Reconciling Human Behavior with Societal Goals

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Professor Axel Ockenfels from the University of Cologne will be holding a public lecture at Freie Universität Berlin on November 15, 2022

The question of how modern economic studies can contribute to solving societal challenges will be the subject of a public lecture on November 15 at Freie Universität Berlin. The lecture will be held by economist Professor Axel Ockenfels from the University of Cologne, winner of the Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz Prize from the German Research Foundation (DFG). "Human behavior shapes almost all aspects of our lives. It influences the success of societies, markets, organizations, and individuals. Pandemics, climate change, traffic jams, and energy shortages all demand massive changes in human behavior," says Ockenfels. In his lecture "Behavioral Market Design," Ockenfels will explain how researchers in the fields of market design and behavioral economics are developing instruments through which to reconcile human behavior with societal goals. The lecture will be held in English. It is open to the public and anyone with an interest in economic policy is encouraged to attend.

The event forms part of a series on economic policy aimed at combining economic research with current political issues. Throughout the series, guest lecturers present an economic analysis of a specific social issue before suggesting recommendations for political action.

Axel Ockenfels is a professor of economics at the University of Cologne and coordinates the Excellence Center for Social and Economic Behavior (C-SEB). His research is centered around the question of why people behave the way they do. He then uses this information to design solutions for politicians and companies that can help solve problems and crises. Ockenfels is a member of the German National Academy of Sciences Leopoldina; the Berlin-Brandenburg Academy of Sciences and Humanities; the North Rhine-Westphalian Academy of Sciences, Humanities, and Arts; acatech - National Academy of Science and Engineering; and the Board of Academic Advisors at the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Climate Action. He has also received several awards for his research, including the DFG’s prestigious Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz Prize. According to the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, he is currently one of Germany’s most influential economists.