University of Cologne

Research 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

The “ESA Prize for Exceptional Achievement” recognizes no more than one researcher per year who has overcome unusually difficult obstacles …

Axel Ockenfels has been a new member of the Specialist Group for Regulatory Issues (WAR) of the Bundesnetzagentur for Electricity, …

C-SEB has approved the following 14 projects for funding in the 18th funding round: Junior Start-Up Grants Nils Blossey – …

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In the media

FAZ, 16. Juli 2024 | Axel Ockenfels

“Den persönlichen oder nationalen CO2-Fußabdruck zu senken fühlt sich gut an. Aber nicht immer verbessert dies die globale Klimabilanz. Andere Maßnahmen erreichen mehr. Woran das liegt und wie es gelingt, Gutes besser zu tun.”

Personalmagazin, 8/2024 | Bernd Irlenbusch

“Künstliche Intelligenz bietet dem Personalbereich viele Erleichterungen, bringt aber auch zahlreiche Gefahren mit sich […]. Wir unterscheiden fünf Bereiche, in denen sich ethische Herausforderungen aus dem Einsatz von KI ergeben […]. Diskriminierung und Fairness […],Transparenz und Erklärbarkeit […],Verantwortlichkeit und Kontrolle […], Datenschutz und Sicherheit […], Verlässlichkeit und Schutz […]. Aus meiner Sicht lassen sich die Chancen des Einsatzes von KI grob in zwei Kategorien einordnen: Bessere Entscheidungen sowie Kostenreduktion […]. Darüber hinaus kann KI fehlende Kompetenzen bei einzelnen Personen frühzeitig identifizieren und HR kann helfen, diese aufzubauen.”

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Opitz, S., Sliwka, D., Vogelsang, T., & Zimmermann, T. (2024).

“The Algorithmic Assignment of Incentive Schemes.” Management Science. Advance online publication.

Mikosch, H., Roth, C., Sarferaz, S., & Wohlfart, J. (2024).

“Uncertainty and Information Acquisition: Evidence from Firms and Households.” American Economic Journal: Macroeconomics, 16(2), 375–405.

Fišar, M., Greiner, B., Huber, C., Katok, E., Ozkes, A. I., & Management Science Reproducibility Collaboration (2024).

“Reproducibility in Management Science.” Management Science, 70(3), 1343–1356.

Cseh, Á., Kurschat, C., & Ockenfels, A. (2024).

“Organspenden: Neue Wege beschreiten.” Wirtschaftsdienst, 104(5), 293–293.

Elias, J. J., Lacetera, N., Macis, M., Ockenfels, A., & Roth, A. E. (2024).

“Quality and Safety for Substances of Human Origins: Scientific Evidence and the New EU Regulations.” BMJ Global Health, 9(4), e015122.
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