Political Economy

KIT Experts

Nora Szech is a KIT Expert with a focus on market design, institutions, and moral values. She works theoretically as well as empirically in order to understand market mechanisms and their impact on welfare, revenues, and values. 


CAPITAL: Top 40 under 40

The magazine Capital nominates Nora Szech in the category "Society and Science". More information.

Yes. No. Maybe? (n-tv)

In her podcast on n-tv, Verena Utikal talks with Nora Szech about markets, responsibility and homo moralis.
Furthermore, in a second episode Nora Szech gives an interview External Link on moral ignorance.  

Is "a little good" good enough?

In their study published in PLOS ONE, Jannis Engel and Nora Szech explore cheap excuses when shopping for fast fashion.

Daily News




Süddeutsche Zeitung: Plan W Congress

Panel 3 Gerechtigkeit. v.l.n.r.: Elke Büdenbender, Nora Szech,Paula Schwarz und Klaus Müller  (Foto: Stephan Rumpf)

Panel 3 Justice. from left to right: Kathrin Werner (moderator), Elke Büdenbender, Nora Szech,Paula Schwarz and Klaus Müller (Photo: Stephan Rumpf)


Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer, Frank Thelen, Urmi RichardsonNora Szech and Sahra Wagenknecht were just a few of the speakers at the Congress of Süddeutsche Zeitung in Berlin. The following pictures summarize the topics of the congress and also refer directly to our research. 

20th Anniversary of the Bonn Graduate School of Economics


About 300 guests celebrated this special anniversary at a large event that took place in the Bundeskunsthalle, Bonn. As alumni of the Bonn Graduate School of Economics, Markus Brunnermeier (Princeton), Benjamin Enke (Harvard), Philipp Strack (Yale) and Nora Szech (KIT) gave scientific talks.


Photo from left to right: Benjamin Enke, Nora Szech,  Markus Brunnermeier, Philipp Strack (Photo: Jurate Jablonskyte).

Süddeutsche Zeitung: Gut to Head

In this podcast of the Süddeutsche Zeitung Gerd Gigerenzer, Malcolm Gladwell, Julia Rothhaas, and Nora Szech talk about the relationship of economy and gut feeling. Susanne Klingner is doing the interviews.

Deutschlandfunk (Radio Interview)

Marietta Schwarz talks with Nora Szech about current topics from behavioral economics, about morals in economic institutions, and about the roots of game theory. There is also some music, ranging from The Cure to Oasis to Anohni to Taylor Swift. To the podcast.

OECD Integrity Week

Photo OECD

The focus of the OECD Integrity Week in Paris was on fighting corruption worldwide. Multiple public and closed events surrounded the main event of the week, the OECD Integrity Forum. Nora Szech was one of the panelists at the Forum. The OECD provides lots of information on the topic and on the event that takes place on a yearly basis, which you can find here.

(Photo source: OECD)

Morals in Juries and Committees

Max Hägler from Süddeutsche Zeitung interviews Nora Szech on the diffusion of responsibility in economic institutions. To the video.

"The New World Order"

From November 16 to 18 in Berlin, the Economic Summit 2017 of the Sueddeutsche Zeitung took place, with 60 speakers from business and politics such as Friedrich Merz, Jochen Schweizer, and Dieter Zetsche as well as economists Clemens Fuest, Nora Szech, and Axel Weber. Nora Szech also gave an interview on the topic.

Paradise Papers and 'homo moralis'

How do people get morally corrupted? This question discusses Nora Szech in an Interview with Thomas Fritz.

Letters of indulgence from the supermarket

What do ethically interested customers have in common with the famous German author Martin Walser? The answer can be found in the German daily Süddeutsche Zeitung. Jannis Engel and Nora Szech provide all according details and background in their paper.

"Priority in case of equal qualification"

What kind of effects do we see from the rule "priority in case of equal qualification"? Stronger as well as weaker candidates may become more motivated. Diversity and performance incentives then do not exclude each other, but become rather aligned. 

To the study and ScienceDaily.

Is a little good good enough?!

Invited by the Plural Economists, Nora Szech gave a public talk in Mannheim. She focused on the use of cheap excuses in every-day product choice, and how firms potentially draw customers' attention away from ethically relevant product facets. The according research paper with Jannis Engel can be found here.

Trust (Herrenhäuser Talks/NDR)

Trust NDR

Moderated by Ulrich Kühn, four professors from the fields of theology, economics, business administration, psychology and personality development discuss the role of trust in our society: Friedrich Wilhelm Graf (LMU), Guido Möllering (U Witten-Herdecke), Nora Szech (KIT), and Martin Schweer (U Vechta). Here is a link to the event


(Photos by David Carreno Hansen for the VolkswagenStiftung)

"These People will Coin 2017"

Marc Beise is the head of the economics section of the German daily Süddeutsche Zeitung. For 2017, his recommendation is to pay specific attention to our research. To the video

On the big questions of our times

The largest regional newspaper in Austria, "Die kleine Zeitung," features in its book review of 2016 articles about Henri Lévy, Christine Nöstlinger, Hans-Werner Sinn, Nora Szech and others.

Markets and Decisions

At the beginning of 2017, the German daily Süddeutsche Zeitung focuses on the decision-making in markets. In her article, Nora Szech describes the influence of market design on moral decision making. Besides institutional design, personal facets, political orientation and gender play important roles.

Economics and trust — a fragile relationship

… titels the magazine RATIO, featuring articles by/about Richard David Precht, Bernhard Schlink, Nora Szech, and others.


To the magazine

The future is female

... titels the German magazine Myself. Hopefully, there is room for all genders :)

Check out the article here.

SWR1 People (Radio show and video-podcast)

Wolfgang Heim talks with Nora Szech about market and competition design, morals, and consumption behavior. The show is available as a podcast.

"Think whatever you want. Surprising insights from Germany's most important economists"

This is the title of the new book by the German national daily "Süddeutsche Zeitung". It presents 36 influential German economists under the age of 50, from all varieties of fields within economics. One of these is Nora Szech.


Check out the interview about her research, e.g. the desire for excellence, moral implication of markets, and design tools to render competition more sustainable.

Towards more sustainability: ZEIT Kochtag

ZEIT Kochtag

Most Germans would like to eat in more sustainable ways. The German weekly "Die ZEIT" invited to discuss and try out approached towards this goal. Participants included celebrity chefs Sarah Wiener and Tim Raue, mayor of Berlin Dilek Kolat, farming minister Robert Habeck, ZEIT chief editor Giovanni di Lorenzo, his deputy Moritz Müller-Wirth, and journalists Susanne Schäfer and Martin Spiewak, Patricia Wratil of the Berlin Social Science Center, gastrosoph Harald Lemke, executive of slow food Ursula Hudson, chief editor of the magazine "enorm" Marc Winkelmann and Nora Szech.

Science Daily: Tiebreaks push competition, in more than sports

Tie-breaking has important impacts on motivation and overall efforts of contestants. Science Daily reports about our studies on the topic.

Business, Ethics and the VW Scandal

The SRF TV show "Kulturplatz" reports on the VW emissions scandal, and business ethics in general. Included you find a report about our research as well. 

Festive Meals, Color, and the Role of Meat

Meat and Color

Which colors do we expect to see on a festive plate? Which role plays the meat in an elegant or joyful dinner? How much meat do we expect to see? How much do we want to eat? Do we need the meat at all? And what colors should go with it? 


The book Meat and Color by Anna Becker, Steffen Huck, Julia Schubert and Nora Szech illustrates in three artsy studies everything that we associate with a savory, jolly, or elegant meal.

Animal Welfare, Transparency and Customer Decision

In an interview with Digital Manufacturing Magazin, Nora Szech discusses mechanisms to increase customer awareness of sustainability.

Robert Sapolsky in The Wall Street Journal on Morals and Markets

Robert M. Sapolsky, professor of biology, neuroscience and neurosurgery at Stanford University, reflects his column in The Wall Street Journal about markets and their moral implications and discusses our research. Please find his article here. 

Arts and Science

Have a look at the artwork of artist Uli Schaarschmidt - one of his pieces was inspired by our research.

Interview with Nicole Walter from "Fluter"

The German journal "Fluter" has devoted a whole issue on the topic of markets and morality, and Nicole Walter has interviewed Nora Szech on the topic.

Deutsche Welle

To the Deutsche Welle Interview with Nora Szech.

Nora Szech on Sceptically Speaking: Money Matters (#217)

Nora Szech speaks about our research into ways that markets influence moral decisionmaking.

Animals as Food?!

Steffen Huck and Nora Szech invited to think about "Animals as Food" with Melanie Joy, Bernd Ladwig and Gerhard Manteuffel as speakers. You can watch the video here. For a detailed interview with Bernd Ladwig see here.

Press reactions

Ökonomen gegen Tierwohlabgabe (Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung)

So wird sich die Innenstadt durch Corona verändern (ka-news.de)

Wir müssen wachsam bleiben (Badische Neueste Nachrichten)

Selbststest ja - aber möglichst billig (Badische Neueste Nachrichten)

Coronavirus Spezial (Interview-Welt.de)

Europa und China werden die Welt aus der Corona-Krise führen (Finanznachrichten)

Wir haben einen moralischen Kompass, nach dem wir handeln wollen (Fundraiser Magazin)

Das Masken-Drama (Süddeutsche Zeitung)

Erst nach einer Meta-Studie ändert die WHO ihre Empfehlung (Süddeutsche Zeitung)

Darfs ein bisschen weniger Konsum sein? (Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung)

Shopping in Corona Times (Daily News)

Das Masken-Desaster (Beobachter)

Masken-Debatte: Späte Kehrtwende (Spektrum der Wissenschaft)

Wundernova: Nora Szech (podcast)

Interview: Corona-Pandemie (Staatsanzeiger Baden-Württemberg)

Leben in Zeiten des Virus (Süddeutsche Zeitung)

Come si e affermato il capitalismo della controcultura (Internazionale.it)

"Economies Morales?" (Causeur)

"Would a society of moral saints be a worse place to live?" (The Guardian)

"Excusas baratas" (Business Insider)

Weiblich weise (Süddeutsche Zeitung)

Ich kann eh nichts ändern - oder? (n-tv podcast)

Una investigación advierte de las "excusas baratas" (Marketing Directo)

A little good is good enough -- excuses and 'indulgence effects' in consumption (Science Daily)

Don't be fooled by brands that do one good ethical thing, say economists (Fast Company)

'Green' only goes so far when consumers weigh product choices (PsychCentral)

Der Volkswirt: Maus oder Moneten (Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung)

Eine Kanzlerin mach noch keinen Sommer (Frankfurter Rundschau)

Jeden Tag eine gute Tat - reicht das? (n-tv podcast)

Ein bisschen Gutes reicht schon (Campus-Report)

„Indulgence“-Effects Make Sustainable Shopping More Difficult (ESKP)

Entscheidungen in Gruppen sind häufiger rücksichtslos (FVW)

KIT: Ein bisschen gut ist gut genug – Ausreden und „Ablasseffekte“ beim Konsum (PT-Magazin für Wirtschaft und Gesellschaft)

Ein bisschen gut ist gut genug - Ausreden und Ablasseffekte beim Konsum (Sonnenseite)

Was ich nicht weiß, macht mich nicht heiß (n-tv Nachrichten/podcast)

Die Zukunft ist weiblich (Badisches Staatstheater Karlsruhe)

Geld oder Leben - was ist uns wichtiger? (n-tv Nachrichten/podcast)

"Musik ist der Gegenpol zu meinem Beruf“ (Welt am Sonntag)

Three Questions with Nora Szech (HCEO, University of Chicago)

Wie wir und Maschinen Entschlüsse fassen (Heilbronner Stimme)

"Top 40 unter 40": KIT Wissenschaftlerin zählt zur "jungen Elite" (SWR aktuell)

Top 40 unter 40 - Gesellschaft und Wissenschaft (Capital)

Den Marktmechanismus bewusst unterbrechen (Engels)

Bauch an Kopf (Süddeutsche Zeitung)

Die Mikroökonomin Nora Szech (Deutschlandfunk)

Medisinske tester med mindre frykt (Nor.Science-World)

Medical Tests with Less Fear (Science Daily)

New Test Methods with Less Fear (news-medical.net)

Gesundes Halbwissen (Badische Zeitung)

Medical Tests with Less Fear (Phys.org)

Medizinische Tests mit weniger Schrecken (Bionity.com)

Angst vor schlimmer Diagnose (Mannheimer Morgen)

Medizinische Tests mit weniger Schrecken (DeutschesGesundheitsPortal)

Markt und Moral (Badische Neueste Nachrichten)

Wirtschaftswissenschaft, wenn es um Leben und Tod geht (Videointerview, Süddeutsche Zeitung)

Alltägliches Einkaufsverhalten: Schuldgefühle lassen sich teilen (Die Landzeit)

Unterwegs im Sinnfeld (Süddeutsche Zeitung)

Zum Wohle der Mäuse (Süddeutsche Zeitung)

Paradise Papers: Vielleicht legal, aber moralisch? (web.de)

Im Zweifel für die Benachteiligten (Süddeutsche Zeitung)

Ich huste, also bin ich (Süddeutsche Zeitung)

Consumer Responsibility and Obscurity (Ethics & International Affairs)

Die neue Weltordnung (Süddeutsche Zeitung)

De mens is slechter dan je denkt (Radar)

Vorbilder fördern Moral (Weser Kurier)

Geld oder Maus (Süddeutsche Zeitung)

Denkanstöße zu den großen Fragen der Zeit (Kleine Zeit Edition)

Märkte verantwortungsvoll gestalten (RATIO)

Prominent nachgefragt. 5 Fragen – 5 Antworten mit Professorin Nora Szech (Wissensschule)

A Force for Good - Why it Matters (Handelsblatt Global)

Die Zukunft ist weiblich (Myself)

Research Spotlight: Diffusion of Being Pivotal and Immoral Outcomes (HCEO)

Was die Welt zusammenhält (Die Kleine Zeitung, Österreich)

Featured Paper: Optimal Revelation of Life-Changing Information (CESifo)

Was kommt. Bunte Welt der Ökonomie (Süddeutsche Zeitung)

Morals and Markets (EEG Blog)

Geld oder Leben (Süddeutsche Zeitung)

Of Mice and Men (CESifo)

Wirtschaftsnobelpreis abschaffen? (Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung Fazit)

The emergence of social Business (The Daily Star)

Appraisal from Dan Ariely: Combating Bad Intuitions with Good Science

So freundlich sind wir gar nicht (Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung Fazit)

Her mit den Mäusen! (Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung Fazit)

Der Markt verdirbt die Moral (Springer Professional)

"Viele denken im Markt an Profit, aber nicht an Moral" (VDI Nachrichten / Ingenieur.de)

Von Mäusen, Geld und Moral: Wie uns der Markt die Skrupel nimmt (Nürnberger Nachrichten)

Markedskraefter nedbryder mus og moral (Ingenioren)

De ratones y hombres (valenciaplaza)

Bamberger Studie geißelt Doppelmoral der Kunden (Frankenpost)

Markets erode moral standards (FORBES)

Was ist Ihnen das Leben dieser Maus wert?(ZEIT)

Do Markets erode moral values?(ScienceDaily)

L'argent qui corrompt: comment la pression des marchés dégrade la morale (Huffington Post)

Markets 'erode moral values,' researchers find (Deutsche Welle)

Markets Erode Morals, Let People Do Horrible Things: Study (Huffington Post)

Experimentally kill a mouse in/for/because of the market (Improbable Research Blog)

Ökonomie: 5,1 Euro einsacken oder eine Maus retten (Die Presse)

"Violando sistemáticamente la ética" (El Confidencial)

Bigoted? No, just overconfident and bad at statistics (Five Minute Economist's Blog)

The Academic Prize Winners in 2011 at the University of Bonn (podcast)