News and Media

Fabrizio Zilibotti on the unresolved pension reform


2015-11-26: The return on the AHV should be adapted to the production growth and demographic trends, the second pillar should be strictly guided by the market interest rates.

The industrialized countries need to deal with the consequences of the rapid aging of the population. The demographic dynamics pose a problematic situation for the two key institutions of the modern welfare state: the health and pension system. High quality performance and generous pensions are being demanded, which in reality is very hard to maintain since there are more people retiring than working.

F&W article (in German)



Joachim Voth describes how long term shares are probably not always spot on

media photo
2015-11-24: To a certain extent shares are part of any sensible investment strategy. But history does not repeat itself - excess returns on equity investments are not guaranteed.

Fabrizio Zilibotti invited to give the 2016 Walras-Bowley Lecture


2015-11-17: Fabrizio Zilibotti has been invited to give the “Walras-Bowley Lecture” at the 2016 North American Meeting of the Econometric Society. The Meeting is hosted by the Wharton School and the Department of Economics at the University of Pennsylvania and will take place from June 16 to 19, 2016.

Conference website

Fabrizio Zilibotti is President Elect of the European Economic Association (EEA) and will be President in 2016.

Video about European Economic Association (EEA)

David Hémous on how innovation enriches the 1%, while increasing social mobility

20015-10-27: David Hémous explains how the quickening pace of innovation has made life both sweeter and more unstable for the mega-rich, and given the poor a higher chance of reaching the top.

Insead Knowledge article

Female genital cutting is largely a family matter and not an all-pervasive social norm

2015-09-25: A new study by researchers at the University of ZuricScienceh challenges the prevailing view that female genital cutting is predominantly a norm based on all families trying to be alike.

According to the study, published in Science, families actually vary tremendously in matters related to cutting. This indicates that heterogeneous motives at the family level play a crucial role when parents decide whether to cut their daughters. The results question the assumptions behind many programs that attempt to reduce cutting. Worldwide an estimated 125 million girls and women are cut despite the fact that female genital cutting leads to serious health problems throughout life. Development agencies spend considerable resources each year on programs that attempt to reduce cutting. These programs are often based on the assumption that cutting is a deeply entrenched social norm arising from a strong need for families to be alike.

Press release in English (UZH Mediadesk)
Medienmitteilung auf Deutsch (UZH Mediadesk)
SCIENCE publication

Richard H. Thaler: Misbehaving – The Making of Behavioral Economics

2015-09-17: On September 17, 2015, the Department of Economics – together with the Müller-Möhl Foundation – hosted a public lecture by Richard H. Thaler, who is Ralph and Dorothy Keller Distinguished Service Professor of Behavioral Science and Economics at the University of Chicago Booth School of Business.
Bild Thaler A couple of hundred people gathered in the main auditorium of the University of Zurich in order to hear Professor Thaler’s arresting, frequently hilarious account of the struggle to bring an academic discipline back down to earth. Thaler has written a number of books intended for a popular audience with which he succeeds in shaking up the reign of traditional economics that had dominated thought for the fifty previous years. His recurrent theme is that market-based approaches are incomplete. This is also true for his recently published book, entitled “Misbehaving: The Making of Behavioral Economics”. In his public speech, Thaler took the audience with him on a long journey, describing his personal development from the student learning conventional economic theory to a questioning young teacher to an absolute advocate of behavioral economics.

Read the whole article (PDF, 758 KB)

Video of Thaler Event
NZZ article (in German)
Foto Gallery

Top position in the Handelsblatt-Ranking

2015-09-15: The economists at the University of Zurich (UZH) have once again attained excellent ratings in the 2015 edition of the economics ranking of the German newspaper Handelsblatt. The UZH Department of Economics, with 23 economics professors, ranks third amongst the top economics departments in German speaking countries.

As usual, the UZH Department of Economics leads the top journal ranking (top journals A+). The researchers with the highest number of top publications at the department are Ernst Fehr (2nd) and Joachim Voth (7th), followed by Björn Bartling (14th). Furthermore, young professors such as David Dorn and Nick Netzer are found among the top ten researchers in the “Top-100 economists under 40” ranking.

With the hiring of further highly qualified researchers the department ensures the ongoing growth of its faculty. Recently, Prof. Pietro Biroli, Prof. Rema Hanna, Prof. David Hémous, and Prof. Hannes Schwandt joined the department.

Top Economic Faculties (in German)
Best Research Performance “A+” (in German)
Top-100 economists under 40 “A+” (in German
OEC News (in German)

Joachim Voth on indoctrination by the Nazis

 2015-09-14: The economists Hans-Joachim Voth (University of Zurich), and Nico Voigtländer (University of California) show that Germans who grew up under the Nazi regime are much more anti-Semitic than those born before or after that period.

Interview with Joachim Voth (in German)

TV segment on 3sat (in German)

Christian Ruff examines questions about money as motivator

2015-09-09: The questions of the quiz show "Who wants to be a Millionaire?" are about where money serves as a motivator and where not. The neuroeconomics professor Christian Ruff has examined these questions from a technical point of view.

Ernst Fehr listed again as most influential economist in Switzerland

2015-09-06: The Swiss newspaper “Neue Zürcher Zeitung” recently published its second ranking of the most influential economists of Switzerland. Ernst Fehr is once again top of the list, followed by Jan-Egbert Sturm und Bruno S. Frey. In addition to the scientific achievements of the candidates, the ranking takes account of their presence in the media and their relationship with politicians and public authorities.

In parallel with Switzerland, respective newspapers have published the results for Germany and Austria. Fehr is number two in Germany and number one in terms of research citations in Austria.

NZZ article (in German)
FAZ article (in German)

Hannes Schwandt comments on frequent diagnosis of ADHD in young children

2015-09-04: The youngest children in class receive more often a diagnosis for Attention Deficit Disorder (ADHD). Scientists have a banal explanation.

Article in Frankfurter Rundschau Online (German)

Workshop in Honor of Josef Falkinger

Bild2015-08-31: Current and former colleagues, students, and friends of Josef Falkinger gathered on August 28 - 29, 2015, in order to discuss their latest research findings and to honor Professor Falkinger’s contribution to the scientific community. The Workshop took place in t

The Hotel Hirschen in Wildhaus, which lies in the Toggenburg, a region high in the valley between Säntis and the Churfirsten mountain range of Switzerland.


David Dorn comments on rising employment in the public sector

2015-07-27: Between 2005 and 2014 the number of municipal employees has increased by 20 percent - the population has grown by only 10 percent. This provokes criticism.
Article in Tagesanzeiger (in German)