Simon Gächter is Professor of the Psychology of Economic Decision Making at the University of Nottingham. He previously held the chair in Applied Microeconomics at the University of St. Gallen, Switzerland. Simon Gächter received his post-graduate education at the Institute for Advanced Studies in Vienna and his PhD in 1994 from the University of Vienna. He then worked as a lecturer at the University of Vienna and the University of Linz. In 1994 he became an assistant professor at the University of Zürich, where he did his Habilitation in Economics in 1999.

Simon Gächter's research interests are in the fields of behavioral and experimental economics. He is particularly interested in behavioral issues in the labour economics, and in organizational and personnel economics. Another research interest concerns issues of voluntary provision of public goods and solutions to free rider problems. Simon Gächter has published in Econometrica, American Economic Review, Science, Nature, Journal of Labor Economics, Journal of Public Economics, Journal of the European Economic Association, Management Science, Scandinavian Journal of Economics, among others.

In 2005 Simon Gächter received the Gossen Prize of the Verein fur Socialpolitik and in 2009 he was elected into the German Academy of Sciences Leopoldina. He is also a Fellow of the European Economic Association.

Simon Gächter was recently awarded a European Research Council (ERC) Advanced Investigator Grant on the Behavioural Economics of Cooperation (05/2012-04/2017). He is also a co-investigator of the UK ESRC-funded "Network of Integrated Behavioural Science (NIBS)".

He joined IZA as a Research Fellow in November 2003.



IZA Discussion Paper No. 10824

We introduce the concept of "group cohesion" to capture the economic consequences of ubiquitous social relationships in group production. We measure group cohesion, adapting the "oneness scale" from psychology. A comprehensive program of new experiments reveals the considerable economic impact of cohesion: higher cohesion groups are significantly more likely to...

IZA Discussion Paper No. 10754
Simon Gächter, Lingbo Huang, Martin Sefton

We present an experiment to investigate the source of disappointment aversion in a sequential real-effort competition. Specifically, we study the contribution of social comparison effects to the disappointment aversion previously identified in a two-person real-effort competition (Gill and Prowse, 2012). To do this we compare "social" and "asocial" versions of...

IZA Discussion Paper No. 10517
Antonio A. Arechar, Simon Gächter, Lucas Molleman
revised version forthcoming in: Experimental Economics, doi:10.1007/s10683-017-9527-2

Online labor markets provide new opportunities for behavioral research, but conducting economic experiments online raises important methodological challenges. This particularly holds for interactive designs. In this paper, we provide a methodological discussion of the similarities and differences between interactive experiments conducted in the laboratory and online. To this end, we...

IZA Discussion Paper No. 9616
revised version published in European Economic Review 90, November 2016, 280-301; doi:10.1016/j.euroecorev.2016.03.008

We propose that religion impacts trust and trustworthiness in ways that depend on how individuals are socially identified and connected. Religiosity and religious affiliation may serve as markers for statistical discrimination. Further, affiliation to the same religion may enhance group identity, or affiliation irrespective of creed may lend social identity,...

IZA Discussion Paper No. 9615
Simon Gächter, Leonie Gerhards, Daniele Nosenzo
revised version published in European Economic Review 97, August 2017, 72-86; doi:10.1016/j.euroecorev.2017.06.001

A burgeoning literature in economics has started examining the role of social norms in explaining economic behavior. Surprisingly, the vast majority of this literature has studied social norms in asocial decision settings, where individuals are observed to act in isolation from each other. In this paper we use a large-scale...

IZA Discussion Paper No. 9241
revised version published in Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization 141, September 2017, 110-121, doi:10.1016/j.jebo.2017.06.013

We investigate whether there is a link between conditional cooperation and betrayal aversion. We use a public goods game to classify subjects by type of contribution preference and by belief about the contributions of others; and we measure betrayal aversion for different categories of subject. We find that, among conditional...

IZA Discussion Paper No. 9041
Simon Gächter, Lingbo Huang, Martin Sefton
revised version published in: Experimental Economics 19(4), December 2016, 287-712; doi: 10.1007/s10683-015-9465-9

We introduce the "ball-catching task", a novel computerized real effort task, which combines “real” efforts with induced material cost of effort. The central feature of the ball-catching task is that it allows researchers to manipulate the cost of effort function as well as the production function, which permits quantitative predictions...

IZA Discussion Paper No. 8954
published in: Journal of the Economic Science Association, 2015, 1(1), 43-58; doi:10.1007/s40881-015-0007-1

This paper reports data from three subject pools (n=717 subjects) using techniques based on those of Loewenstein, et al. (1989) and Blanco, et al. (2011) to obtain parameters, respectively, of stated and revealed inequality aversion. We provide a replication opportunity for those papers, with two innovations: (i) a design which...

IZA Discussion Paper No. 8580

We investigate the link between leadership, beliefs and pro-social behavior. This link is interesting because field evidence suggests that people's behavior in domains like charitable giving, tax evasion, corporate culture and corruption is influenced by leaders (CEOs, politicians) and beliefs about others' behavior. Our framework is an experimental public goods...

IZA Discussion Paper No. 8504
revised version published in Journal of Public Economics 150, June 2017, 1-13, doi:10.1016/j.jpubeco.2017.03.002

In a novel experimental design we study public good games with dynamic interdependencies. Each agent's income at the end of a period serves as her endowment in the following period. In this setting growth and inequality arise endogenously allowing us to address new questions regarding their interplay and effect on...