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Gert Pönitzsch studies human motivation with experiments and surveys. He seeks to understand human interactions and to find means to improve economic outcomes. He studied Economics in Kiel and at Universitat Pompeu Fabra in Barcelona, where he became interested in human behavior. He started his research in experimental and behavioral economics at the University of Bonn. His thesis sheds light on aspects of collective action using experiments and theory. He currently is a research fellow at the Kiel Institute for the World Economy where he analyzes new solutions to global problems, such as climate change. His areas of expertise lie in collective action, social preferences, and risk perception.