Microeconomics, Labor Economics and Behavioral Economics

Informing economic policy by studying individual decision-making

Societal and institutional change implies that actors need to adapt to novel restrictions. The German reunification or the financial crisis are examples of extraordinary situations which pose a challenge to actors‘ beliefs, institutions and behavior. To assess how people decide under changing social and economic conditions, we require knowledge about the factors that influence decision-making. Neoclassical theory assumes that actors easily adapt to new constraints and that preferences, i.e., the evaluation of given options, remain unaffected. However, research in behavioral economics shows that individuals’ behavior often contradicts the predictions of neoclassical theory. Using traditional as well as behavioral economic approaches, we study how individuals react to different incentives. The ultimative goal is to gain insights for economic policy.


  • You Don’t Need an Invoice, Do You? An Online Experiment on Collaborative Tax Evasion, supported by the Gesellschaft für experimentelle Wirtschaftsforschung (GfeW) and the Wissenschaftlichen Gesellschaft at the University of Freiburg (LILITH BURGSTALLER and KATHARINA PFEIL).
  • The Effect of Losing and Winning on Cheating and Effort in Repeated Competitions (SARAH NECKER and FABIAN PAETZEL)
  • Notches and Tax Evasion – A Laboratory Experiment, supported by the Wissenschaftliche Gesellschaft at the University of Freiburg (LARS P. FELD, SARAH NECKER and KATHARINA PFEIL).
  • Do Household Tax Credits Increase the Demand for Legally Provided Services?,supported by the Wissenschaftliche Gesellschaft at the University of Freiburg and the IREF (LILITH BURGSTALLER, ANNABELLE DOERR and SARAH NECKER).

Current publications