Behavioural economics and social transformation

Research in behavioural economics has fundamentally expanded our understanding of human decision-making behaviour in recent decades. The doctoral research group "Behavioural Economics and Social Transformation" was founded in December 2022. It applies basic research in behavioural economics to technological and social transformation processes. The doctoral research group builds on an established network of behavioural economists at universities in Lower Saxony and systematically links these locations. The founding cooperation partners are Leuphana University Lüneburg, Clausthal University of Technology and the University of Vechta. The doctoral research groups combines regular personal exchange in workshops with an individually tailored teaching programme.

Forschungsfelder

The doctoral research group stems from the wider field of behavioural economics. The doctoral research group uses the findings of basic research in behavioural economics and deals with their consequences in the context of technological and social transformation processes. It offers a variety of interdisciplinary links to other disciplines and research areas (e.g. political science, engineering, law, sustainability, computer science, social services). The dissertation topics should each lie in an interface area.

Exemplary questions could be:

    How can actual human decision-making behaviour be taken into account in societal transformation?
    How does trust in institutions develop and change?
    How can social cohesion be strengthened in phases of drastic transformation processes?
    What feedback effects do transformation processes have on society?
    How do digital media affect social polarisation? How do we behave in digital markets?
    How does the increasing digitalisation of communication change social engagement and the provision of public goods?
    How must social policy accompany social transformation?
    What contributions to the societal transformation towards the Circular Economy can behavioural economics make?
    How can individual consumption decisions be made more sustainable? Do markets lead to (un)moral behaviour?
    How does the digitalisation of school life affect the non-cognitive goals of educational measures (e.g. personality development, social integration)?
    Can targeted legal regulations promote individual and intergovernmental cooperation?
    What are the behavioural effects of the use of modern technologies in a legal context?

    Doctoral Degree

    Within the framework of this doctoral research group, the School of Public Affairs awards the doctoral degree Dr. rer. pol.

    Speaker

    • Prof. Dr. Mario Mechtel

    Doctoral Supervisors

    The doctoral research group links behavioural economists from Leuphana University Lüneburg, Clausthal University of Technology and the University of Vechta. The founding cooperation partners are Prof. Dr. Gerald Eisenkopf (Vechta), Prof. Dr. Mario Mechtel (Lüneburg) and Prof. Dr. Fabian Paetzel (Clausthal). The list of supervisors is continuously being added to.

    Activities

    • Discipline-oriented courses (see doctoral courses)
    • Spring Workshop (February/March each year) for the exchange of doctoral researchers of the Kolleg across the different locations
    • Autumn Workshop (September of each year) for the exchange of doctoral researchers of the Kolleg across the different locations

    Doctoral Courses

    As a doctoral candidate at Leuphana, you not only write your dissertation, but also participate in the interdisciplinary doctoral course programme, which includes three interdisciplinary modules in addition to the subject-specific colloquium. You can find more information about the doctoral programme here.

    In the disciplinary part, the doctoral courses include basic courses in the areas of Experimental Methods, Quantitative Methods for Behavioral Economics and Topics in Advanced Microeconomics.

    The integration of doctoral candidates into existing academic networks is promoted by opening the Workshop on Microeconomics, which takes place in Lüneburg in spring, and the Workshop on Behavioral Economics, which takes place in Clausthal in autumn. The doctoral researchers also have the opportunity to present and discuss their own ideas and research work at an early stage in a Spring Workshop and an Autumn Workshop, both of which take place prior to the larger workshops at the two locations.

    Admission

    As a doctoral candidate at Leuphana, you must enrol as a doctoral student. Information on admission to doctoral studies and the application procedure can be found here.

    The Graduate School offers advice and coaching to academics in the qualification phase. The Graduate School's advisor will be happy to assist you with questions regarding decision-making, challenges in the course of your doctorate, and career planning and development. You can find more information about the counselling and coaching services here.