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Prof. Dr. Axel Ockenfels

Universität zu Köln
Staatswissenschaftliches Seminar
Universitätsstraße 22a
Gebäude: 102
Raum: 4.212
D-50923 Köln

T    +49 221 470-5761
F    +49 221 470-5068
E    ockenfels(at)uni-koeln.de

Center for Social and Economic Behavior (C-SEB)
Cluster of Excellence ECONtribute: Markets and Public Policy
European Research Council Advanced Grant "EEC"

Office Hours: on appointment (by email)

Axel Ockenfels is Professor of Economics at the University of Cologne, Director of the Cologne Laboratory of Economic Research, and Speaker of the University of Cologne Excellence Center for Social and Economic Behavior. He is a member of the National Academy of Science and Engineering, and of the Berlin Brandenburgische, the North Rhine-Westphalian and the European Academies of Sciences. Ockenfels serves as a Department Editor for Management Science, in the Academic Advisory Board at the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy, and in the Scientific Advisory Board of the University of Cologne. In 2005 he was the first economist in 17 years to receive the Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz Prize of the German Science Foundation. In 2006 he received the Gossen Prize of the German Economic Association, in 2018 he was awarded the ERC Advanced Grant of the European Research Council, and in 2020 he received the Hans-Kelsen Award ("Zukunftspreis") of the University of Cologne. 

Ockenfels' research focuses on market design and behavioral science. One goal is to develop, test and implement new market mechanisms and decision architectures that address important economic and societal challenges. A particular focus is on using tools from game theory and behavioral economics to exploit recent advances in communication technology that allow radical innovation in how human interaction is designed. This approach might be called “behavioral economic engineering”, and it has many useful applications. Indeed, Ockenfels' research has benefitted from collaborations with governments, market platforms, companies and researchers across Europe and the U.S. Examples include Ockenfels' early contributions to the design of eBay's auction platform and reputation mechanism, and the design of various markets and choice architectures in the Internet, electricity, climate, telecommunication, finance, transport and other sectors, as well as in firms.