Written theses with Prof. Fehr and his group

Professor Fehr and his group supervise bachelor, master, semester, and diploma theses. Usually, the theses are integrated into a current research project. Many of our research projects cover themes such as fairness, social norms, and reciprocity and their influence on the areas of labor markets, contract theory, and theory of the firm, among others. For contextual preparation, we suggest that you should have attended at least one of the following courses: "Empirical methods, part 2: experimental economic research" [Empirische Methoden, Teil 2: Experimentelle Wirtschaftsforschung], Psychological Foundations of Economic Behavior (Behavioral Economics), or Organizational Economics [Grundlagen der Personal- und Organisationsökonomik].

Methodically, the Fehr group has a strong empirical orientation. Many of our research projects involve the assessment of field data, experimental data, or data from a field experiment for the examination of a theoretical problem. We thus expect our students to have excellent theoretical knowledge in statistics and econometrics and some experience with common software packages for data analysis such as Stata. Furthermore, very strong knowledge in microeconomics is imperative for understanding the problems.

It is possible that you – within the framework of your thesis – must plan and execute an economic experiment and analyze the collected data on your own. It is advantageous if you have some experience in programming when planning and doing an experiment. Our experiments take place in the computer laboratory of the IEW and they must be programmed in z-Tree, a program especially developed for doing decision experiments (http://www.ztree.uzh.ch/index.html). Doing an experiment also involves writing the instructions for the participants (in German). The actual written thesis then consists of presenting the results, explaining the motivation behind the problem, and embedding the thesis in the existing literature.

It is also possible that literary thesis themes will be assigned. In this case, we expect you to examine literature on a specific, well-defined thematic area, recapitulate these in your own words, and place the individual papers in the proper context with respect to one another.

In general, we expect an exceptionally high effort from our students.

If you are interested in writing a bachelor, master, semester, or diploma theses at the Fehr chair, please send the following documentation and information to  Julien Senn by email:

  1. A transcript which shows the courses you attended and the grades you received.
  2. Please submit a short description of the themes which interest you in general. Do you have a concrete idea for the theme of your thesis?
  3. When would you like to write the thesis?
  4. Would it be possible for one of the employees who speaks English at the institute to supervise your thesis? This would also mean that you must write your thesis in English.

Please send your information early enough before your planned starting date, but not more than 10 weeks in advance, as we will otherwise not be able to ascertain which research projects will be completed during the timeframe you foresee. Please take note in your time planning that we only select those students whose theses we can supervise on a bi-weekly basis from the applications we receive.

As soon as you have submitted the necessary documentation, we will include you in our applicant pool. After our bi-weekly meeting, we will inform you whether we can offer you a theme at our chair. Please take note while planning your studies that we might not be able to offer you a theme due to the high number of applications and our limited capacity for supervision.

You will find further information at the following links: