2018 was quite a busy year.

2018 was quite a busy year.

The year started with a one-month research stay in March in Grenoble, where I worked with Paolo Crosetto at the GAEL, an INRA laboratory. We analyzed data from a recent experiment of ours about the dynamics of the attraction effect. I also took the opportunity to visit the GATE-CNRS laboratory at the University of Lyon, where I met Marie-Claire Villeval, and the GREDEG-CNRS laboratory at the Université of Nice Sophia Antipolis, where Dominique Torre invited me. I also taught a seminar on writing in the sciences, which was attended by PhD students at GAEL.

Shortly after my return, I started a new project with Ann-Kathryn Blankenberg and Paolo Crosetto about the impact of licensing terms on group work in innovative projects. For this, we let experimental participants play the Scrabble game under different licensing conditions. We were exceptionally fast in designing and running the experiment, which we did in October during a further one-week visit to Grenoble.

Quite a lot of time at the beginning of the year was devoted to organizing the 20th Annual Conference of the INFER association (, along with Inmaculada Martínez-Zarzoso and Stephan Müller at the University of Göttingen. I was mainly in charge of the submission and reviewing process, and the subsequent elaboration of the program. The conference took place in September and was really pleasant. Picture are here: and the program here:

In between all this we had a seminar visit by Robert Sugden in May, who presented his new book on The Community of Advantage, and why unstable and context-dependent preferences do not justify paternalistic interventions.

I managed to switch in July from the chair of microeconomics, chaired by Claudia Keser, to the chair of behavioral development economics, chaired by Marcela Ibanez Diaz. This was a very welcome switch from a personal and professional point of view. Development economics at the University of Göttingen is very dynamic, and I really admire the courage and resourcefulness of those PhD students and professors who do field research in developing countries.

At the same time, I was writing the introduction to my habilitation, which I submitted in July to the faculty of economics at the University of Jena. The written part was accepted in December, and I did my the oral examination this January. The topic of the presentation was how to foster trust in experts, a presentation I did in German, but for which there is also an English version. My habilitation was approved so I am now habilitated, which will help in finding professorships.

Vacations in July were very welcome, which I spent in Paris with a friend, the Ile de Ré, where my father resides, and Bagnères de Luchon in the Pyrénées, from which I hiked in the surrounding mountains.

At the end of the year, I went to the 2018 North American ESA conference in Antigua, Guatemala, where I participated in the workshop on the analysis of choice process data. This was my first trip to Central America, and this was very enjoyable and interesting. I was impressed by the intensity of the rain and by the volcanoes that surround the city.

I also wrote a research bid with Katharina Gangl, an economic psychologist at the Georg-Elias-Müller-Institut für Psychologie in Göttingen, with whom I work on the psychological impact of online feedback for service providers.

I finally took some vacation at the end of the year, doing a Sesshin (intensive meditation retreat) with my Zen group in Göttingen ( That was really quite tough, but a good alternative to the usual Christmas/New Year celebrations!


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