Bruno Frey is a distinguished professor of economics at the University of Zürich. He has published as many as 433 articles in academic journals of economics. He is well-known for his research on happiness and neo-classical concept of economic rationality. He ranks 70th in the REPEC worldwide citation ranking for academic economists
- 1 First reports of self-plagiarism and subsequent reprimand
- 2 New cases of self-plagiarism
- 2.1 Bruno Frey solo
- 2.2 With Felix Oberholzer-Gee
- 2.3 With Stephan Meier
- 2.4 With Reiner Eichenberger
- 2.5 With Katja Rost, Emil Inauen and Margit Osterloh
- 2.6 With Reto Jegen
- 2.7 With Marcel Kucher
- 2.8 With Simon Luechinger
- 2.9 With Alois Stutzer and Simon Luechinger
- 2.10 With Alois Stutzer
- 2.11 With Susanne Neckermann
- 2.12 With Christine Benesch
- 2.13 With Matthias Benz
- 3 References
First reports of self-plagiarism and subsequent reprimand
In the spring and summer of 2011, several weblogs reported on a possible violation of academic integrity by Bruno Frey. Allegedly Bruno Frey, together with co-authors Benno Torgler and David Savage, submitted different versions of a paper on survival probabilities on the Titanic to several academic journals of economics without each of the papers citing the other ones. The editors of four academic journals went on to publish the articles. This form of self-plagiarism is considered unethical by the academic profession since this limits the possibilities of other scholars to contribute to the scientific debate while, if the duplication goes unnoticed, it adds to the academic reputation of the authors, whose academic status is generally measured by the number of publications and the reputation of the academic journals. Most academic journals let authors sign a statement to make sure parts of the work have not been published earlier and like many universities, the University of Zürich prohibits self-plagiarism by its employees. In a rare move, the editor of the Journal of Economic Perspectives, David Autor published correspondence between him and Bruno Frey where he deplored the fact that Frey et al. had simultaneously submitted articles on the Titanic disaster to the Journal of Economic Perspectives, the Journal of Economic Behavior and Organizations and Rationality & Society, stating that “The American Economic Association does not intend to pursue legal action against you for violation of copyright. However, we find this matter ethically dubious and disrespectful to Association, the Journal of Economic Perspectives and the JEP ’s readers”. In a reply, Frey wrote I have forwarded the letter to Benno Torgler and we well understand your very serious complaint and we both agree that you are right. It was a grave mistake on our part for which we deeply apologize. It should never have happened. This is deplorable. We both wish to emphasize that as senior researchers we take full responsibility”. A similar article had also been published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.
New cases of self-plagiarism
In August 2011, reports of additional cases of self-plagiarism surfaced on the internet. They are shown here as examples of self-plagiarism.
Bruno Frey solo
Perspectives on Psychological Science 2006 (does not cite EMR or articles with Susanne Neckermann), abstract: "Awards in the form of orders, medals, decorations, prizes, and titles are ubiquitous in monarchies and republics, private organizations, and not-for-profit and profit-oriented firms. Nevertheless, this kind of nonmaterial extrinsic incentive has been given little attention in the social sciences, including psychology. The demand for awards relies on an individual’s desire for distinction, and the supply of awards is governed by the desire to motivate. The technique of analytic narratives is used to show that a number of empirically testable propositions about awards are consistent with observable data."
European Management Review 2007 (does not cite PPS or papers with Neckermann), abstract: "Awards are non-material, extrinsic compensation taking the form of orders, medals, decorations and prizes. They have been widely used in monarchies and republics, private organizations, not-for-profit and profit-oriented firms. Nevertheless, they have so far not received much attention. This paper develops empirically testable hypotheses, analysing the determinants of the supply of awards. The hypotheses refer to the possibility of using awards, the effectiveness of awards, and the capacity to maintain the scarcity value of awards. As the number of awards bestowed cannot (at least so far) be measured adequately, empirical evidence is adduced by way of illustrative examples."
On peer review
Public Choice 2003, abstract: "Survival in academia depends on publications in refereed journals. Authors only get their papers accepted if they intellectually prostitute themselves by slavishly following the demands made by anonymous referees who have no propertyrights to the journals they advise. Intellectual prostitutionis neither beneficial to suppliers nor consumers. But it isavoidable. The editor (with property rights to the journal)should make the basic decision of whether a paper is worth publishing or not. The referees should only offer suggestions for improvement. The author may disregard this advice. This reduces intellectual prostitution and produces more original publications."
European Journal of Law and Economics 2005 (does not cite Public Choice), abstract: "Survival in academia depends on publications in refereed journals. Authors only get their papers accepted if they intellectually prostitute themselves by slavishly following the demands made by anonymous referees without property rights to the journals they advise. Intellectual prostitution is neither beneficial to suppliers nor consumers. But it is avoidable. The editor (with property rights to the journal) should make the basic decision of whether a paper is worth publishing or not. The referees should only offer suggestions on how to improve the paper. The author may disregard this advice. This reduces intellectual prostitution and produces more original publications."
With Felix Oberholzer-Gee
On nuclear power plants
Journal of Political Economy 1996 (cites only JPAM) Title of main table: "Determinance of acceptance to host a nuclear waste repository, results of a binary logit analysis" Titles of columns of main table: "Willingness to accept facility without compensation; Willingness to accept facility with compensation" Rows: "Individual risk estimates; negative income impacts; home ownership; support for nuclear energy; acceptance of current procedure; importance of fair procedure; political orientation; income; age; sex" American Economic Review 1997 (does not cite other three papers) Title of main table: "DETERMINANTS OF ACCEPTANCE TO HOST A NUCLEAR WASTE REPOSITORY-RESULTS OF A LOGIT ANALYSIS" Titles of columns of main table: "Willingness to accept facility without compensation; Willingness to accept facility with compensation" Rows: "Individual risk estimates; negative income impacts; home ownership; political orientation; income; age; sex; general support for nuclear technology; quality of current siting procedure" Public choice 1997 (does not cite other three papers) Title of main table: "Determinants of changes in the probability to rate a siting procedure for radioactive waste as acceptable" Columns of main table: "negotiations general population; current procedure general population; current procedure hosts; expert decision general population; referenda general population" Rows of main table: "fairness; security; time; local influence; income; age; sex Journal of policy analysis and management 1998 (does not cite other three papers) Title of main table: "Determinants of changes in the probability of rating siting procedures for high-level radioactive waste as acceptable" Columns of main table: "negotiations general population; current procedure general population; current procedure hosts; expert decision general population; referenda general population" Rows of main table: "fairness; security; time; local influence; income; age; sex
1 American Economic Review 1997 (does not cite Journal of Political Economy 1996): "Economists have a handy tool for solving NIMBY problems. As the aggregate net benefits of undertaking the project are positive, one must simply redistribute them in an appropriate way. Economic theory suggests that communities can be induced to accept the undesired project by compensating them in such a way as to make their net benefits positive, while all other communities must be taxed to raise the sum of compensation."
1 JPE 1996 (does not cite American Economic Review 1997): “Economists have devised handy tools to deal with NIMBY problems. As the aggregate net benefits of undertaking these projects are positive, one must simply redistribute them in an appropriate way. Host communities must be compensated to make their net benefits positive, and everyone else is taxed to raise the sum of compensation.”
2 AER: “The procedure described in the question is identical to the one actually employed in Switzerland. In order to build a repository, the developer (NAGRA), the federal parliament, and the local town hall meeting all have to agree on the project.”
2 JPE: “The procedure we described was identical to the one actually employed in Switzerland. In order to build a repository, the developer, the federal parliament, and the local town hall meeting all have to agree on the project. “
3 AER: “Table I reports the results of a binary logit analysis which seeks to explain why individuals accept a nuclear waste facility. The dependent response are "accept" answers. Those who did not care about the construction of a nuclear waste repository were omitted from the analysis. The predictive power of our model (column I, without compensation) is quite satisfactory. Eighty percent of all answers are predicted correctly. The results of the binary logit analysis correspond to our theoretical expectations and previous empirical findings. Higher perceived risk, negative economic impacts, and ownership of a home all decrease the willingness to host a nuclear waste repository. This refutes the notion that individuals do not act rationally when confronted with nuclear waste facilities. The costs a facility imposes on its immediate neighbors largely explain their resistance. 15 Personal characteristics such as political orientation, income, age, education, and sex do not exercise any significant influence. As does earlier siting research, we also find that the general support for nuclear energy and the quality of the site selection procedure positively influence the willingness to accept the repository.”
3 JPE: “The dependent response of the estimates is supportive votes. Those who did not care about the construction of a nuclear waste repository were omitted from the analysis. The results of the binary logit analysis correspond to our theoretical expectations. Higher perceived risks, negative economic impacts, and ownership of a home all significantly decreased the willingness to host a nuclear waste repository. Personal characteristics did not exercise any significant influence. The variables linked to civic duty point to a sizable effect of this type of intrinsic motivation. Respondents who support the Swiss nuclear program refrain from freeriding when it comes to sharing the burden associated with this technology: They exhibit an 11.4-percentage-point higher probability of accepting the waste repository.”
4 AER “We measured the degree of support for nuclear energy by asking respondents how they would vote in a national referendum on a proposition which demanded to stop producing nuclear energy. Such a propositidn was actually put to a national referendum in 1990 and was narrowly defeated.”
4. JPE “We measured the degree of support for nuclear energy by asking respondents how they would vote on a proposition that demanded an end to the production of nuclear energy. Such a proposition was narrowly defeated in a national referendum in 1990.”
5. AER “To test the effect of external compensation, we repeated the exact same question asking our respondents whether they were willing to accept the construction of a nuclear waste repository when the Swiss parliament had decided to compensate all residents of the host community (Question 2, Appendix). The amount offered varied from $2,175 per individual and year (N = 117) to $4,350 (N = 102) and $6,525 (N= 86).”
5. JPE “Effects of Compensation. To test our hypotheses, we repeated the exact same question, asking our respondents whether they were willing to accept the construction of a nuclear waste repository if the Swiss parliament decided to compensate all residents of the host community. The amount offered for the lifetime of the facility was varied from $2,175 per individual and year (N = 117) to $4,350 (N = 102) and $6,525 (N = 86).”
6. AER “The compensation offered here is quite substantial. Median household income for our respondents is $4,565 per month. Everyone who rejected the first compensation was then made a better offer, thereby raising the amount of compensation from $2,175 to $3,263, from $4,350 to $6,525, and from $6,525 to $8,700. Despite this marked increase, only a single respondent who declined the first compensation was now prepared to accept the higher offer.”
6. JPE “The compensation offered here is quite substantial: median household income for our respondents is $4,565 per month. In order to corroborate this result, we offered increases in compensation (from $2,175 to $3,263, from $4,350 to $6,525, and from $6,525 to $8,700) to all those who had declined the initial proposal. Again, the rate of acceptance did not change significantly. Only a single person switched to the supporting camp.”
7. AER “These findings are not unique to Switzerland. Kunreuther and Easterling ( 1990) report that increased tax rebates failed to elicit increased support for a nuclear waste facility in Nevada (N = 498). They reject the possibility that the rebates offered were simply too small. Similar results concerning nuclear waste repositories are reported by S. A. Carnes et al. 1(1983) for Wisconsin (N = 420), by Riley E. Dunlap and Rodney K. Baxter (1988) for Washington State (N = 658), and by Eric Herzik (1993) for Nevada (N = 1212).”
8. JPE “The bribe and the crowding-out effects are not unique Swiss phenomena. Kunreuther and Easterling (1990) found that increased tax rebates failed to elicit increased support for a nuclear waste facility in Nevada. Further results that are consistent with the hypotheses advanced above are reported by Carnes et al. (1983) for Wisconsin, by Dunlap and Baxter (1988) for Washington State, and by Herzik (1993) for Nevada.”
9. AER “Strategic Behavior. Since our observations relate to a real-world problem, we cannot rule out that the respondents answered strategically. In order to maximize the amount of compensation received from the central government, the citizens would understate their willingness to accept the repository. In this case, opposition should be greatest when no compensation was offered. This is just the opposite of what actually occurred. Furthermore, when asked why they declined the compensation offered, only 4.9 percent of the respondents indicated that the amount was insufficient to win their approval (Question 3 (a), Appendix)." Therefore, strategic behavior can be ruled out for the majority of the respondents.”
9. JPE “Strategic Behavior. One might argue that the observed price inelasticity is the result of strategic behavior. According to this view, respondents hope to be compensated even more generously when rejecting initial offers of compensation. However, this argument fails to explain the high initial approval of the facility without compensation and the fact that increases in monetary rewards had absolutely no influence on support. Moreover, when asked why they declined the compensation offered, only 4.9 percent of all respondents indicated that the financial incentives provided were insufficient. These statements are incompatible with the hypothesis of strategic behavior.”
With Stephan Meier
American Economic Review 2004 (does not cite JEBO 2004), apparently has an extra round of observations, where people were told how many other people give to charity. This is of course an interesting extension of the JEBO paper. Title of the AER paper: “Social Comparisons and Pro-Social Behavior: Testing "Conditional Cooperation" in a Field Experiment”
Journal of Economic Behavior and Organizations 2004 (does not cite AER 2004), title: “Pro-social behavior in a natural setting”
1 AER “Many important activities, such as charitable giving, voting, and paying taxes, are difficult to explain by the narrow self-interest hypothesis. In a large number of laboratory experiments, the self-interest hypothesis was rejected with respect to contributions to public goods (e.g., John O. Ledyard, 1995).”
1 JEBO “Studies of important activities, such as charitable giving (e.g. Andreoni, 2002; Weisbrod, 1998), voting (e.g. Mueller, 2003), and tax paying (e.g. Slemrod, 1992; Andreoni et al., 1998), have convincingly argued that such actions cannot be explained by relying on the strict self-interest axiom. Thus, for example, it has been stated that “[A] purely economic analysis of the evasion gamble implies that most individuals would evade if they are ‘rational’, because it is unlikely that cheaters will be caught and penalised” (Alm et al., 1992, p. 22; similarly Graetz andWilde, 1985; Skinner and Slemrod, 1985). But most people actually pay their tax dues. Tax payment can therefore be considered a “quasi-voluntary act” (Levi, 1988). The self-interest model has been clearly rejected in a great number of laboratory experiments (see Ledyard, 1995; Davis and Holt, 1993 for surveys).” 2 AER “Recent theories on pro-social behavior focus on "conditional cooperation": people are assumed to be more willing to contribute when others contribute. This behavior may be due to various motivational reasons, such as conformity, social norms, or reciprocity. According to the theory of conditional cooperation, higher contribution rates are observed when information is provided that many others contribute.”
2 JEBO “According to the notion of ‘conditional cooperation’ people contribute to a public good dependent on the behavior of others. An individual dislikes being a ‘sucker’, being the only one who contributes to a public good while the others free-ride. The more a person believes that others cooperate, the greater is the probability that this person contributes too. As stated above, such social comparison can be due to various motivational mechanisms, such as a social norm to behave appropriately. To test this notion, the students were asked in a large-scale online survey howmany other students they expect will contribute. The results of our survey show that expectations about others correlate with the individual decision to contribute to the Social Funds.”
3 AER “Only a few laboratory experiments circumvent these problems and explicitly test conditional cooperation (e.g., Urs Fischbacher et al., 2001). These studies conclude that roughly 50 percent of people increase their contribution if others do so as well.”
3 JEBO “In a recent standard public good experiment, for example, it was identified that, according to this definition, roughly 50 percent of the subjects are conditional cooperators, while a third of the subjects act as free riders (Fischbacher et al., 2001). According to this study, the observation that cooperation declines after repetition in public goods games4 is due to conditional cooperation: people adjust their contribution according to what others do, but give slightly less.”
4 AER “Each semester, every student at the University of Zurich is asked to decide anonymously whether to contribute to two charitable funds”
4 JEBO “Each semester, all the students at the University of Zurich have to decide whether or not they want to contribute to two official Social Funds in addition to the compulsory tuition”
5 AER “They can make a voluntary donation of CHF 7 (about $4.20) to a fund that offers low-interest loans to students in financial difficulty and/or CHF 5 (about $3) to a fund supporting foreign students. They have the further option not to donate to either fund.”
5 JEBO “the students are asked whether they want to give a specific amount of money (CHF 7.-, about US$ 4.20) to a Fund that offers cheap loans to students in financial difficulties and/or a specific amount of money (CHF 5.-, about US$ 3) to a second Fund supporting foreigners who study at the University of Zurich. Without their explicit consent (by marking a box), students do not contribute to any Fund at all.”
6 AER “while experimental research in laboratories leads to many insights about human behavior, it is still unclear exactly how these results can be applied outside of the laboratory. Our field experiment enables this gap to be narrowed, while still controlling for relevant variables.”
6 JEBO “The experimental evidence may teach us a lot about human behavior. However, it remains an open question how best these results can be applied outside the lab. This paper wants to fill this gap by testing behavioral theories in a naturally occurring situation, thus bringing back external validity to the test of pro-social behavior.”
7 AER “We observe that the higher the expectation of the students about the average group behavior, the more likely it is that they contribute. Students expect, on average, 57 percent of their fellow students to contribute to both funds. They underestimate the actual contribution rate of 67 percent. The coefficient of correlation between the expressed expectations and the contribution to at least one fund is 0.34 (p <0.001).” 7 JEBO “The results of our survey show that expectations about others correlate with the individual decision to contribute to the Social Funds. The coefficient of the correlation between the expressed expectation and the contribution to at least one Fund is 0.34. This correlation is quite large and statistically significant at a 99 percent-level (F1,3168 = 415.47,P < 0.01).”
8 AER “A change in expectations from 46 percent to 64 percent corresponds to a change in the probability of contributing by around 5.3 percentage points.”
8 JEBO “An increase of the perceived cooperation of others by 10 percentage points increases the individual probability of contributing by 6 percentage points.”
On the selfishness of students in different disciplines
Economic Inquiry 2003, title and abstract: Are political economists selfish and indoctrinated? Evidence from a natural experiment. “Most professional economists believe that economists in general are more selfish than other people and that this increased selfishness is due to economics education. This article offers empirical evidence against this widely held belief Using a unique data set about giving behavior in connection with two social funds at the University of Zurich, it is shown that economics education does not make people act more selfishly. Rather, this natural experiment suggests that the particular behavior of economists can be explained by a selection effect.”
International Journal of the Economics of Business 2004 (does cite EI), title and abstract: Do Business Students Make Good Citizens? “Business students are often portrayed as behaving too egoistically. The critics call for more social responsibility and good citizenship behavior by business students. We present evidence of pro-social behavior of business students. With a large panel data set for real-life behavior at the University ofzurich, two specific hypotheses are tested: do selfish students select into business studies or does the training in business studies negatively indoctrinate students? The evidence points to a selection effect. Business education does not seem to change the citizenship behavior of business students.”
European Journal of Law and Economics 2005 (does not cite the other papers), title and abstract: Selfish and Indoctrinated Economists? “Many people believe that economists in general are more selfish than other people and that this greater selfishness is due to economics education. This paper offers empirical evidence against this widely held belief. Using a unique data set on giving behaviour in connection with two social funds at the University of Zurich, it is shown that economics education does not make people act more selfishly. Rather, this natural experiment suggests that the particular behaviour of economists can be explained by a selection effect.”
With Reiner Eichenberger
On European and American economists
AER PP 1992 (does not cite JEP), quotes from first and last pages: 1) "America and Europe differ with regard to what economics is understood to be, how it is practiced, and how professional academic economists behave." 2) "First, American (U.S. and Canadian) economists contribute by far the largest share of journal publications and are cited much more often than European economists. In contrast, (West-) European economists consider other aspects of their professional activities more relevant, in particular participating in local and national affairs." 3) "Second, economic research by Americans tends to focus on abstract issues defined within the profession itself. Accordingly, it develops a marked internal dynamic, and academic fads play a considerable role. The activities of European economists (though not necessarily their research) are more concerned with practical issues and follow a more steady course." 4) "However, this difference is about to vanish in the future, owing to a major institutional change which is bound to affect European economists' behavior. An integration of Europe opening up the previously closed markets makes cartellization more difficult." "In short, the European academic market will become similar to the American one."
Journal of economic perspectives 1993 (does not cite AER PP), quotes from first and last pages: 1) "This paper endeavors to explain the difference between America (the United States and Canada) and Western Europe with regard to academic institutions, academic activities" 2) "Output (performance) is approached differently. Americans dominate journal publications and citations (A-output) and tend to respond in a textbook manner to statements of opinion (A-statements). European economists have a proud performance with respect to political position (E-output) and tend to evaluate performance with respect to how it is achieved" 3) "European economic scholars thus have an incentive to be both theoretically broad and institutionally specialized. In contrast, for an American scholar, knowledge of specific institutional details is of little or no benefit in the continent-wide academic market. He or she can be distinguished among the large number of competitors only by performing economics at an abstract, non-institution-specific level" 4) "In the longer run, a unified European market will bring increased mobility among academic economists, in particular with more Americans teaching and researching in Europe. There will be little, if any, difference between the type of economic research produced by Americans or Europeans; both will come up with specialized theoretical results with little local institutional content."
On the return of art investment
Journal of Cultural Economics 1995 (does not cite EER), title and abstract: "On the Return of Art Investment Return Analyses. We survey more than twenty studies estimating rates of return of investments in single art objects and whole collections and evaluate the various approaches to art price movements taken so far. The majority of the estimates find lower returns for investments in art objects than for investments in financial assets. However, most existing analyses are restricted to auction data and neglect transactions cost and taxation. They partly focus on mechanistic calculations and disregard the distinguishing institutional and behavioral characteristics of art markets. We look into the possibilities to capture and empirically estimate psychic returns from owning art."
European Economic Review 1995 (does not cite JCE), title and abstract: "On the rate of return in the art market: Survey and evaluation. Existing estimates of rates of return on single art objects and whole collections are surveyed and critically evaluated. The psychic benefits from art are, in the few cases they are considered at all, derived from the difference to financial returns on other markets. This paper discusses determinants of psychic benefits and suggests rental fees and willingness to pay studies as a possible way to analyze and estimate the psychic benefits from art."
With Katja Rost, Emil Inauen and Margit Osterloh
On monasteries and internal control mechanisms
Abstract of the paper in Journal of Management History 2010: "The monasteries that are examined show an average lifetime of almost 500 years and only a quarter of them dissolved as a result of agency problems. This paper argues that this success is due to an appropriate governance structure that relies strongly on internal control mechanisms."
Abstract of the paper in the American Review of Public Administration 2010: "Benedictine monasteries in Baden-Württemberg, Bavaria, and German-speaking Switzerland have an average lifetime of almost 500 years, and only a quarter of them broke up because of agency problems. The authors argue that they were able to survive for centuries because of an appropriate governance structure, relying strongly on the intrinsic motivation of the members and internal control mechanisms."
Abstract of the paper in the Management Revue - The international Review of Management Studies 2010: "Derived from an analysis of the Benedictine monastery of Engelberg we offer three improvements of applied governance designed to reduce agency problems. First, monastic governance emphasizes clan control rather than output control. Monasteries demonstrate that organizations can prevent agency problems by complementing external discipline with internal behavioral incentives, such as value systems and voice."
With Reto Jegen
Survey paper on the crowding out of intrinsic motivation
From the conclusion of the Annals of Economics and Statistics 2001 paper: "Many scholars have accepted the theoretical possibility of crowding effects, i. e. that an external intervention via monetary incentives or punishments may undermine (and under different indentifiable conditions strengthen) intrinsic motivation. But many of them have een critical about the empirical relevance of the crowding effects. This paper shows that this skepticism is unwarranted and that there exists indeed compelling empirical evidence for the existence of crowding out and crowding in. This conclusion is based on circumstantial evidence, laboratory evidence by both psychologists and economists as well as field evidence by econometric studies."
From the abstract of the 2001 Journal of Economic Surveys paper: "As of today, the theoretical possibility of motivation crowding has been the main subject of discussion among economists. This study demonstrates that the effect is also of empirical relevance. There exist a large number of studies, offering empirical evidence in support of the existence of crowding–out and crowding–in. The study is based on circumstantial evidence, laboratory studies by both psychologists and economists, as well as field research by econometric studies. "
With Marcel Kucher
On Swiss bonds and World War II
Swiss Journal of Economics and Statistics 1998 paper, abstract: "Historical events are reflected in asset prices. In this paper we therefore analyze the prices of Swiss government bonds traded during WWII. The econometric analysis reveals that some events that are generally considered crucial for the military threat Switzerland faced, are clearly reflected in government bond prices. This holds, in particular, for events that occured before the official outbreak of the war. The most prominent examples are the Nazi takeover in Januray 1933 or the introduction of the draft for military service in March 1935. On the other hand, some events to which historians attach great attention are not reflected in bond prices at all: The most prominent example is the German capitulation in 1945. The analysis of financial markets is certainly no substitute to the traditional inquiries undertaken by historians. But it is a challenging complementaiy method to evaluate particular sentiments existing at a given moment of time."
Empirica 1999 paper, did not cite earlier work, abstract: Historical events are reflected in asset prices. Looking at Austrian government bond prices traded on the Swiss stock exchange during WWII provides therefore a useful way of interpreting the importance the thousands of people directly and indirectly engaged in stock markets attributed to various war events. An econometric analysis of the relationship between government bond values and events in Austrian history reveals that some generally considered crucial events connected with WWII are clearly reflected in Austrian government bond prices.
Journal of Economic History 2000 paper, did not cite earlier work, abstract: "Historical events are reflected in asset prices. We analyze movements in the price of bonds issued by five European governments and traded on the Swiss bourse between 1928 and 1948, with special attention to the war years. Some war events that are generally considered crucial are clearly reflected in government bond prices. This holds, in particular, for the official outbreak of the war and changes in national sovereignty. But other events to which historians attach great importance are notreflected in bond prices, most prominently Germany’s capitulation in 1945."
Economics Letters 2000 paper, did not cite earlier work, abstract: "Historical events are reflected in asset prices. We analyze government bond prices of five European countries traded on the Swiss bourse during WWII. Apart from the official outbreak of WWII, loss and gain of national sovereignty influenced the capital market."
Economica 2001 paper, did not cite earlier work, abstract: "Historical events are reflected in asset prices. Based on a unique data-set, we analyse government bond prices of Germany and Austria traded on the Swiss bourse during the Second World War. Some war events generally considered crucial are clearly reflected in governmenbt ond prices;t his holds, in particularf,o r the officialo utbreako f the war and the loss and gain of national sovereignty. Other events to which historians attach great importance are not reflected in bond prices, most prominently Germany's capitulation in 1945. The analysis of financial markets provides a fruitful method for evaluating the importance contemporaries attached to historical events."
With Simon Luechinger
On reducing benefits of terrorism
2003 Defence Peace Economics, abstract: "Deterrence has been a crucial element in fighting terrorism, both in actual politics and rational choice analyses of terrorism. But there are superior strategies to deterrence. One is to make terrorist attacks less attractive. Another to raise the opportunity cost – rather than the material cost – to terrorists. These alternative strategies effectively dissuade potential terrorists. The strategies suggested here build on the benevolence” system and tend to produce a positive sum game among the interacting parties."
2004 Journal of Political Economy (did cite previous paper), abstract: "Consideration of anti-terrorism policy has focused almost exclusively on deterrence that seeks to fend off terrorism by raising the costs of undertaking terrorist acts. This paper suggests an alternative approach to anti-terrorism policy that is based on reducing the expected benefits of undertaking terrorist acts to prospective terrorists rather than raising the costs of doing so. Specifically, it is argued that strengthening decentralized decision-making in the polity and economy provides disincentives for terrorist attacks."
Chapter in the book The Economic analysis of terrorism 2007, conclusion: "As the preceding discussion suggests, strengthening decentralized decisionmaking may be an effective antidote against terrorist attacks"
Chapter in the book The Economic Costs and Consequences of Terrorism 2007, introduction: "In this chapter we argue that there are superior strategies to deterrence ... terrorists can be effectively dissuaded from attacking either if the utility of committing an attack to the terrorist is lowered or if the opportunity cost is raised. We propose three strategies to deal with terrorists, first two aiming at lowering the utility (...) third attempting to raise opportunity costs"
2008 Economic Papers: A journal of applied economics and policy (did cite previous papers), abstract: "Deterrence has been a crucial element in fighting terrorism. An economic analysis of terrorism also points to alternative and potentially superior policies. We suggest three policies that can well be integrated into existing constitutions of democratic and rule-based countries. Two policies are based on diminishing the benefits of committing terrorist acts for prospective terrorists. This can be done by decentralising various parts of society or by diverting attention from terrorists, once a terrorist act has been committed. A third policy is to raise the relative costs of terrorism by lowering the costs of non-violent means for pursuing political goals."
With Alois Stutzer and Simon Luechinger
On measuring the cost of terrorism
Journal of Economic Surveys 2007, abstract: “The trends and consequences of terrorist activities are often captured by counting the number of incidents and casualties. More recently, the effects of terrorist acts on various aspects of the economy have been analyzed. These costs are surveyed and put in perspective. As economic consequences are only a part of the overall costs of terrorism, possible approaches for estimating the utility losses of the people affected are discussed. Results using the life satisfaction approach, in which individual utility is approximated by self-reported subjective well-being, suggest that people’s utility losses may far exceed the purely economic consequences.”
Public Choice 2009 (did cite the previous one), abstract: “Terrorism has large social costs that are difficult to quantify for the well-known problems of eliciting people’s preferences for public goods. We use the LSA to assess these costs in utility and monetary terms. Based on combined cross-section time-series data, we estimate the costs of terrorism for France and the British Isles.We find large negative effects of terrorism on life satisfaction that translate into considerable compensating surpluses for a hypothetical reduction in terrorism, in particular for the serious conflict in Northern Ireland. The effects of terrorism are robust and differ across groups in accordance with prior expectations.”
With Alois Stutzer
On the determinants of happiness
Journal of Happiness Studies 2000 (does not cite the other papers), abstract: “An econometric analysis of a happiness function, based on a survey of 6,000 persons in Switzerland, indicates that: (1) the more developed the institutions of direct democracy, the happier the individuals are; (2) people derive procedural utility from the possibility of participating in the direct democratic process over and above a more favorable political outcome; (3) the unemployed are much less happy than the employed, independent of income; (4) higher income is associated with higher levels of happiness. The consideration of institutional differences in cross-regional data offers important new insights into happiness research.”
The Economic Journal 2000 (does not cite the other papers), abstract: “Institutional factors in the form of direct democracy (via initiatives and referenda) and federal structure (local autonomy) systematically and sizeably raise self-reported individual well-being in a cross-regional econometric analysis. This positive effect can be attributed to political outcomes closer to voters' preferences, as well as to the procedural utility of political participation possibilities. Moreover, the results of previous microeconometric well-being functions for other countries are generally supported. Unemployment has a strongly depressing effect on happiness. A higher income level raises happiness, however, only to a small extent.”
World Economics 2000 (only cites Economic Journal 2000), fragment: “Happiness depends on three sets of factors: Demographic and personality factors, such as age, gender and family circumstances, as well as nationality, education and health; Economic factors, in particular unemployment, income, and inflation; Political factors such as the extent of possibilities for citizens to participate in politics, and the degree of governmental decentralisation.”
Journal of Economic Literature 2002 (only cites Economic Journal), introduction: “how do economic growth, unemployment and inflation, and institutional factors such as governance affect individual well-being?”
With Susanne Neckermann
Perspektiven der Wirtschaftspolitik 2006, abstract: "The standard principal agent model considers monetary incentives only. It is assumed that money is more efficient than other forms of material, non-monetary compensation. Awards in the form of titles, orders, medals and honors (prizes)– though almost omnipresent – have so far escaped the attention of economists. They present extrinsic, non-monetary incentives that operate through the innate desire of human beings for recognition and status. In this article, we analyse the differences between monetary incentives and awards: in general, awards are cheap, lead to interpersonal relationships, are not directly related to performance and have a signalling value. In addition, they support intrinsic motivation, may increase social welfare and are exempt from taxation. Awards present an important additional instrument to be considered in principal agent theory. In many contexts they are superior to monetary compensation."
Journal of Psychologie 2008 (does not cite previous paper), abstract: "Awards in the form of orders, decorations, prizes, and titles are ubiquitous in monarchies and republics, private organizations, not-for-profit, and profit-oriented firms. This paper argues that awards present a unique combination of different stimuli and that they are distinct and unlike other monetary and nonmonetary rewards. Despite their relevance in all areas of life, awards have not received much scientific attention. Employing a unique data set, we demonstrate that there are substantial differences in the frequency of awards across countries. Moreover, we present the results of a vignette experiment that quantifies and isolates the effects of different award characteristics such as the publicity associated with winning an award."
Rationality, Markets and Morals 2009 (does not cite the other papers), abstract: "Awards are prevalent in all societies and at all times. So far, however, they have escaped the attention of economists. This paper presents a first analysis of awards, distinguishing them from purely monetary forms of rewards. Additionally, popular notions about the use and prevalence of awards are addressed with descriptive statistics from the International Who’s Who." Economists Voice 2009 (does not cite the previous papers), first paragraph: "Awards in the form of orders, decorations, prizes, and titles are non-material, extrinsic incentives. The Economist recently featured an article on the British honors system titled “A ridiculous, outdated system that cannot be improved upon,” recognizing that “a quick glance around the globe suggests that fancy decorations are virtually universal.” Despite the prevalence of awards, economists have largely disregarded them."
With Christine Benesch
On having many TV channels
Journal of economic psychology (2007), abstract: "Watching TV is a major human activity. Because of its immediate benefits at negligible immediate marginal costs it is for many people tempting to view TV rather than to pursue more engaging activities. As a consequence, individuals with incomplete control over, and foresight into, their own behavior watch more TV than they consider optimal for themselves and their well-being is lower than what could be achieved. We find that heavy TV viewers, and in particular those with significant opportunity cost of time, report lower life satisfaction. Long TV hours are also linked to higher material aspirations and anxiety."
The B.E. Journal of Economic Analysis & Policy (2010), abstract: "Standard economic theory suggests that more choice is usually better. We address this claim and investigate whether people can cope with the increasing number of television programs and watch the amount of TV they find optimal for themselves or whether they are prone to overconsumption. We find that heavy TV viewers do not benefit but instead report lower life satisfaction with access to more TV channels. This finding suggests that an identifiable group of individuals experiences a self-control problem when it comes to TV viewing."
With Matthias Benz
On self-employment and happiness
SWEDISH ECONOMIC POLICY REVIEW 2004, abstract: "Self-employed people are substantially more satisfied with their work than the employed. We document this relationship for a large number of countries and investigate why the self-employed are happier with their jobs. The results indicate that differences in material outcomes, like higher pay or a lower number of working hours, as well as potential differences in personality cannot account for the observed job satisfaction differences. Rather, the higher job satisfaction among the self-employed can be directly attributed to the greater independence and autonomy they enjoy. “Being your own boss” seems to provide non-pecuniary benefits from work that point to the existence of “procedural utility”: autonomy is valued beyond outcomes as a good decision-making procedure. Implications of the results for economic theory and economic policy are discussed"
Economica 2008 (does not cite SEPR 2004), abstract: "One can be independent, or one can be subject to decisions made by others. This paper argues that this difference, embodied in the institutional distinction between the decision-making procedures ‘market’ and ‘hierarchy’, affects individual wellbeing beyond outcomes. Taking self-employment as an important case of independence, it is shown that the self-employed derive higher satisfaction from work than those employed in organizations, irrespective of income gained or hours worked. This is evidence for procedural utility: people value not only outcomes, but also the processes leading to outcomes."
Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization (cites Economica, not SEPR), abstract: "The self-employed are substantially more satisfied with their work than employed persons. We document this relationship for 23 countries and show that the higher job satisfaction can mainly be attributed to the more interesting jobs and to the greater autonomy that self-employed persons enjoy. ‘Doing what you like to do’ seems to provide non-pecuniary benefits from work suggesting the existence of procedural utility: interesting work and autonomy are valued beyond material outcomes as good procedural work characteristics. The results hold for western European, North American and eastern European countries, but largely also for countries with a non-western cultural background."