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Leibniz Lecture in New York: “Economic Engineering of Human Cooperation and Competition”

Economist Axel Ockenfels from the University of Cologne will speak about how markets can be designed to solve pressing human challenges

The University of Cologne’s New York Office, the German Research Foundation (DFG) and the German Center for Research and Innovation (GCRI) cordially invite you to a Leibniz Lecture by Leibniz Prize laureate Axel Ockenfels in New York on the topic:

“Economic Engineering of Human Cooperation and Competition”
When: Tuesday, October 23, 2018, from 6:30 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.
Where: German House, 871 United Nations Plaza, New York, NY 10017

If you would like to attend, please register by October 21 under: Registration is required to attend the lecture.
In his lecture, Professor Ockenfels will show how market design can take on real-world challenges and how market rules can be engineered to promote cooperation and trust even in large communities and to encourage competition in small markets. His focus will be on human behaviour in markets, which responds to market rules, but rarely in a fully rational way.

Many economic and societal challenges can only be met with a change in human behaviour. Climate change and traffic congestion, for example, can be addressed with behavioural economics. Market design can offer solutions because market rules affect our behaviour in predictable ways. Climate change is fundamentally a problem of insufficient cooperation that can be addressed if recognized as such and acted on accordingly in international climate negotiations. Traffic jams cost time and money and impact our health, while recent advances in technology would allow for the design of new markets for road use that promote cooperation and prevent congestion.

Axel Ockenfels is professor of economics at the University of Cologne. He is director of the Cologne Laboratory of Economic Research and speaker of the University of Cologne’s Center of Excellence for Social and Economic Behavior, with more than 100 researchers from various disciplines. In 2005, Ockenfels was the first economist in 17 years to receive the Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz Prize of the German Research Foundation (DFG), the highest award for German scholars and scientist across all fields. Ockenfels’s work focuses on market design and behavioural research. He uses tools from game theory, behavioural economics and neighbouring disciplines to devise markets based on better models of human behaviour (as alternatives to the widely used homo oeconomicus model), a method that might be called ‘behavioural economic engineering’.

The Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz programme annually awards prizes to exceptional scholars and scientists for outstanding achievements. The Leibniz programme was established in 1985, aiming to improve the working conditions of outstanding scholars and scientists, expand their research opportunities, relieve them of administrative tasks, and help them employ particularly qualified early-career researchers. Up to ten prizes are awarded with a maximum of 2.5 million euros per award.

Media Enquiries:
Dr. Eva Bosbach
Executive Director
University of Cologne New York Office
+1 212 758 5893


More information:
UoC New York Office:
DFG Leibniz Lectures:
German Center for Research and Innovation: