News and Media

A Good Year for the SNS Lab in the Media

UZH Journal Logo

2018-02-16: The current issue of the UZH Journal lists the top ten of all media releases by the University of Zurich in 2017. Research topics with a link to personal experience are most often taken up by the media. With its research on the different reactions of the brain to generosity between men and women, the SNS Lab ranks second and accounts for three of the top ten releases.

UZH Journal

Flexible Work on the Fast Lane

2018-02-14: In the current issue of Finanz und Wirtschaft, David Dorn looks at the changes in employment types. Switzerland plays a pioneering role regarding part-time positions. Due to the relatively high wages, part-time work is much more popular here than in the surrounding European countries. Dorn notes that, when assessing flexible forms of work, it is important to consider whether flexibility primarily benefits the companies or the employees. 

Article (in German)

Should Robots pay Taxes?

2018-02-13: With robots replacing many of the mid-tier jobs, the gap between the highest and lowest wages increases. Should robots show some solidarity and participate in taxes paying for unemployment benefits? Florian Scheuer believes we should at least think about it, but need to consider the consequences of a tax on «automate workers»in an international context. Interview by local Radio32. 

Listen here

10 Things to Read to Understand America

Prof. David Dorn

2018-02-09: Since the turn of the century, different social, cultural and economic developments have changed the USA to its core: Rising diversity and racial division, inequality and the discontents of a free-market world, political polarization, and the threats of foreign competition and slowing growth, present the country with new challenges. Noah Smith, Columnist at Bloomberg View, has compiled a reading list addressing these subjects to help deepen the understanding of modern America. The paper "The China Shock" by David Dorn, David Autor and Gordon Hanson made the cut and is described as a "landmark economics paper, which really deserves to be turned into a book".


Marie Skłodowska-Curie Individual Fellowship Grant for Lydia Hellrung

2018-02-06: Lydia Hellrung, received a Marie Skłodowska-Curie Individual Fellowship Grant from the European Commission for her research on Dopaminergic midbrain modulations by (adaptive) neurofeedback. With this project, she aims to understand the influence of the dopamine system on value based decision-making, such as whether a specific reward is worth enduring some kind of punishment. To date, this is a much-debated area with little empirical investigation.


Why do we Cheat?

Dans la tête de on RTS

2018-01-31: The programme "Dans la tête de" on RTS takes an in-depth look into the mind of cheaters. Why do people cheat and when? Various examples from daily life, sport and research show that the temptation to be dishonest is greater if, for example, you feel unobserved or have the feeling that the majority of others are doing the same. With interviews and smaller experiments, the programme tries to show how people define cheating and how moral values influence our actions. On the hypothesis that dishonesty in the financial world is culturally determined, Michel Maréchal talks about his research and the results of a study he carried out on this subject.

Video on RTS (in French)

Timing is Crucial for Crop Insurance

Prof. Lorenzo Casaburi

2018-01-31: Very few smallholder farmers are taking out insurance against the risk of losing their crops and thereby their entire income. Lorenzo Casaburi conducted a trial which analyzed the adoption rate of insurance depending on the timing of insurance payments. The results show that the demand for crop insurance increases from 5% to 72% if farmers are offered the possibility to delay the payment of the insurance premium. 


Is the Inequality between Rich and Poor Actually Increasing?

Prof. Dina Pomeranz

2018-01-22: In an interview with Radio SRF, Dina Pomeranz talks about OXFAM's study on wealth distribution, which was published this week. She emphasizes the need to differentiate between income and wealth, since inequality mainly affects wealth, while the trend in income is moving in a different direction than the study suggests. Over the last decades, living standards have improved significantly in developing countries. She also explains the prerequisites to build up wealth and discusses measures to counteract inequality.


Christian Ruff on the State of Non-invasive Brain Stimulation

Journal Cover

2018-01-09: In the current edition of Nature Neuroscience Christian Ruff and his co-authors Rafael Polonia and Michael Nitsche summarize the state of non-invasive brain stimulation research in humans, discuss some current debates about properties and limitations of these methods, and give recommendations for how these challenges may be addressed.





Michel Maréchal appointed Associate Editor to the Journal of the European Economic Association

Michel Marechal

2018-01-09: Michel Maréchal has been appointed Associate Editor to the Journal  of the European Economic Association (JEEA). He is the second representative from our Department in this role, alongside David Dorn. The JEEA was established in 2003 and has meanwhile risen to be one of the top ten journals in economics. The aim of the European Economic Association is to help base economic decision-making on scientific principles, facts and economic theory, rather than on political discussions.  

The Rise of China and the Swiss Economy

2018-01-08: In an Interview in Blick, David Dorn gives an optimistic outlook on the Swiss economy in the face of the rise of Chinese manufacturing power. With its history of specialization and international trade, Switzerland is in a good position to further increase exports. Dorn also argues against automation-pessimism and points out that the effects of technological change are slower than, i.e. changes in the global trade structure. Whereas changes in international trade have an immediate effect on whole sectors of an economy, advances in technology affect individual job-roles, leaving more room and time for the economy to adapt. However, not all is blue skies and sunshine:   The polarization in the job-market and the loss of middle-income jobs is a challenge all societies face.