Behavioral Economics of Crime and Conflict

Behavioral Economics of Crime and Conflict

Independent Research Group

How come that we as humans are those social animals that became uniquely cooperative, cultural, and civilized? How come that, at the exact same time, we are our own worst enemy, dehumanizing, subjugating, exploiting, and aggressing each other? And, most importantly: How can we prevent the conflicting interests permeating all human societies from escalating into segregation, suppression, violence, and war?
The group’s research contributes to answering these fundamental questions. We leverage our methodological expertise in behavioral economics, especially formal modelling, behavioral experiments, and applied microeconomics, to study the dark sides of human behavior – for example: discrimination, exploitation, violence, and conflict. In addition, we provide economic analyses and policy recommendations in related applied contexts. We are a young and highly dedicated interdisciplinary research team striving to conduct cutting-edge, theory-driven, and transparent research in compliance with the standards of Open Science.

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MANUNKIND: Determinants and Dynamics of Collaborative Exploitation

Chattel slavery and other forms of collaborative exploitation are with us since ancient times, inflicting unfathomable suffering on countless generations of victims. And even though slav­ery is outlawed globally today, its modern-day successors continue to cause severe harm for millions.
Previous research has compiled rich datasets on the prevalence of collaborative exploitation across cultures and across… more

DISGRID: Discrimination and Group Identities

Opportunities in life in Europe de facto hinge on group member­ships that de jure should not matter for individual outcomes – prompting EC president Ursula von der Leyen to press for renewed efforts to answer the question: “Why do racism and discrimination endure in our societies?”
This project contributes to answering two research questions in this context: i) Which types of group identities more vs. less… more

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