Corruption, collusion, privilege, property, homophobia, polygamy…behavior in traffic. What at a given time and place is generally believed to be "normal", people in other societies often perceive as surprising, weird, or even outrageous. Why? How do individuals form normative expectations (i.e. how one should behave)? How do these normative expectations relate to behavioral expectations (i.e. how others will likely behave), and how do they eventually translate into actual behavior? How does heterogeneous individual behavior converge to become a widely recognisable social norm? What determines a social group's (a country's, a company's, a family's) consensual perceptions of "right" and "wrong"? What makes social norms stable? What triggers gradual or radical change? Those are some of the questions that fascinate me and that I try to tackle in my research. I believe that better understanding the dynamics of social norms may enable us to design better ways of organizing teams, companies, markets, and eventually society as a whole.


  • Behavioral and Experimental Economics
  • Behavioral Law & Economics
  • Public Economics
  • Political Economy


Working Papers

Moral awareness polarizes people’s fairness judgments

Does the threat of overthrow discipline the elites? Evidence from a laboratory experiment, with Konstantin Chatziathanasiou and Svenja Hippel (revise+resubmit in the Journal of Legal Studies)


Managing Expectations: How selective information affects cooperation and punishment in social dilemma games, with Christoph Engel and Sebastian Kube, Journal of Economic Behavior and Organization, 187, 111-136, 2021.

Property, Redistribution, and the Status Quo: A laboratory study, with Konstantin Chatziathanasiou and Svenja Hippel, Experimental Economics, in press, 2020.

The fragility of a nudge: The power of self-set norms to contain a social dilemma, with Christoph Engel. Journal of Economic Psychology, 81,102293, 2020.

Communication is More than Information Sharing: The Role of Status-Relevant Knowledge, with Isabel Marcin. Games and Economic Behavior, 113, 651–672, 2019.

Internal conflict, market uniformity, and transparency in price competition between teams, with Alexander Morell and Ori Weisel. Journal of Economic Behavior and Organization, 144, 121-132, 2017.

Coercion and Consent: Comment. Journal of Institutional and Theoretical Economics, 170(1), 79-82, 2014.

First impressions are more important than early intervention: Qualifying broken windows theory in the lab”, with Christoph Engel, Martin Beckenkamp, Andreas Glöckner, Bernd Irlenbusch, Heike Hennig-Schmidt, Sebastian Kube, Alexander Morell, Andreas Nicklisch, Hans-Theo Normann, and Emanuel Towfigh. International Review of Law and Economics, 37, 126-136, 2014.

The Coevolution of Behavior and Normative Expectations: an Experiment, with Christoph Engel. American Law and Economics Review, 15(2), 578-609, 2013.

Discretion, Productivity, and Work Satisfaction: Comment. Journal of Institutional and Theoretical Economics, 169(1), 23-25, 2013.

Fairness Ex Ante & Ex Post: Experimentally Testing Ex Post Judicial Intervention into Blockbuster Deals, with Christoph Engel. Journal of Empirical Legal Studies, 8(4), 682–708, 2011.

Disclosure, Agents, and Consumer Protection: Comment. Journal of Institutional and Theoretical Economics, 167(1), 77-79, 2011.