Special research area extended

The SFB F63 on "Credence Goods, Incentives and Behavior" has been extended by four years after a positive review and is supported by the Austrian Science Fund FWF with another four million euros.

Along with SFB spokesperson Michael Kirchler and Jürgen Huber from the Faculty of Business and Management, the SFB consortium is completed by Loukas Balafoutas, Esther Blanco, Rudolf Kerschbamer and Markus Walzl from the Faculty of Economics and Statistics. In addition to the already established projects of the first funding period, such as intercultural field studies on credence goods or the improvement of consumer decisions through educational programs and improved decision architecture, new projects will focus more strongly on credence goods with "labels".

These include issues of sustainable production, sustainable consumption and socially responsible investment in the financial market. These problems are addressed by so-called "labels" or certificates, which are intended to signalize organic or socially sustainable investments, for example. "The problem is that after consumption or investment it is not clear to the consumer whether the product is actually organic, socially sustainable or green," says Michael Kirchler. "In a series of theoretical models, laboratory and field experiments, we and our 30 or so employees are investigating the effectiveness of these labels and certificates and are analyzing possibilities for improvement in existing markets. In line with this approach, the SFB also investigates the scientific knowledge generation process as a trustworthy asset in a series of laboratory and field experiments. Again, after completion of studies, there may be information deficits on the part of decision makers, funding agencies and the general public regarding the robustness and correctness of scientific studies.

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