Economics, experiments, evidence

Starting from the assumption that economic entities emerge at the crossroads of different non/economic logics, we study economic phenomena in their diversity. Focusing on market-making as a process rather than markets as pre-given entities, we work with a marketization perspective that involves the following key insights : (1) a conceptualization of market-like phenomena as contested terrains that emerge around struggles for market and non-market borders; (2) an emphasis on varieties of market knowledge, stressing the performative power of behavioral and experimental economic thinking that has recently come to rival the neoclassical orthodoxy; (3) the inclusion of the role of nonhuman agents in assembling markets; (4) the acknowledgement that “quasi-subjects” and “quasi-objects” are inseparable companions in marketization, and (5) the crucial role of geography in b/ordering inherently unstable landscapes of marketization.

Economics, experiments, evidence: Neoliberal Geographies of marketization

Christian Berndt in co-operation with Marc Boeckler, University of Frankfurt

Having turned into a serious challenger to neoclassical economics, behavioral economics has increasingly influenced the formulation and implementation of social policies in both the Global North and the Global South. This transformation occurs with the help of field experiments and the generation of hard facts about what works and what does not under the label of evidence-based policy formation. From climate change mitigation to development, from consumer protection to social policy delivery there is hardly a policy realm that is not affected by the behavioral and experimental turn. These policy ideas have also become influential recently in Germany and other countries in Mainland Europe. Engagement with this research topic has considerable relevance not only academically but also for society at large. I am currently working on the following research projects in this wider research field

  • Markets in Development. For some time now I have worked on attempts for market-based development in the Global South. This includes interventions aiming at the mitigation of agricultural risks and policies that are implemented and evaluated with the help of field experiments and behavioral games.
  • Theoretical engagement with behavioral and experimental economics. Empirical research is grounded in longer-term conceptual research in the growing field of behavioral and experimental economics. Recent publications and invitations to interdisciplinary and policy-oriented workshops are evidence for our increasing international visibility in this context.

PhD and Master Theses

PhD Theses

  • Catherine Robin (2016) Facetten der kreativen Arbeit: Eine empirische Untersuchung von kreativen Arbeitspraktiken im Spannungsfeld von sozialen Feldern und Wertewelten
  • Latzke Peter (2015) Wert(e) der Drecksarbeit: Eine netzwerktheoretische Betrachtung der Dienstleistungen am Beispiel der Gebäudereinigung

Master Theses

  • Giulia Satiro (ongoing) Beyond “living to work or working to live”? Work within Community Supported Agriculture: An ethnographic exploration of a case study in Andalusia
  • Jonas Krähenbühl (ongoing) Arbeiten in der Sharing Economy: Eine Analyse der durch das Anbieten von Wohnraum auf Airbnb entstehenden Arbeitsverhältnisse
  • Sandro Sax (2017). Urban Agriculture als alternative Form der Nahrungsmittelnetzwerke in urbanen Räumen
  • Fabienne Imoberdorf (2016): Ethical Surrogacy? Practices of legalisation and regulation of the surrogacy market in Mexico
  • Christoph Mani (2016) Negotiating economic alterity and diversity – alternative currencies as innovative forms of economic diversification?
  • Anita von Däniken (2015). Sharing Economy: Ein Blick hinter die Kulissen einer potenziellen alternativen Wirtschaftsform.
  • Jan Heusser (2015). Lokale und regionale Lebensmittel in Supermärkten. Eine Fallstudie zu Strukturen und Funktionsweisen zum Produkte-System des regional Produkte Labels "Aus der Region. Für die Region" (AdR) - mit Fokus einer Produzierenden-Perspektive in der AdR-Region Luzern
  • Daniela Jorio (2013): Risk coping strategies of Jamaican households in an index-insurance project