A warm welcome

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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.


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 hints for seminar papers and theses and key points for the formal design of seminar papers and theses can be foundhere https://www.uni-kassel.de/fb07/index.php?eID=dumpFile&t=f&f=5794&token=eb90fc3c3010bf21009b0c4c972ee165aa86d4f9  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.

Asanov, Igor, Anastasiya-Mariya Asanov, Thomas Åstebro, Guido Buenstorf, Bruno Crépon, David McKenzie, Francisco P. Flores, Mona Mensmann and Mathis Schulte (2023), System-, teacher-, and student-level interventions for improving participation in online learning at scale in high schools, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 120 (30), e2216686120

König, Johannes (2022), Postdoctoral employment and future non-academic career prospects, Plos one 17 (12), e0278091

Victor, David G., Marcel Lumkowsky and Astrid Dannenberg (2022), Determining the credibility of commitments in international climate policy, Nature Climate Change, forthcoming

Vasconcelos, Vítor V., Astrid Dannenberg and Simon A. Levin (2022), Punishment institutions selected and sustained through voting and learning, Nature Sustainability 5, 578–585

Asanov, Igor, Francisco Flores, David J. McKenzie, Mona Mensmann, and Mathis Schulte (2021), Remote-learning, time-use, and mental health of Ecuadorian high-school students during the COVID-19 quarantine, World Development 138, 105225

Bischoff, Ivo and Julia Hauschildt (2021), Party ideology and vocational education spending: Empirical evidence from Germany, CESifo Economic Studies, 67 (1), 35-60

Bühren, Christoph and Astrid Dannenberg (2021), The Demand for Punishment to Promote Cooperation Among Like-Minded People, European Economic Review  138, 103862

Dannenberg, Astrid and Peter Martinsson (2021), Responsibility and prosocial behavior - Experimental evidence on charitable donations by individuals and group representatives, Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics 90, 101643

El Ouadghiri, Imane, Khaled Guesmi, Jonathan Peillex, and Andreas Ziegler (2021), Public attention to environmental issues and stock market returns, Ecological Economics 180, 106836

Fischer, Beate, Gunnar Gutsche, and Heike Wetzel (2021), Who wants to get involved? Determining citizen willingness to participate in German renewable energy cooperatives, Energy Research & Social Science 76, 102013

Habla, Wolfgang, Vera Huwe, and Martin Kesternich (2021), Electric and conventional vehicle usage in private and carsharing fleets in Germany, Transportation Research Part D,Transport and Environment 93, 102729

Kesternich, Martin, Andreas Löschel, and Andreas Ziegler (2021), Negotiating weights for burden sharing rules in international climate negotiations: An empirical analysis, Environmental Economics and Policy Studies 23 (2), 309-331

Vasconcelos, Vítor V., Sara M. Constantino, Astrid Dannenberg, Marcel Lumkowsky, Elke Weber and Simon Levin (2021), Segregation and Clustering of Preferences Erode Socially Beneficial Coordination, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences USA 118 (50), e2102153118

Beck, Tobias, Christoph Bühren, Björn Frank, and Elina Khachatryan (2020), Can honesty oaths, peer interaction, or monitoring mitigate lying?, Journal of Business Ethics 163 (3) 467-484

Bluffstone, Randall, Astrid Dannenberg, Peter Martinsson, Prakash Jha, and Rajesh Bista (2020), Cooperative behavior and common pool resources, experimental evidence from community forest user groups in Nepal, World Development 129, 104889

Bode, Rasmus, Guido Bünsdorf, and Dominik P. Heinisch (2020), Proximity and learning. Evidence from a post-WW2 intellectual reparations program, Journal of Economic Geography 20 (3), 601-628

Büchele, Stefan (2020), Should we trust math preparatory courses? An empirical analysis on the impact of students' participation and attendance and on short- and medium-term effects, Economic Analysis and Policy 66, 154-167

Bünstorf, Guido and Dominik P. Heinisch (2020), Science and industry evolution. Evidence from the first 50 years of the German laser industry, Small Business Economics 54 (2), 523-538

Bünstorf, Guido and Dominik P. Heinisch (2020), When do firms get ideas from hiring PhDs?, Research Policy 49 (3), 103913

Bünstorf, Guido and Johannes König (2020), Interrelated funding streams in a multi-funder university system. Evidence from the German Exzellenzinitiative, Research Policy 49 (3), 103924

Dannenberg, Astrid and Carlo Gallier (2020), The choice of institutions to solve cooperation problems, A survey of experimental research, Experimental Economics 23, 716-749

Dannenberg, Astrid and Elina Khachatryan (2020), A comparison of individual and group behavior in a competition with cheating opportunities, Journal of Economic Behavior and Organization 177, 533-547

Dannenberg, Astrid, Corina Haita-Falah, and Sonja Zitzelsberger (2020), Voting on the threat of exclusion in a public goods experiment, Experimental Economics 23, 84-109

Groh, Elke D. and Charlotte von Möllendorff (2020), What shapes the support of renewable energy expansion? Public attitudes between policy goals and risk, time, and social preferences, Energy Policy 137, 111171

Gutsche, Gunnar and Bernhard Zwergel (2020), Information barriers and labeling schemes for socially responsible investments, Schmalenbach Business Review 72, 111-157

Mitze, Timo, Reinhold Kosfeld, Johannes Rode, and Klaus Wälde (2020), Face masks considerably reduce COVID-19 cases in Germany, PNAS (Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America) 117, 32293-32301

Ziegler, Andreas (2020), Heterogeneous preferences and the individual change to alternative electricity tariffs, Energy Economics 91, 104889 

In the summer semester 2023, the IVWL continues the IVWL Research Seminar Economic Behavior and Governance. The objective of this seminar is to intensify the scientific exchange with external colleagues, who are provided a forum to present their current research at our faculty. 

In the following you will find the current program:

Wednesday, 26.04.2023, 16:30 (Moritzstraße 18, Campus Center - Raum 1124, Seminarraum 6)
Peter Werner (Maastricht University): “The Convergent and External Validity of Risk Preference Elicitation Methods: Controlling for Measurement Error in a Large Population Sample”

Wednesday, 07.06.2023, 16:30 (Moritzstraße 18, Campus Center - Raum 1124, Seminarraum 6)
Ulrich Zierahn-Weilage (Utrecht University): “Computers as Stepping Stones? Technological Change and Equality of Labor Market Opportunities”

Wednesday, 14.06.2023, 16:30 (Moritzstraße 18, Campus Center - Raum 1124, Seminarraum 6)
Martin Huber (Universität Freiburg): “Testing the identification of causal effects in observational data”

Wednesday, 21.06.2023, 16:30 (Moritzstraße 18, Campus Center - Raum 1124, Seminarraum 6)
Claudia Schwirplies (Philipps University Marburg): “Posted offers with charitable promises: True preferences and strategic behavior”