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Behavioural Economics

Innovations and Economic Activities

The RPA-BE contributes to a conducive research environment for doing behavioural economic research. The unifying factor in the research of the RPA-BE is the extensive use of the experimental method. With this method, researchers of the RPA-BE have made contributions to a wide variety of topics in economics.

The scientific highlights of the RPA-BE include:

  • New behavioural insights on how competition can be encouraged in thin uncompetitive markets (like premiums for highest losing bidders in auctions, and like combining separate markets in Right-to-Choose auctions) and the study of the possibility to use auctions for charity purposes;
  • A central focus on the role of indirect reciprocity in the evolution of human cooperation;
  • New evidence on biological gender differences in competition;
  • A new behavioural theory of heterogeneous expectations for macro and financial markets has been developed and fitted to individual micro as well as aggregate macro experimental data;
  • Convincing natural-experimental evidence for social effects in consumption between households that win a lottery prize and their non-winning neighbors;
  • Empirical insights on the effects of extrinsic financial rewards on intrinsic motivation using a randomised field experiment in which first-year university students could earn rewards for passing all first-year requirements within one year.