Department Strategic Interaction Group more
Department Evolutionary Economics Unit more
Fair play – a question of self-image?
Max Planck researchers explain the conditions under which people are prepared to behave fairly
Selfless behaviour brings success for all
One possibility to spur people on to save energy: people punish selfishness more when their group is in competition with others more
Your money or your conscience?
How policy makers should promote environmentally friendly products more
How young biotech companies can avoid bankruptcy
A Max Planck researcher has received the Ludwig Erhard Award for his dissertation in economics. more
Max Planck study shows that 1 out of 4 scientists who patent their results also establish their own business. more

In Pursuit of Happiness

MaxPlanckResearch 4/2012 Humanities & Social Sciences
Among employees in Germany, job satisfaction has been falling since the mid-1980s – an alarming finding. At the Max Planck Institute of Economics in Jena, researchers working with Martin Binder are studying the role that different forms of employment and states of health can play – and the circumstances under which this could be politically relevant.
It took decades for the laser to become established in CD players, cutting robots and as a scalpel – its development shows how a new technology takes hold.

A Game for Life

MPR 2 /2009 Culture & Society
Our economic decisions are not driven solely by a desire to maximize personal gain.
We can’t seem to get enough of traveling. Evolutionary
economists suspect that this is our way of satisfying
numerous needs – including the need for good health.

Experimental Economics and Trust

2014 Regner, Tobias; Winter, Fabian
Social and Behavioural Sciences
Trust is a key component of our economy. Cars would remain unsold at the dealer’s yard. The recruitment of suitable job candidates would be much more difficult. Economists argue that contracts, enforceable by law, ought to be concluded. Yet it is acknowledged that not all details of a relationship can be put into a contract. In this domain of incomplete contracts trust and trustworthiness are required. In a series of studies experimental economists at the Max Planck Institute of Economics investigated when and why we trust, and when we return trust. more

Like father, like son: Intergenerational transmission of preferences

2013 Volland, Benjamin
Social and Behavioural Sciences
Decades of research in the social sciences have demonstrated that an individual’s economic success is to a substantial part determined by his or her parents’ success. This phenomenon is only partially explained by direct transfer mechanisms (i.e. by donations or inheritance). One mechanism by which such intergenerational inertia in economic outcomes is likely to emerge is the similarity in preference sets between parents and their children. Researchers at the Max Planck Institute of Economics report on the observable cross-generational similarity in activity preferences. more

Conflicts of Interest on Financial Markets, Discrimination on Labor Markets

2012 Angelova, Vera
Social and Behavioural Sciences
How can clients increase the quality of the financial advice they ask for? When and why are employees with temporary employment paid less than employees with permanent employment? Scientists at the Max Planck Institute of Economics report on two experiments with possible applications for the financial and labor markets. more

The economics of happiness

2011 Binder, Martin; Coad, Alex
Social and Behavioural Sciences
Inspired by research in biology and psychology, the central economic concept of “utility” has received a hedonistic interpretation with the advent of happiness research. An individual’s happiness (subjective well-being) is influenced by a complex web of determinants such as income, (un)employment, health and social factors. But in turn, happiness also influences all these factors, with happier individuals more successful in all domains. more

Field Experiments in Economics

2010 Koppel, Hannes; Regner, Tobias
Social and Behavioural Sciences
Over the last two decades lab experiments became an established method in economics. Only recently field experiments gained some prominence. Both have their respective pros and cons, and we point out that their use should be regarded as complementary. Finally, the potential scope of field experiments is illustrated in showing three recent studies in the context of payment mechanisms and charity. more
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