Assistant Professorship of Experimental Economics (EXP)

 

The Assistant Professorship of Experimental Exconomics headed by Jun.-Prof. Dr. Lisa Spantig teachs different seminars on topics related to recent research in behavioral and experimental economics. In addition to learning about a given topic and experimental methods, students gain practical knowledge in writing academic papers and giving academically oriented presentations. The seminars are graded based on written term papers and oral presentations, and rely on a mixture of theoretical input, group work, interactions between students and me, as well as feedback on papers and presentations.

Research

The research we conduct lies at the intersection of behavioral and development economics.

Questions related to behavioral economics that we are interested in range from determinants of lying behavior and how decisions of individuals differ from those of groups, to issues regarding social norms and monitoring in different contexts.

In development economics, we study how access to finance can be improved for poor populations with a focus on microfinance and digital financial services.

In our research, we use experimental methods ranging from lab to field experiments, often in combination with survey and administrative data. We collect these data in-person, over the phone, online or in virtual reality.

Research Projects

Flexible Microcredit: Effects on Loan Repayment and Social Pressure:

How can microcredit be better adjusted to the needs of the borrowers? How does allowing for flexible repayments impact loan repayment and how does it change dynamics withing the borrowing groups?

Measuring Individual Preferences for Truth-Telling:

How can we measure individuals’ propensity to lie without closely observing them? Which role does the intrinsic preference to be honest play in misreporting decisions and to what extent are decisions influenced by being observed by others?

The Effects of Information Sharing on Moral Hazard in Credit Markets – Evidence from a Randomized Evaluation in the Philippines:

What happens when microcredit borrowers become aware of the fact that their loan repayment data is shared with other lenders? Does it provide an additional incentive to work hard in their business? Does it increase repayment rates?

Scam identification ability, confidence, and the use of digital financial services:

What can we learn from social media about how phone scams look like in Kenya? To what extent can individuals distinguish between scams and official communication by banks and phone service providers? Who are the people more likely to fall for a scam? How does the ability to detect scams relate to the use of digital financial services?

Real-Time Monitoring at the Workplace:

How do workers react to being directly monitored by their principals? What are the effects on productivity, stress and satisfaction of the monitored agents? Are there any factors that can be used to predict agents’ reaction to being monitored?