The Alfred-Weber-Institute houses the University of Heidelberg Economics Department. The department is part of the Faculty of Economics & Social Sciences, which also includes the departments of Political Science and Sociology.
Research on business cycle forecast errors
Many studies have shown that forecasts for GDP growth are systematically upward biased. In his recent research, Jonas Dovern shows that this finding masks considerable differences across business cycle states. Growth forecasts for recessions are subject to large negative errors while forecasts for recoveries are subject to small positive errors. In contrast, forecasts for expansions do not exhibit any systematic errors. Thus, forecasters seem to try to issue forecasts which are unbiased conditional on being in an expansion, rather than forecasts which are unbiased overall. Details on the study, published by the International Journal of Forecasting, can be found here.
Workshop on Exchange Rate Adjustment
Zeno Enders (AWI) and Gernot Müller (University of Tübingen) are organizing the workshop "Exchange Rate Adjustment in the Euro Area" in the Framework of the CESifo Venice Summer Institute 2017. It takes place on San Servolo, 12-13 June. Further information can be found here.
International Ranking of Economics Departments
The 2017 Tilburg University Economics Schools Research Ranking puts the Alfred-Weber-Institute on rank 126 worldwide. The ranking is based on publications in the most prestigious international economics journals in the period 2012 through 2016, and does not discount for department size. Among the 68 ranked German universities, the Alfred-Weber-Institute is ranked 6th. More information on the ranking can be found here.
Marsilius Fellowship awarded to AWI members
Christian Conrad, Zeno Enders and Christiane Schwieren have been awarded Marsilius Fellowships for the class of 2017. Information on their projects can be found here.
Research on Inequality
Dietmar Fehr has received DFG funding for a project on "Perceptions of inequality: consequences for trust, social networks and preferences." The research project aims to provide causal evidence on the impact of inequality on social networks, trust, and preferences, using data from a randomized controlled trial, representative survey experiments, and lab experiments.
The side effects of legal default rules
Default rules represent an important element of contract law. They determine contractual obligations as long as the contractual parties do not explicitly override them by any other agreement, thus reducing transactions costs by providing standard rules. However, default rules may come at a cost. In her recent research, Isabel Marcin shows that default rules may bias valuations such that the initial default distribution of rights is likely to influence agreements. Details on the research published in Review of Law and Economics can be found here.
Matching Children to Daycare Spots
Andreas Reischmann joined the ZEW Mannheim as a Research Associate. He will work with the Market Design group on mechanisms to efficiently match children to daycare spots. Information on the group and its research can be found here.
New Assistant Professorship in Microeconomics
As of February 2017, Dietmar Fehr will join the AWI as a Junior Professor in Microeconomics. His research and teaching specializes in behavioral and experimental economics. Although his main focus is micro economic, Dietmar Fehr’s work on inequality and coordination in multiple-equilibria settings is also relevant to macro-economic problems. Details on his research and teaching can be found here.
To Shoot or not to Shoot
To shoot or not to shoot (and wait for the next opportunity) is an important decision for a hunter. As human hunters subject wildlife populations to mortality rates that far exceed natural rates, it is important to understand what shapes hunting selection patterns. Florian Diekert and colleagues developed a theoretical model of hunting behavior and analyzed data on red deer hunting incidents from more than 250 locations in Norway between 1999 and 2010. The results show that a number of constraints, including nearing the close of a hunting season, few animal sightings, and competition among hunters, increase the likelihood that a hunter would shoot an animal. The full article, published in PNAS, can be found here.
Experimental Economics Workshop for Junior Researchers
The first HeiKaMaxY workshop took place on Friday, November 25, 2016. The HeiKaMaxY brings together young researchers from Heidelberg, Karlsruhe and Mannheim for one day to discuss both complete papers and research ideas in experimental and behavioral economics. More information on the program can be found here.
10th HeiKaMaX Workshop
On November 18th, the 10th HeiKaMaX Workshop will take place at the ZEW in Mannheim. The workshop brings together experimental economists from the Universities of Heidelberg, Mannheim and Karlsruhe. The workshop includes work on bargaining, information disclosure, and decision making under uncertainty, among others. Details can be found here.
Public Lecture Series on Globalization
During the winter term 2016, the Research Center for Distributional Conflict and Globalization hosts a weekly public lecture series on "The End of Globalization? Understanding Challenges to International Cooperation" (organized by Andreas Fuchs and Sebastian Ziaja). Scholars and policymakers will present their view on globalization covering foreign aid, trade, the Brexit, and the refugee crisis, among others. Information can be found here.
New Assistant Professors
The AWI welcomes two new assistant professors. Isabel Marcin joined the team of Christoph Vanberg at the Chair for Public Finance, coming from the Max-Planck Institute for Research on Collective Goods in Bonn. Her research will focus on experimental and behavioral analyses of institutions of collective decision making. Florian Diekert joined the AWI as a Junior Professor for common property resource economics, coming from the University of Oslo. Florian’s research is supported by an ERC Starting Grant. Information on Florian’s ERC project can be found here.
New Junior Professorship
Fabian Krüger has accepted the offer to take over the Junior Professorship Empirical Economics (Volkswirtschaftslehre mit dem Schwerpunkt Empirische Wirtschaftsforschung) starting with the winter term 2016/17. Information on Fabian’s research can be found here.
Christina Gathmann was appointed to the Editorial Panel of the Journal "Economic Policy" for the period 2017-2018. More information can be found here.
International Ranking of Economics Departments
The 2016 Tilburg University Economics Schools Research Ranking puts the Alfred-Weber-Institute on rank 120 worldwide. The ranking is based on publications in the most prestigious international economics journals in the period 2011 through 2015, and does not discount for department size. Among the 76 ranked German universities, the Alfred-Weber-Institute is ranked 7th. More information on the ranking can be found here.
Marsilius Symposium on Dynamic Decision Making
On June 10, Jürgen Eichberger (AWI), Klaus Fiedler (Psychology) and Knut Schnell (Psychiatry) organized a Marsilius Symposium on "Quantity of Information and Quality of Decisions." International researchers presented their research on the question of how decisions evolve dynamically in the presence of uncertainty when people can collect information. The workshop complemented the three organizers’ Marsilius Fellowship. More information on the topic can be found on the organizers’ website.
Scientific Board: Society for Experimental Finance
Stefan Trautmann has been elected to the scientific board of the Society for Experimental Finance. More information on activities of the society can be found here.
Development Economics and Policy Conference 2016
Axel Dreher and Stefan Klonner organize the 2016 Development Economics and Policy Conference of the German Economic Association’s Research Group on Development Economics. The conference takes place in Heidelberg on June 3-4. Details on the program can be found here.
Marine Environmental Protection
Timo Goeschl has been appointed to the Expert Working Group on Marine Geoengineering at the UN International Maritime Organisation, London. IMO is the United Nations' specialized agency responsible for safety and security of shipping and the prevention of marine pollution by ships.