Nudging towards more Eco-Friendly Lunches
2020-02-18: Using an experiment, six municipal staff canteens in Zurich have tried to improve their CO2 balance. Without coercion or financial incentives, customers should be encouraged to choose climate-friendly menus with more plant-based foods. This was to be achieved through nudging and gamification: the restaurants were competing against each other, in order to encourage the visitors to participate. Nick Netzer answers the most important questions about nudging and explains why, when it comes to climate protection, he would intervene more directly rather than just nudge people.
Read the article about the experiment and the interview in the «NZZ».
You Think You Know What Economics is About?
2020-02-13: This question set the theme for the second Research Slam held at the Department of Economics at the end of last semester. Aimed at Bachelor and Master students, the event wants to highlight the broad variety of topics, that economics can contribute to. Twelve PhDs, Post-Docs and Professors from the Department gave entertaining 5-minute talks on a paper in their research area. By giving students an insight into economics that might exceed what they learn as part of the curriculum, the participants hope to pass on their enthusiasm for research. The event was organized by a team around PhD students Ursina Schaede, Lexi Schubert and Claude Raisaro and was supported by the Department and the UBS Center. You can listen to the podcast now in case you missed it and be sure to save the date for the next edition on 29 April.
Why Are Economists Talking About Climate Change?
2020-01-27: The answer to this question was given at the public lecture organized by the UBS Center for Economics in Society last week, by the speaker himself, Nobel Prize laureate, William Nordhaus. In his opinion, carbon pricing, either as cap-and-trade or as a tax, is the most effective solution in fighting climate change. Drawing an analogy to a tram ride in Zurich, he also pointed out the main problem why international climate policy has come to a dead end: freeriding, "Schwarzfahren" in German, is too easy, because the likelihood of being caught is not very high and the penalties are too small. He proposes a "climate club", where non-participants would face export tariffs, therefore incentivizing nations to contribute to global climate policy. Nordhaus` lecture attracted a very diverse crowd who had many questions during the Q&A session, showing that climate change is in fact the topic everyone is talking about.
Read the interview with William Nordhaus in NZZ am Sonntag (in German)
Watch the video of the public lecture.
Moral appeals alone will not suffice
2020-01-14: In an interview in the Der Bund Ernst Fehr explains why we need policy intervention and a general climate tax. "The prevention of global warming is a prime example of legitimate state intervention. Individual actors generate negative external effects, and the state must intervene. This is 101 textbook knowledge, and all economists agree on this point. The prevention of global warming is a public good, one of the most important ones for humanity".
Article in Der Bund (PDF, 669 KB) (PDF, German)
Parental leave has no negative consequences on companies or coworkers
Who is Who: David Dorn
2020-01-07: David Dorn's track record in economic research is listed in the current edition of the Who is Who in Research list. David Dorn examines, among other things, how the economic rise of China has affected social and political conditions in the USA. As the most cited professor at an European university, David Dorn regularly presents his research findings to national and international politicians and business associations.
Björn Bartling appointed Associate Editor to the Journal of the European Economic Association
2020-01-06: Björn Bartling has been appointed Associate Editor to the Journal of the European Economic Association (JEEA). He is the third representative from our Department in this role, alongside David Yanagizawa-Drott and Michel Maréchal. 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.
Social security does not make people lazy
2020-01-02: Interview with Dina Pomeranz in Finanz und Wirtschaft covering the drivers of economic growth in developing countries, the role of empirical evidence to move political discussions out of the ideological corner, and how randomized trials can refute beliefs regarding the effectiveness of aid projects in developing countries.