix Bierbrauer (University of Cologne), both of whom are former members and current affiliates of the Max Planck Institute for Research on Collective Goods, will act as spokespersons. Professors Martin Hellwig and Matthias Sutter, respectively the former and the current director of this Max Planck Institute, will be among the principal investigators.

Faculty Junior Career Award for Angelo Romano

September 26, 2018

Angelo Romano has won the FGB Junior Career award for his dissertation titled “The power of reciprocity to promote cooperation” (supervisor Daniel Balliet, promotor Paul van Lange). The faculty (c.q. the PEC) annually awards the FGB Junior Career Award to a talented PhD student who is in the latter stages of the PhD trajectory, or has recently graduated. The award is granted to the candidate as an appreciation of his/her contribution to the scientific field of study and as encouragement in the early stage of an a academic career.


Gustav Stolper Award for Isabel Schnabel

September 6, 2018

Congratulations to Isabel Schnabel, research affiliate and former member (2004 – 2007) of the institute, for being given the Gustav Stolper Award of the Verein für Socialpolitik, the professional association of German-speaking economists! The Gustav Stolper Award is given annually to an outstanding scholar who has influenced public debate on the basis of economic analysis and who has made ​​important contributions to our understanding and solving economic problems.


The 36th Conference on Institutional and Theoretical Economics (JITE-Conference), organized by Christoph Engel and Urs Schweizer, took place in Florence

July 9, 2018

There is strong resistance against the commercialization of some goods and services. If a person holding public authority sells her decisions, this is regarded as corruption. Most countries are also opposed against selling organs, university admission, or opportunities to clerk with prestigious courts. Yet decisions have to be made, and frequently demand exceeds supply. How can these decisions be made convincingly? Over the last decades, attempts at allocating goods or services without the help of money have become an active area of research in economics, under the label of matching. The legal community has taken fairly little notice of this development. This interface is the topic of the symposium.

Main contributions by: 
Peter Cramton, Ernan Haruvy, James Hathaway, Daniel Ho, Kimberley Krawiec, Justin McCrary, Joshua Mitts


Inaugural Conference Experimental Economics Group

May 28, 2018

Prof. Matthias Sutter with his Exerimental Economics Group (EEG) held the Inaugural Conference in Bonn with many of the finest scholars from the field.

Keynote speakers were Prof. Ernst Fehr from the University of Zurich and Prof. David Laibson from Harvard.

For full coverage see @eeg_mpi and #EEGInaugural

Follow the EEG Group on Facebook.


List of external speakers in alphabetical order:

Sule Alan (University of Essex)
Ingvild Almas (NHH Norwegian School of Economics)
Björn Bartling (University of Zurich)
Alexander Cappelen (NHH Norwegian School of Economics)
Gary Charness (University of California Santa Barbara)
Thomas Dohmen (University of Bonn)
Armin Falk (briq Institute on Behavior & Inequality)
Ernst Fehr (University of Zurich)
Francesco Feri (Royal Holloway University of London)
Uri Gneezy (University of California San Diego)
Bernd Irlenbusch (University of Cologne)
Michael Kirchler (University of Innsbruck)
Martin Kocher (Institute for Advanced Studies Vienna)
Michael Kosfeld (Goethe University Frankfurt)
David Laibson, Harvard University
Axel Ockenfels (University of Cologne)
Terrance Odean (University of California Berkeley)
Theo Offerman (University of Amsterdam)
Bettina Rockenbach (University of Cologne)
Klaus Schmidt (University of Munich)
Stefan Trautmann (University of Heidelberg)
Bertil Tungodden (NHH Norwegian School of Economics)



FAZ articles on Matthias Sutter

May 7, 2018

The Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung published two articles on the work of Matthias Sutter.
5th May 2018: "Warum Finanzwissen hilft und Trump gut verhandelt. Der Verhaltensökonom Matthias Sutter geht praktischen Fragen nach – und krempelt ein Max-Planck-Institut um."
6th May 2018: "Alle Macht den Kunden. Jeder zweite Taxifahrer zockt ortsunkundige Fahrgäste ab. Es sei denn, die Kunden können im Internet Noten vergeben."
(Due to copyright issues we cannot provide links.)

Manfred Fuchs Prize for Hanjo Hamann

April 11, 2018

Hanjo Hamann was awarded the 2018 Manfred Fuchs Prize of the Academy of Sciences at Heidelberg (Germany). The award, being the Academy's most highly endowed annual prize for young researchers, will be presented in June at the Academy's anniversary celebration in Heidelberg. It recognizes Hamann's "prior academic track record", as stated in this press release revealing the 2018 Academy Laureates.

Article in PNAS

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).

Matthias Sutter has been appointed a Member of the Scientific Advisory Board of the Institute for Advanced Studies, Vienna

October 10, 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.

Handelsblatt Ranking in Economics

September 4, 2017

Every two years, the Handelsblatt presents a ranking (link is external)of German-speaking economists. The current list was published in early September 2017 and includes publications by over 3,000 researchers. The category "Current Research Performance" includes all publications from the past five years. Professor Dr Matthias Sutter is placed fifth in this list. The category "Life Achievement" features no less than three institute directors: Professor Martin Hellwig, PhD, is in second place, Matthias Sutter is 30th, and Professor Dr Werner Güth is placed 31st.

Current Research Performance
Prof. Dr. Matthias Sutter ranked 5th

Life Achievement
Prof. em. Martin Hellwig, PhD ranked 2nd
Prof. Dr. Matthias Sutter ranked 30th
Prof. em. Dr. Werner Güth ranked 31st

The Institute welcomes its new director Prof. Dr. Matthias Sutter

August 1, 2017

The Institute welcomes its new director Prof. Dr. Matthias Sutter who is going to establish a research group on experimental economics. A native Austrian, Sutter received his PhD and habilitation in economics from the University of Innsbruck and was professor of experimental economics at the European University Institute in Florence, the University of Göteborg and the University of Innsbruck. Before moving to the MPI Bonn he was excellence professor at the University of Cologne where he remains affiliated. His research interests focus on the experimental analysis of credence goods markets and how economic preferences develop in childhood.

Prizes awarded for dissertation on constitutional requirements of financial crisis management

July 27, 2017

One of the institute's current senior research fellows, Stefanie Egidy received dissertation prizes from the University of Würzburg in May 2017, the Bavarian American Academy in June 2017, as well as the Körber Foundation in July 2017 for her Ph.D. thesis "Finanzkrise und Verfassung" (Financial Crisis and the Constitution).

The latest award, a second prize of the Körber Foundation’s Deutscher Studienpreis, (endowed with 5,000 EUR), is granted annually for the most important dissertations with a significant relevance for society, and is considered to be one of Germany’s most prominent prizes for young researchers. The prize will be awarded to Stefanie Egidy by the President of the Bundestag Norbert Lammert in Berlin on December 11, 2017.

Stefanie Egidy's thesis will be published by Mohr Siebeck (Tübingen).

Recipients of the Deutscher Studienpreis 2017

Institute begets one of "100 Landmarks" in Germany 2017

June 26, 2017

As unveiled on 26 June, the Max Planck Institute for Research on Collective Goods is home to one of "100 Landmarks of 2017" in the German government's "Land of Ideas" initiative. German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier signed the "Federal Courts Dataset" developed at the institute into a list of 100 German places recognized as being both outstandingly innovative and socially impactful. The dataset, developed by senior research fellow Hanjo Hamann with external funding by Wikimedia Germany and the Stifterverband, was awarded under the annual competition's 2017 motto "Open your mind and unfold new ideas". On a dedicated website, the Federal Courts Dataset allows anyone to browse the judicial responsibilities and staffing of Germany's seven highest courts since World War II, thus promoting the digital access to justice in Europe.

Otto Hahn Medal for Dr. Stephan Luck

June 22, 2017

© Max-Planck-Gesellschaft / Amac GarbeDr. Stephan Luck has been awarded the Otto Hahn Medal for his work on liquidity provision by banks, shadow banks and the government, and the implications for financial stability. A particular focus of his dissertation has been on studying how the circumvention of regulatory requirements can erode financial stability, and how regulatory authorities can implement financial stability in the presence of regulatory arbitrage. The medal is awarded to young scientists in recognition of outstanding scientific achievements.



Doctor honoris causa for Christoph Engel

June 11, 2017
© Bruno Charbit
Hebrew University in Jerusalem has conferred the degree of Doctor honoris causa to Christoph Engel, in recognition of his outstanding contribution to legal scholarship, and in particular to the advancement of interdisciplinary and empirical legal scholarship.

Financial Scholars Oppose Eliminating "Orderly Liquidation Authority"

May 23, 2017

122 law and finance scholars, among them Martin Hellwig, have sent an open letter to Chairs and Ranking Members of the United States House Financial Services and Judiciary Committees and the United States Senate Banking and Judiciary Committees to protest the planned return to standard bankruptcy procedures for systemically important financial institutions:

Financial Scholars Oppose Eliminating "Orderly Liquidation Authority" As Crisis-Avoidance Restructuring Backstop


November 17, 2016

Prof. Martin Hellwig erhält den Ernst-Hellmut-Vits-Preis der Universitätsgesellschaft Münster. Dieser Preis "für einen hervorragenden wissenschaftlichen Beitrag, durch den Wege zur geistigen und materiellen Verbesserung des Lebens in der von Wissenschaft und Technik bestimmten Welt gewiesen werden" wird im zweijährigen Turnus vergeben, jeweils abwechselnd an einen Naturwissenschaftler und an einen Geistes- oder Sozialwissenschaftler.

Congratulations to Oliver Hart, Nobel Laureate

October 10, 2016

We enthusiastically congratulate Oliver Hart, a member of our Academic Advisory Council from 2005 to 2014, for being awarded the Bank of Sweden Prize in Economic Science in Memory of Alfred Nobel. Oliver Hart and his co-winner Bengt Holmström – and their co-authors – have profoundly affected our thinking about the role of contracts in channeling information and incentive problems when relations between contracting parties are affected by information asymmetries and/or moral hazard. Congratulations for a well-deserved honour!

Award for "The Leverage Ratchet Effect"

June 23, 2016

At the Annual Conference of the Western Finance Association, the paper „The Leverage Ratchet Effect“ by Anat Admati, Peter DeMarzo, Martin Hellwig, and Paul Pfleiderer (MPI Preprint 13/2013, revised 2015) was given the Charles River Associates Award for the best paper on corporate finance.

b.i.t. online innovation prize for Nathalie Hild

January 19, 2016

Nathalie Hild was awarded the b.i.t.-online innovation prize for her bachelor thesis on "Differenzierte Sprachförderung durch Öffentliche Bibliotheken: Konzeption einer Veranstaltungsreihe zur Förderung der phonologischen Bewusstheit"

Phonological awareness is one constituent of phonological processing and is considered to be an important predictor of the acquisition of literary language. The present paper demonstrates possibilities of differentiated preschool language training in the field of phonological awareness for children starting from the age of three and their parents by public libraries. A conception of a series of events to train this competence was based on the theoretical and practical part of this paper, which enfolds scientific findings according to phonological processing and phonological awareness and two programs to train this competence in day-care centers. In addition, there has been a validation of four library programs to promote early childhood literacy in the context of phonological awareness.

Winners of the prize "Zukunftsgestalter in Bibliotheken 2015" honored

May 27, 2015

On Wednesday, 27th May 2015, the librarians of the Max Planck Institute for Research on Collective Goods were awarded the prize "Zukunftsgestalter in Bibliotheken 2015" ("Shaping the Future in Libraries 2015") at the 104th Congress of German Librarians in Nuremberg.

JournalTouch is an innovative, interactive and intuitive tool that enables researchers to find what they are looking for by means of quicker and more target-oriented searches in digital journals, using information from the web.

The most important goal of the project was to incorporate JournalTouch into the researchers’ work routine at the institute. All activities are carried out without media disruption or manual application changes: browsing, filtering, finding and choosing articles, printing a pdf, sending or ordering, personal use of the chosen information, or the transfer of metadata to reference management systems.

JournalTouch creatively redesigns library services; these can be used by all libraries that wish to provide their target audiences with a tangible presentation of digital content. Further use of JournalTouch is encouraged!


Prizes awarded for Ph.D. thesis on Empirical Legal Studies

June 4, 2014

One of the institute's doctoral graduates, and current visiting researcher, Hanjo Hamann received dissertation prizes from Esche Schümann Commichau foundation (Hamburg) in April 2014, the University of Bonn and Deutsche Telekom corporation (Bonn) in May 2014, as well as the Max Planck Society for the Advancement of Science (Munich) in June 2014 for his Ph.D. thesis entitled "Evidence Based Jurisprudence. Methods and Epistemic Value of Empirical Research in Law, With Examples From Corporate Law".


The latest of these prizes, the Otto Hahn Medal For Junior Scientists Of The Max Planck Society, is named after the society's first president, German Nobel laureate Otto Hahn. The medal comes with a prize money of 7,500 Euro and was awarded to Hamann and eight other junior researchers from the humanities and social sciences at this year's general meeting of Max Planck Society in Munich on June 4th, 2014.

Hamann's thesis will be published in Germany by Mohr Siebeck publishers (Tübingen) during the second half of 2014. An accompanying research article is forthcoming in the Berkeley Business Law Journal (BBLJ), volume 11 issue 1 (2014).