A warm welcome

The Institute of Economics (IVWL) covers the entire range of economic contents and methods. The research takes on a behavioral economics direction with a strong emphasis on applications. Main focus areas are environmental and energy economics, innovation and entrepreneurship research, as well as regional economics. The key objective of the research is to contribute to the solution of societal problems. The research results are presented on relevant conferences and published in internationally renowned scientific journals.

Together with the Institute of Management and Business Studies (IBWL), the IVWL manages the bachelor program “Wirtschaftswissenschaften”. In addition, the IVWL coordinates the research-related, interdisciplinary, and method-oriented master programs „Economic Behaviour and Governance (EB&Go)“, „Nachhaltiges Wirtschaften“, and „Wirtschaft, Psychologie und Management“. Besides qualifying for challenging non-university fields of employment, these master programs also aim at preparing students for a successful academic career.

Furthermore, one of the top priorities of the IVWL is the support and promotion of young academics, for example, as part of the institute’s own doctoral program „Graduate School of Economic Behavior and Governance (GS EBGo)“ or the inter-university graduate program „MAGKS"

Click here for the institute's units.

Sandra Ohly and Andreas Ziegler on Stanford most cited list

In October 2023, Stanford University published its updated list of the top 2% most cited scientists. The publicly accessible database lists a large number of standardized citation indicators. For 2022, Prof. Dr. Andreas Ziegler and Prof. Dr. Sandra Ohly from IVWL are among them. Further information can be found here.


In the research project FORGIVE, Prof. Dr. Dannenberg studies the role of signals, forgiveness and reputation for cooperation. The aim of this research project is to analyze a factor that has received little attention in economic research so far: Forgiveness. To gain a more sophisticated understanding of the role of forgiveness in solving cooperation problems, new variants of the infinitely repeated prisoner's dilemma are used. Experimental methods are used to examine whether people are willing to forgive in situations where they have been betrayed. Another focus is on the strategic use of forgiveness when a long-lasting reputation can be established. 

Federal Government Appoints Guido Bünstorf to Expert Commission on Research and Innovation

Prof. Dr. Guido Bünstorf and Prof. Dr. Friederike Welter are new members of the Expert Commission on Research and Innovation (EFI). With their appointment by the Federal Cabinet, Bünstorf and Welter strengthen the expertise of the EFI, especially in the areas of SMEs and entrepreneurship as well as knowledge economy and people-based knowledge transfer.

Studies on measures to contain the COVID-19 pandemic at the IVWL

In the study “The Covid-19 containment effects of public health measures - A spatial difference-in-differences approach“, a team of researchers from the universities Kassel, Mainz, Darmstadt and Sønderborg around apl. Prof. Dr. Reinhold Kosfeld examined the effectiveness of non-pharmaceutical interventions to contain the COVID-19 pandemic in the first wave 2020. While the closure of zoos, museums, and also non-essential stores contributes rather little to flatten the curve, the mask duty and contact restrictions proved to be very effective. The new study met with great interest in press, radio and television (e.g. ARD extra), as well as online magazines. It is available on „medrxiv“ as preprint and accepted for publication in Journal of Regional Science. The difference-in-differences approach especially confirms the strong containment effect of wearing face masks that has been found by the same researchers in a preceding study with synthetic control methods. This previous study “Face masks considerably reduce COVID-19 cases in Germany“ has been published in the prestigious interdisciplinary journal PNAS (Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America).

New DFG research group at the IVWL

Prof. Dr. Guido Bünstorf is member of the new DFG re­se­arch group “Mul­ti­ple com­pe­ti­ti­on in hig­her edu­ca­ti­on”, where researchers from sociology, economics, and business administration are working together in eight sub-projects at eight universities. The overall objective of this research group is to develop a comprehensive understanding of multiple competition in the field of higher education, based on contributions from sociology, economics, and business administration. Multiple competition in higher education means that individual and collective actors are simultaneously embedded in and nested within several interconnected competitions. The relationship between these individual competitions leads to a complex netting of requirements, which actors have to face. For more information about the research group please click hier.

Helpful information on seminar papers and theses and key points on the formal design of seminar papers and theses can be found here and in the Infothek under Seminar papers and theses

In the following several selected recent publications are provided. Further publications of the IVWL can be found here.

Dannenberg, Astrid, Gunnar Gutsche, Marlene Batzke, Sven Christens, Daniel Engler, Fabian Mankat, Sophia Möller, Eva Weingärtner, Andreas Ernst, Marcel Lumkowsky, Georg von Wangenheim, Gerrit Hornung, and Andreas Ziegler (2024), The effects of norms on environmental behavior, Review of Environmental Economics and Policy, forthcoming

The IVWL will continue the IVWL Research Seminar Economic Behavior and Governance in the summer semester 2024. The goal of the seminar is to intensify the scientific exchange with colleagues from abroad, who are offered a forum to present their current research work at our department. The seminar takes place at Universitätsplatz 9 (ASL 1) in room 0105.

Below you will find the current program:

Wednesday, 17.04.2024, 16:30 
Christian Lutz (GWS Osnabrück): “Impacts of unilateral EU climate action”

Wednesday, 15.05.2024, 16:30 
Gianluca Grimalda (Universität Passau): “t.b.a.”

Wednesday, 29.05.2024,12.2023, 16:30 
Monika Banaszewska (PUEB): “Does the popularity of the incumbent mayor matter for investment activity? Evidence from Polish municipalities”

Wednesday, 05.06.2024, 16:30  
Martin Huber (University of Freiburg): “Testing identification in mediation & dynamic treatment models”