Politische Ökonomie

Seminar on Morals and Institutions (Master)

  • Typ: Seminar (S)
  • Lehrstuhl: Politische Ökonomie
  • Semester: WS 13/14
  • Ort: Bekannt
  • Zeit: Blockseminar
  • Beginn: 22.10.2013, 14.00 h
  • Dozent: Prof. Dr. Nora Szech
  • SWS: 2
  • LVNr.: 2560136
  • Prüfung: Vorträge und Seminararbeit
This fall, I will offer a seminar for master students on morals and institutions. The seminar provides a forum to discuss ideas on how moral and pro-social behavior may be enhanced or reduced in people. You may want to think about how people may be "nudged" (Thaler/Sunstein) to increase or reduce cooperative behavior. Or you may look at effects of institutional design (information provision, decision rules, hierarchies, ...) on moral standards. How do we treat other people (or animals, the environment, ...)? What drives such behavior? You may want to focus on adolescents, older people, people around student age, ... and on specific aspects of moral or immoral behavior (harming another person or animal, supporting bad working conditions or environmental damage,...) depending on what you find interesting. Students develop their own ideas for an economic experiment in this research direction, i.e., the seminar is about developing and motivating an experimental design (carrying out the study would be too time-consuming etc. for the seminar, but of course, you may want to carry out your ideas later). Students may work individually or in pairs of two if they want to.   The seminar starts with an introductory meeting at the beginning of the semester (end of October 2013). Ideas on lab or field experiments will be presented in January in a block event (each presentation lasting about 30 minutes). Seminar papers (about 12 pages long) can be handed in until 10 March, 2014. Throughout, you can approach me for feedback, of course (noraszech@gmx.de -- my position at the KIT starts in October).   Recent research of mine has focused on moral behavior and institutions (compare, e.g., "Morals and Markets", 2013, with Armin Falk), and I am myself working on upcoming projects in this direction. Inspiration for ideas may come from researchers like Al Roth (repugnant activities), Uri Gneezy (does intrinsic motivation get crowded out by money?), Dan Ariely (e.g. on lying) or from books by Dave Grossman (On Killing), Michael Sandel (Justice, What Money Can't Buy), or philosophers, psychologists, sociologists and/or economists (Karl Marx, Adam Smith, Jonathan Haidt, Kenneth Arrow, Roy Baumeister, ...).    I am looking forward to an inspiring and vivid seminar!   Grading: Grades will be based on quality of presentation (30%), discussions in the seminar (20%), and seminar papers (50%).   Applications: Participation is limited to 15 students. Please apply for the Seminar with E-mail to theda.schmidt@kit.edu by October 20, 2013. The introductory meeting takes place on October 22, 14:00, Room 006, Building 20.13.