University of Cologne

Excellence Center for Social and Economic Behavior  

The Center for Social and Economic Behavior (C-SEB) at the University of Cologne (UoC) brings together Cologne-based researchers from economics, management science, and psychology. Together with internationally renowned scientists from Europe and the USA, they investigate the fundamental principles and behavioral mechanisms that affect social and economic behavior. Since its establishment in 2019, the Cluster of Excellence ECONtribute is an important partner.

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Social and economic behavior is shaping almost all aspects of our lives. But it does not only influence the actions of individuals. Behavior and its underlying motivation and cognition, also affects the success of societies, politics, markets and organizations. Understanding its determinants, and how it can be ‘managed’, is thus of crucial importance for understanding and addressing major challenges to society and humanity.

C-SEB aims to develop an empirically based theory of the institutions that define economic incentives and of the conditions that influence information processing in social and economic contexts. Using a behavioral economics and social cognition approach, the center examines how these mechanisms can be designed and manipulated. C-SEB seeks to build a bridge between laboratory research and real-world contexts in order to contribute to solutions to contemporary challenges in the economy.

Our Aims

Scientific exchange

C-SEB runs various programs to create a productive research environment and to promote interdisciplinary collaboration among scientists. In order to foster communication across disciplines and research units, the center regularly organizes workshops and conferences with international guests.
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Research funding

C-SEB provides funding for outstanding individuals and excellent collaborative research projects in the field of behavioral economics and social cognition. There are six funding lines at the moment that are designed to serve different purposes and target groups.
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Equal opportunity & junior researcher promotion

C-SEB is strongly committed to promote equal opportunities in academia and to advance the careers of junior researchers. The center assists its members with career planning and with reconciling academic and family life.
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Press Releases

Pia Pinger receives the prestigious ERC Starting Grant for her project “OPPORTUNITY – Inequalities in Decision-Making at Critical Junctions in …

Matthias Sutter‘s new book “Der menschliche Faktor oder worauf es im Berufsleben ankommt” has just been published in its second …

C-SEB has approved the following projects for funding in the 16th funding round: Junior Start-Up Grants Vanessa Clemens – “The …

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In the media

Handelsblatt, 12.12.2023 | Kim Clausing, Peter Cramton, Axel Ockenfels & Catherine Wolfram

“Nationale und unilaterale Klimapolitik verursacht hohe Kosten und oft Wettbewerbsnachteile, während der Nutzen global verteilt ist. Dies führt zu unzureichenden Anreizen für nationales Klimahandeln. […] Insbesondere das Prinzip der Reziprozität, das in der Klimadiplomatie bisher weitgehend fehlt, ist für jede Kooperation essenziell. Es schützt vor Ausbeutung und motiviert zum Mitmachen. […] Drei Punkte können ein reziprokes Klimaabkommen erleichtern […] 1. bilaterales Engagement […] 2. Zunächst moderater Mindestpreis […] [und] 3. Methanabkommen.”

FAZ, 03.12.2023 | Ralph Bollmann & Marcus Theurer

“Die Frage ist, ob der gewaltige Aufwand, der für die Klimakonferenzen betrieben wird, noch in einem vernünftigen Verhältnis zu den Ergebnissen steht, die von den Treffen zu erwarten sind. […] ‘Wir scheitern seit 30 Jahren an immer denselben Problemen’, beklagt Ockenfels, der sich seit Langem mit den Problemen internationaler Klimaschutz-Verhandlungen befasst. […] ‘Es gibt sonst kein einziges internationales Kooperationsabkommen, das auf freiwilligen Selbstverpflichtungen basiert’, sagt der Kölner Ökonom Ockenfels. ‘Aus gutem Grund. Solche Verträge funktionieren nur mit wechselseitigen Zusagen.'”

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Events

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Publications

Schwerter, F. (2024).

“Social Reference Points and Risk Taking.” Management Science, 70(1), 616–632.

Alfitian, J., Sliwka, D., & Vogelsang, T. (2023).

“When Bonuses Backfire: Evidence from the Workplace.” Management Science.

Bär, D., Feuerriegel, S., Li, T., & Weinmann, M. (2023).

“Message Framing to Promote Solar Panels.” Nature Communications, 14(1), 7187.

Schweitzer, V. M., Gerpott, F. H., Rivkin, W., & Stollberger, J. (2023).

“(Don’t) Mind the Gap? Information Gaps Compound Curiosity yet Also Feed Frustration at Work.” Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, 178, 104276. Advance online publication.

Pfrombeck, J., Burmeister, A., & Grote, G. (2023).

“Older Workers’ Knowledge Seeking from Younger Coworkers: Disentangling Countervailing Pathways to Successful Aging at Work.” Journal of Organizational Behavior. Advance online publication.
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