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Design & Behavior

Goal. Human behavior shapes almost all aspects of our lives. It influences the success of societies, markets, organizations, and individuals. Indeed, many economic and social challenges, such as COVID-19 and climate change, require behavioral change. Our research examines the nature and determinants of human behavior and develops mechanisms that address behavioral challenges in our economies and societies.

Methods. Dealing with real-world behavior and institutions often necessitates an interdisciplinary and multi-methodological approach. Because human behavior can deviate from simple standard economics predictions, we use tools from game theory, behavioral and experimental economics, as well as neighboring disciplines, to study and model behavior. This is combined with an economic design approach, to develop mechanisms that align incentives and behavior with the underlying goal. Here, too, experiments play an important role, namely in the development, testing and implementation of new mechanisms. Moreover, our design efforts benefit from collaborations with experts with diverse methodological backgrounds and domain-specific knowledge – such as law, psychology, computer science, health, finance, transportation, and environmental science.