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

The Center for Social and Economic Behavior (C-SEB) is seeking a Student Assistant and looks forward to receiving your application. …

C-SEB has approved/awarded 19 projects for funding in the 15th funding round: Junior Start-Up Grants Sercan Demir – “Impact of …

Prof. Dr. Axel Ockenfels has published a policy brief (only in German) together with Prof. Achim Wambach, PhD at the …

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In the media, 16.01.2023 | Martin Roos & Matthias Sutter

“Matthias Sutter has been Director at the Max Planck Institute for Research on Collective Goods in Bonn since mid-2017. […] In the following interview, Sutter explains why working from home can cause a career setback, what height has to do with earning money, to what extent some industries attract untrustworthy characters, why bonus payments always have to be transparent and why gender quotas ultimately make sense.”

Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, 16.01.2023 | Axel Ockenfels & Martin Schmalz

“Diversifikation ist die große Erfolgsgeschichte der Finanzmärkte der letzten Jahrzehnte. Anbieter und Nachfrager sind zufrieden. Also alles gut? Nicht unbedingt. Denn je erfolgreicher Diversifikation ist, desto stärker mehren sich Hinweise auf unerwünschte Nebeneffekte. […] Die Herausforderung ist groß, denn die Schattenseiten der Diversifizierung offenbaren die Widersprüche von Doktrinen, die alle zu Recht als Eckpfeiler der Marktwirtschaft gelten: Investoren sollen diversifizieren, Manager sollen sich im Interesse ihrer Eigentümer verhalten, und Unternehmen sollen miteinander konkurrieren.”

All in the media



  • C-SEB Workshop

    5. May 2023 @ 10:00 - 18:30 IN VIA GASTRO, Stolzestraße 1a, 50674 Köln, Germany

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Bursztyn, L., Egorov, G., Haaland, I., Rao, A., & Roth, C. (in press).

“Justifying Dissent.” The Quarterly Journal of Economics.

Bolton, G., Breuer, K., Greiner, B., & Ockenfels, A. (in press).

“Fixing Feedback Revision Rules in Online Markets.” Journal of Economics & Management Strategy.

Bierbrauer, F., Boyer, P. C., & Hansen, E. (2020).

“Pareto-Improving Tax Reforms and the Earned Income Tax Credit.” SSRN Electronic Journal.

Anvari, F., Kievit, R., Lakens, D., Pennington, C. R., Przybylski, A. K., Tiokhin, L., Wiernik, B. M., & Orben, A. (2021).

Not All Effects Are Indispensable: Psychological Science Requires Verifiable Lines of Reasoning for Whether an Effect Matters. [Preprint]PsyArXiv.

Wingen, T., Lecuona, O., & Dohle, S. (2022).

“Attitudes Towards Science During the Covid-19 Pandemic: A Psychological Network Approach.” European Journal of Health Communication, 3(1), 98–118.
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