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Florian Diekert Receives ERC Starting Grant

Press Release No. 173/2016
5 December 2016
European Research Council grants approx. 1.4 million euros to Heidelberg economist
Prof. Dr Florian Diekert
Prof. Dr Florian Diekert

Heidelberg economist Prof. Dr Florian Diekert is receiving a highly endowed ERC Starting Grant for excellent young researchers from the European Research Council (ERC). The five-year grant will cover the project in which the environmental economist is investigating the interactions between humans and nature. The study's primary focus is how changes in the natural environment affect the management of shared resources. ERC funding in the amount of approx. 1.4 million euros is being provided. Florian Diekert is a Junior Professor at the Alfred Weber Institute for Economics of Heidelberg University.

In the ERC-funded project entitled "How nature affects cooperation in common pool resource systems“ (Natcoop), Prof. Diekert and his team are investigating how decision-makers respond when ecological systems are threatened or the amount of resources drops. Among other things, they are studying how scarcity affects the ability of various actors to cooperate in the use of shared resources. The researchers are focusing particularly on the fishing industry. Therefor they selected fisheries in Chile, Norway and Tanzania whose conditions differ politically, socially and culturally. "We hope to identify the circumstances in which natural preconditions may support and reinforce social behavior that ensures the sustainable use of renewable resources," states Prof. Diekert. To that end, the researchers are developing theoretical models and validating them through data analysis and economic experiments. Of the total funding from the ERC Starting Grant, approx. 300,000 euros will go to the Department of Biosciences at the University of Oslo where the socio-ecological systems are being studied from the standpoint of the natural sciences. The project began in September of this year.

Florian Diekert (b. 1981) studied environmental and development economics at Oslo University. After receiving his doctorate in 2011, he taught and conducted research at the university's Faculty of Social Sciences as well as the Faculty of Mathematics and Natural Sciences. He was a visiting scientist at Columbia University in New York and the University of California in Santa Barbara. In September 2016 Prof. Diekert joined Heidelberg University’s Faculty of Economics and Social Sciences as a junior professor of economics with a special focus on behavioral common-property resource economics. His areas of research are environmental economics and game theory.

The European Research Council awards the Starting Grant to excellent young researchers. Funding is awarded based on their scientific excellence and the innovative potential of their research ideas.

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