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Call for Abstracts “Individual Decision Making and Institutions”


The newly formed Working Group on Behavior and Society invites young researchers from various disciplines (economics, neuroscience, psychology, and other related disciplines) to submit papers that deal with methodological and normative questions of individual decision-making in different institutional contexts

In recent years, a vast and growing body of empirical and theoretical studies in behavioral and neuro-economics as well as in social psychology have contributed to a richer understanding of human decision-making. Unfortunately, the interplay between the institutional context and individual decision-making is often neglected or not addressed explicitly. One of the reasons is that the studies’ methodologies force the researcher to focus on decision-making in “clinical settings” (e.g., fMRI brain scans, computer experiments in the lab etc.).

This workshop of the Behavior and Society Working group at the Edinburgh Festival wants to ask how this gap can be fruitfully filled by innovative methodologies (e.g., field experiments, randomized control trials etc.) and theoretical models that bridge the classic disciplinary boundaries between micro-level research on decision-making and institutional analysis. Core questions of the workshop will be (amongst others):

  • What must be the methodological toolbox for social scientists to explain individual decision-making in changing institutional contexts?

  • How can better insights about decision-making on the individual level help us advance our understanding of the institutional framework of the economy?

  • How can an increased understanding of individual behavior and reasoning improve institutional designs?

These are open questions to which economists, psychologist, and natural scientists provide diverging answers. This workshop wants to be a forum to critically examine these diverse insights, their methodological significance, and normative implications. 

Submissions ought to be original work. Please click here to submit your abstract.