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Prof. Dr. Armin Falk



Contact Information

Center for Economics and Neuroscience
Zentrale wissenschaftliche Einrichtung der Universität Bonn
Nachtigallenweg 86
53127 Bonn
Tel: +49 228 3894-701 or +49 228 3894-702 (secretariat)

Office hours by arrangement via e-mail


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Behavior and Inequality Research Institute GmbH (briq) - Director

Institute for New Economic Thinking (INET)

University of Bonn

Center for Economics and Neuroscience (CENs) - Director

Bonn Laboratory for Experimental Economics (BonnEconLab) - Director

Institute for Applied Microeconomics (IAME) - Professor of Economics

Hausdorff Center for Mathematics - Member

Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA) - Fellow and Program Director

German Institute for Economic Research (DIW) - Research Professor

Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR) - Research Fellow

Institute for Economic Research (CESifo) - Fellow

Max Planck Institute for Research on Collective Goods - External Scientific Member


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Main Research Interests

  • Behavioral Economics
  • Neuroeconomics
  • Experimental Economics
  • Labor Economics


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Curriculum Vitae

Download full CV


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Working Papers

The Formation of Prosociality: Causal Evidence on the Role of Social Environment (with Fabian Kosse, Thomas Deckers, Hannah Schildberg-Hörisch). pdf

The Nature and Predictive Power of Preferences: Global Evidence (with Anke Becker, Thomas Dohmen, Benjamin Enke, David Huffman, Uwe Sunde). IZA DP No. 9504. Revision requested: Quarterly Journal of Economics pdf

Diffusion of Being Pivotal and Immoral Outcomes (with Nora Szech). Revision requested: Review of Economic Studies pdf

How Does Socio-Economic Status Shape a Child's Personality? (with Thomas Deckers, Fabian Kosse, Hannah Schildberg-Hörisch). Revision requested: Journal of Political Economy pdf

Incentives and Information as Driving Forces of Default Effects (with Steffen Altmann, Andreas Grunewald). Revision requested: Management Science pdf

Defaults and Donations: Evidence from a Field Experiment (with Steffen Altmann, Paul Heidhues, Rajshri Jayaraman). Revision requested: Journal of the European Economic Association pdf

Unfair Pay and Health (with Fabian Kosse, Ingo Menrath, Pablo Emilio Verde, Johannes Siegrist). Revision requested: Management Science pdf

Information Processing and Commitment (with Florian Zimmermann). Revision requested: The Economic Journal

Homo Moralis: Personal Characteristics, Institutions and Moral Decision-Making (with Thomas Deckers, Fabian Kosse and Nora Szech) pdf

The Preference Survey Module: A Validated Instrument for Measuring Risk, Time, and Social Preferences (with Anke Becker, Thomas Dohmen, David Huffman, Uwe Sunde) pdf supplementary materials

Patience and The Wealth of Nations (with Thomas Dohmen, Benjamin Enke, David Huffman, Uwe Sunde) pdf

The Ancient Origins of Cross-Country Heterogeneity in Risk Preferences (with Anke Becker, Benjamin Enke) pdf

Learning about Job Search: A Field Experiment with Job Seekers in Germany (with Steffen Altmann, Simon Jäger, Florian Zimmermann) pdf

Do I Have What It Takes? Equilibrium Search with Type Uncertainty and Non-Participation, IZA DP 2531 (with David Huffman, Uwe Sunde) pdf

Interpreting Time Horizon Effects in Inter-Temporal Choice, IZA DP 6385 (with Thomas Dohmen, David Huffman, Uwe Sunde) pdf supplementary materials

Dynamic Inconsistency Predicts Self-Control Problems in Humans (with Thomas Dohmen, David Huffman, Uwe Sunde)

Seemingly Irrelevant Events Affect Economic Perceptions and Expectations: The FIFA World Cup 2006 as a Natural Experiment, IZA DP 2275 (with Thomas Dohmen, David Huffman, Uwe Sunde) pdf

Self-Confidence and Search, IZA DP 2525 (with David Huffman, Uwe Sunde)

The Power and Limits of Tournament Incentives (with Ernst Fehr, David Huffman) pdf

Early life – circumstances and preference formation – the case of breastfeeding duration (with Fabian Kosse)

Nominal or Real? The Impact of Regional Price Levels on Life Satisfaction (with Thomas Deckers, Hannah Schildberg-Hörisch)

The Non-Use of Bayes' Rule: Representative Evidence on Bounded Rationality (with Thomas Dohmen, David Huffman, Uwe Sunde, Felix Marklein) pdf

Fairness and Unemployment (with Ernst Fehr) 


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Publications in International Journals

Risk Attitudes Across the Life Course, forthcoming in Economic Journal (with Thomas Dohmen, Bart Golsteyn, David Huffman, Uwe Sunde)

Consistency as a Signal of Skills, forthcoming in Management Science (with Florian Zimmermann)

Institutions and Morals: A Reply, in European Journal of Political Economy 40(B): 391–394, 2015 (with Nora Szech) 

Neuronal correlates of social decision making are influenced by social value orientation—an fMRI study in Frontiers in Behavioral Neuroscience 9: 40, 2015 (with Katarina Kuss, Peter Trautner, Christian Montag, Bernd Weber, Klaus Fliessbach) pdf

Institutions and Contract Enforcement, in Journal of Labor Economics 33(3): 571–590, 2015 (with David Huffman, Bentley MacLeod) pdf

Neural patterns underlying social comparisons of personal performance, in Social Cognitive and Affective Neuroscience 10(4): 569–576, 2015 (with Michael Lindner, Sarah Rudorf, Robert Birg, Bernd Weber, Klaus Fliessbach) pdf

The brain correlates of the effects of monetary and verbal rewards on intrinsic motivation, in Frontiers in Decision Neuroscience 8: 303, 2014 (with Konstanze Albrecht, Johannes Abeler, Bernd Weber)

Representative Evidence on Lying Costs, in Journal of Public Economics 113: 96–104, 2014 (with Johannes Abeler, Anke Becker) pdf

Contractual Incompleteness, Unemployment, and Labor Market Segmentation, in Review of Economic Studies 81 (1): 30–56, 2014 (with Steffen Altmann, Andreas Grunewald, David Huffman) pdf

The influence of status on satisfaction with relative rewards, in Frontiers in Decision Neuroscience 4: 804, 2013 (with Konstanze Albrecht, Emma von Essen, Klaus Fliessbach)

Neural Correlates of Receiving an Apology and Active Forgiveness: An fMRI Study, in PLoS One 9 (2), 2013 (with Sabrina Strang, Verena Utikal, Urs Fischbacher, Bernd Weber) pdf

The Systematic Place of Morals in Markets - Response, Science, 341: 714, 2013 (with Nora Szech) pdf

No evidence for an effect of testosterone administration on delay discounting in male university students, published online ahaed in Psychoneuroendocrinology 38 (9): 1814–1818, 2013 (with Georgia Rada Ortner, Matthias Wibral, Anke Becker, Thomas Dohmen, Dietrich Klingmüller, Bernd Weber)

Do Lab Experiments Misrepresent Social Preferences? The Case of Self-Selected Student Samples in Journal of the European Economic Association 11(4): 839–852, 2013 (with Stephan Meier, Christian Zehnder)

A Taste for Consistency and Survey Response Behavior, published online CESifo Economic Studies 59(1):181–193, 2013 (with Florian Zimmermann)
Morals and Markets, in Science, 340, 707–711, 2013 (with Nora Szech) pdf
A reward prediction error for charitable donations reveals outcome orientation of donators, in Social Cognitive and Affective Neuroscience, 8 (2): 216–223, 2013 (with Katarina Kuss, Peter Trautner, Christian E. Elger, Bernd Weber, Klaus Fliessbach)
Validating an Ultra-Short Survey Measure of Patience, Economics Letters, 120 (2): 142–145, 2013 (with Thomas Dohmen, David Huffman, Jürgen Schupp, Uwe Sunde, Thomas Vischer, Gert G. Wagner)
A City-Wide Experiment on Trust Discrimination, in Journal of Public Economics, 100: 15–27, 2013 (with Christian Zehnder).
Living in Two Neighborhoods – Social Interaction Effects in the Laboratory, Economic Inquiry, 51(1), 563–578, 2013 (with Urs Fischbacher, Simon Gächter) pdf
Effort increases sensitivity to reward and loss magnitude in the human brain, in Social Cognitive and Affective Neuroscience, 3 (3): 342–349, 2012 (with Julien Hernandez Lallement, Katarina Kuss, Peter Trautner, Bernd Weber, Klaus Fliessbach)
Testosterone Administration Reduces Lying in Men, in PLOS ONE, 7 (10), 2012 (with Matthias Wibral, Thomas Dohmen, Bernd Weber, Dietrich Klingmüller) pdf
The Intergenerational Transmission of Risk and Trust Attitudes, Review of Economic Studies, 79(2): 645–677, 2012 (with Thomas Dohmen, David Huffman, Uwe Sunde) pdf
It's all about connections: Evidence on Network Formation, in Review of Network Economics, 11(3): 2, 2012 (with Michael Kosfeld)
The Relationship between Economic Preferences and Psychological Personality Measures, Annual Review of Economics, 4: 453–478, 2012 (with Anke Becker, Thomas Deckers, Thomas Dohmen, Fabian Kosse) pdf
Neural responses to advantageous and disadvantageous inequity, Frontiers in Human Neuroscience, 6: 165, 2012,  (with Klaus Fliessbach, Courtney B. Philipps, Peter Trautner, Marieke Schnabel, Christian E. Elger, Bernd Weber)
Competition and Relational Contracts: The Role of Unemployment as a Disciplinary Device, Journal of the European Economic Association, 10 (4): 887–907, 2012 (with Martin Brown, Ernst Fehr)

Promotions and Incentives: The Case of Multi-Stage Elimination Tournaments, Journal of Labor Economics, 30 (1), 149–174, 2012 (with Steffen Altmann, Matthias Wibral) pdf

The IZA Evaluation Dataset: Towards Evidence-Based Labor Policy-Making, International Journal of Manpower, 32(7): 731-752, 2011 (with Marco Caliendo, Lutz C. Kaiser, Hilmar Schneider, Arne Uhlendorff, Gerad J. van den Berg, Klaus F. Zimmermann)
Individual Risk Attitudes: Measurement, Determinants and Behavioral Consequences, Journal of the European Economic Association, 9(3): 522–550, 2011 (with Thomas Dohmen, David Huffman, Uwe Sunde, Jürgen Schupp, Gert G. Wagner) pdf
Unemployment and Right-wing Extremist Crime, Scandinavian Journal of Economics, 113(2): 260–285, 2011 (with Andreas Kuhn, Josef Zweimüller) pdf
Reference Points and Effort Provision, American Economic Review, 101 (2): 470–492, 2011 (with Johannes Abeler, Lorenz Götte, David Huffman)
Performance Pay and Multidimensional Sorting: Productivity, Preferences and Gender, American Economic Review, 101(2): 556–590, 2011 (with Thomas Dohmen)
Relative versus absolute income, joy of winning, and gender: Brain imaging evidence, Journal of Public Economics, 2011, 95: 279–285 (with Thomas Dohmen, Klaus Fliessbach, Uwe Sunder, Bernd Weber).
A reward prediction error for charitable donations reveals outcome orientation of donators, Social cognitive and affective neuroscience, 8(2): 216–223, 2011 (with Kuss, K., Trautner, P., Elger, C. E., Weber, B., & Fliessbach, K.). pdf
You get what you pay for: Incentives and Selection in the Education System, Economic Journal, 120 (546): 256–271, 2010 (with Thomas Dohmen).
Are Risk Aversion and Impatience Related to Cognitive Ability?, American Economic Review 100: 1238–1260, 2010 (with Thomas Dohmen, David Huffman, Uwe Sunde). pdf

Collecting Genetic Samples in Population Wide (Panel) Surveys: "Feasibility, Nonresponse and Selectivity." Survey Research Methods 4: 121–126, 2010 (with Matthias Schonlau, Martin Reuter, Thomas Dohmen, Juergen Schupp, Christian Montag, Bernd Weber, Nico A. Siegel, Uwe Sunde, Gert G. Wagner).
Direct Evidence on Risk Attitudes and Migration, Review of Economics and Statistics 92(3): 648–689, 2010 (with David A. Jaeger, Thomas Dohmen, David Huffman, Uwe Sunde). pdf
Lab Experiments Are a Major Source of Knowledge in the Social Sciences, Science 326(5952): 535–538, 2009 (with James. J. Heckman).
Biased probability judgment: Evidence of incidence and relationship to economic outcomes from a representative sample, Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization 72: 903–915, 2009 (with Thomas Dohmen, David Huffman, Felix Marklein, Uwe Sunde).
The medial prefrontal cortex exhibits money illusion, PNAS 106(13): 5025–5028, 2009 (with Bernd Weber, Antonio Rangel, Matthias Wibral). pdf
Homo Reciprocans: Survey Evidence on Behavioral Outcomes, Economic Journal, 119: 592–612, 2009 (with Thomas Dohmen, David Huffman, Uwe Sunde). pdf

Testing Theories of Fairness - Intentions Matter, (Working Paper No. 63) University of Zurich 2000, Games and Economic Behavior, 2008, (62): 287–303 (with Ernst Fehr, Urs Fischbacher).

Experimental Labor Economics: The New Palgrave Dictionary of Economics, second Edition, Palgrave Macmillan, 2008 (with Simon Gächter).

Representative Trust and Reciprocity: Prevalence and Determinants, Economic Inquiry, 2008, 46(1): 84–90 (with Thomas Dohmen, David Huffmann, Uwe Sunde). pdf 
Social Comparison Affects Reward-Related Brain Activity in the Human Ventral Striatum, Science 318(5854): 1305–1308, 2007 (with K. Fliessbach, B. Weber, P. Trautner, T. Dohmen, U. Sunde, C. E. Elger). pdf

Gift-Exchange in the Field, Econometrica 75(5): 1501–1511, 2007.

Cross-sectional Earnings Risk and Occupational Sorting: The Role of Risk Attitudes (IZA DP 1930): Labour Economics 14(6): 926–937, 2007 (with Holger Bonin, Thomas Dohmen, David Huffman, Uwe Sunde). pdf

Studying Labor Market Institutions in the Lab: Minimum Wages, Employment Protection and Workfare, Journal of Theoretical and Institutional Economics, 163(1): 30–45, 2007 (with David Huffman). pdf
How To Do Empirical Economics, Investigaciones Económicas, 30(2): 179–206, 2006 (with Francis Kramarz, Joshua D. Angrist, David M. Blau, Jean-Marc Robin, Christopher Taber). pdf
Fairness Perceptions and Reservation Wages - The Behavioral Effects of Minimum Wage Laws, Quarterly Journal of Economics 121(4): 1347–1381, 2006 (with Ernst Fehr, Christian Zehnder). pdf
The Hidden Cost of Control, American Economic Review 96(5): 1611–1630, 2006 (with Michael Kosfeld). pdf
Clean Evidence on Peer Effects, Journal of Labor Economics 24(1): 39–57, 2006 (with Andrea Ichino). pdf

A Theory of Reciprocity, Games and Economic Behavior 54(2): 293–315, 2006 (with Urs Fischbacher). pdf

The Success of Job Applications: A New Approach to Program Evaluation, Labour Economics 12(6): 739–748, 2005 (with Rafael Lalive, Josef Zweimüller). pdf
Driving Forces Behind Informal Sanctions, Econometrica 7(6): 2017–2030, 2005 (with Ernst Fehr, Urs Fischbacher). pdf
Choosing the Joneses: Endogenous Goals and Reference Standards , Scandinavian Journal of Economics 106(3): 417–435, 2004 (with Markus Keller). pdf
Relational Contracts and the Nature of Market Interactions, Econometrica (72): 747-780, 2004 (with Martin Brown, Ernst Fehr).
On the Nature of Fair Behavior, Economic Inquiry 41(1): 20–26, 2003 (with Ernst Fehr, Urs Fischbacher).

Reasons for Conflict - Lessons from Bargaining Experiments, Journal of Institutional and Theoretical Economics 159(1): 171–187, 2003 (with Ernst Fehr, Urs Fischbacher).

Why Labour Market Experiments?, Labour Economics (10): 399–406, 2003 (with Ernst Fehr). pdf
Reputation and Reciprocity - Consequences for the Labour Relation, Scandinavian Journal of Economics (104): 1–26, 2002 (with Simon Gächter). pdf
Distributional Consequences and Intentions in a Model of Reciprocity, Annales d'Economie et de Statistique (63-64): 112–129, 2001 (with Urs Fischbacher).

"Crime" in the Lab - Detecting Social Interaction, European Economic Review, (46): 859–869, 2002 (with Urs Fischbacher).

Psychological Foundations of Incentives, European Economic Review (46):687–724, 2002 (with Ernst Fehr). pdf 
Wage Rigidities in a Competitive Incomplete Contract Market, Journal of Political Economy 107: 106–134, 1999 (with Ernst Fehr).
Intrinsic Motivation and Extrinsic Incentives in a Repeated Game with Incomplete Contracts, Journal of Economic Psychology 20: 351–284, 1999 (with Simon Gächter, Judit Kovacs).
Publications in International (Refereed) Books
Reciprocity in Experimental Markets, forthcoming in: Handbook of Experimental Economics Results, ed. by C.R. Plott and V.L. Smith (Eds.), North Holland/Elsevier Press (with Ernst Fehr).
Modelling Strong Reciprocity, Moral Sentiments and Material Interests - The Foundations of Economic Life, ed. by Herbert Gintis, Samuel Bowles, Robert Boyd and Ernst Fehr, The MIT Press (2005), 193-214 (with Urs Fischbacher).
The Economics of Reciprocity - Theory and Evidence, Inequality Around the World, ed. by Richard Freeman, Palgrave (2002), 207-233 (with Urs Fischbacher).
Reciprocal Fairness, Cooperation and Limits to Competition, Intersubjectivity in Economics, Work Motivation, Institutions, and Performance, Experimental Business Research, ed. by Rami Zwick and Annon Rapoport, Kluwer Academic Publishers (2002), 351-372 (with Simon Gächter).
Appropriating the Commons - A Theoretical Explanation, The Drama of the Commons, ed. by Elinor Ostrom, Thomas Dietz, Nives Dolsak, Paul Stern, Susan Stonich and Elke Weber, National Academy Press, Washington, DC (2002), 157-192 (with Ernst Fehr, Urs Fischbacher).
Why Firms Refuse to Hire Underbidders, The Unemployment Debate: Current Issues, ed. by Peter de Gijsel, Ralph Olthoff and Thomas Zwick, Metropolis Verlag, Marburg (2000), 125-154 (with Simon Gächter).

Papers in German Journals and Books

Wie risikobereit sind die Deutschen? Spektrum der Wissenschaft Spezial, (1): 58-65, 2012

Eingeschränkt rationales Verhalten: Evidenz und Implikationen, H. Fleischer and D. Zimmer (Hrsg.), Beitrag der Verhaltens­ökonomie (Behavioral Economics) zum Handels- und Wirtschaftsrecht, Beihefte der Zeitschrift für das gesamte Handelsrecht und Wirtschaftsrecht, 2011, (75), 63-82 (with S. Altmann, F. Marklein).

Benachteiligungen wegen mangelnden Vertrauens? Eine experimentelle Studie zur Arbeitsmarktintegration von Strafgefangenen, Monatsschrift für Kriminologie und Strafrechtsreform, 2009, (6), 526-546 (with Gari Walkowitz, Wolfgang Wirth).

Kontrolliert und repräsentativ: Beispiele zur Komplementarität von Labor- und Felddaten, Perspektiven der Wirtschaftspolitik, 2009, (10) (Special Issue): 54–74 (with Thomas Dohmen, Uwe Sunde).

Homo Oeconomicus Versus Homo Reciprocans: Ansätze für ein Neues Wirtschaftspolitisches Leitbild?, Perspektiven der Wirtschaftspolitik, 2003, 4 (3), 141-172.

Intentionen - Wider das konsequentialistische Weltbild in der Ökonomik, Experimentelle Wirtschaftsforschung (Normative und institutionelle Grundfragen der Ökonomik, Jahrbuch), ed. by R. Sturn, M. Held, G. Kubon-Gilke, G. Metropolis-Verlag, Marburg/Lahn, 2003, 69-85.

Eigennutz kontra Reziprozität: Befunde und Implikationen, Wirtschaft und Gesellschaft, 2002, (28), 383-401.

Fairnessinduzierte Arbeitslosigkeit auf einem experimentellen Arbeitsmarkt, Europäische Arbeitsmärkte und Arbeitsmarkttheorie, Beiträge zur Arbeits- und Berufsforschung BeitrAB 254, ed. by Uwe Blien and Joachim Möller, 2002, 77-90.

Reziprozität und Sozialkapital, Universitas, 2002, (57),  936-946.

Experimentelle Wirtschaftsforschung und Wirtschaftspolitik, Aspekte der schweizerischen Wirtschaftspolitik, ed. by J. Furrer and Bruno Gehrig, Verlag Rüegger, Chur and Zurich, 2001 (with Simon Gächter).

Wirtschaftswissenschaftliche Experimente: Homo Oeconomicus auf dem Prüfstand, Wirtschaftsdienst 81, 2001, 300-304.

Experimentelle Wirtschaftsforschung, Wirtschaftswissenschaftliches Studium 6, 26. Jahrgang, 1997 (with Jean-Robert Tyran).

Diskursverfahren: Liebe auch auf den zweiten Blick?, Analyse und Kritik 2, 18. Jahrgang, 1996 (with Felix Oberholzer-Gee, Isabelle Vautravers-Busenhart, Jürg de Spindler).

Books and Book Reviews

Reciprocity and Wage Formation, Aachen: Shaker Verlag, 1999

"Personell Economics" von E. P. Lazear, Journal of Economics, 65: 321-324, 1997


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  • Microeconomics and game theory
  • Theory of the firm and the labor market
  • Reputation and property rights
  • Management and economics
  • Experimental Economics
  • Behavioral Labor Economics
  • Empirical Measurement of Preferences
  • Neuroeconomics


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Press Releases and Articles




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