Matthias Sutter

Research Fellow

Max Planck Institute for Research on Collective Goods

Matthias Sutter (born 1968) has been Director at the Max Planck Institute for Research on Collective Goods since August 2017. He is also part-time professor of experimental economics at the Universities of Cologne and Innsbruck. Previously he was working full-time at the European University Institute in Florence (2013-2014), at the University of Innsbruck (2006-2013), the University of Cologne (2005-2006, 2015-2017) and the Max Planck Institute of Economics Jena (2003-2005). He got his PhD in economics (1999) from the University of Innsbruck where he also finished his habilitation (2002). From July 2007 to June 2013 he was also Professor (part-time) at the University of Gothenburg. His research focuses on the experimental analysis of team decision making and on the development of economic decision making with age. He has published his work, among others, in Science, Econometrica, American Economic Review, Review of Economic Studies, Management Science, PNAS, Games and Economic Behavior, Economic Journal, or European Economic Review. He is currently Associate Editor of "Management Science", of "European Economic Review", of "Journal of the European Economic Association", and of "Economics Letters", and Editorial Board Member of "Experimental Economics" and of "Journal of the Economic Science Association". He was Associate Editor of "Journal of Economic Psychology" (2006-2010). His work earned him several prizes, among others the Hans Kelsen Prize of the University of Cologne (2017), the Exeter Prize for Research in Experimental Economics, Decision Theory and Behavioral Economics (2015), Science Prize of the State of Tyrol (2009), the Honorary Prize for Science of the State of Vorarlberg (2008) and the Oberbank Science Prize (2004). In 2014 he published a popular book ("Die Entdeckung der Geduld", also translated into Chinese) about the importance of patience for health and economic success.

He joined IZA as a Research Fellow in July 2007.



IZA Discussion Paper No. 11337

Economic preferences – like time, risk and social preferences – have been shown to be very influential for real-life outcomes, such as educational achievements, labor market outcomes, or health status. We contribute to the recent literature that has examined how and when economic preferences are formed, putting particular emphasis on...

IZA Discussion Paper No. 11128

We present a field experiment in which we set up a call-center to study how the productivity of workers is affected if managers treat their co-workers in an unfair way. This question cannot be studied in long-lived organizations since workers may change their career expectations (and hence effort) when managers...

IZA Discussion Paper No. 10877

The steady increase in inequality over the past decades has revived a lively debate about what can be considered a fair distribution of income. Public support for the extent of redistribution typically depends on the perceived causes of income inequality, such as differences in effort, luck, or opportunities. We study...

IZA Discussion Paper No. 10105

Markets are ubiquitous in our daily life and, despite many imperfections, they are a great source of human welfare. Nevertheless, there is a heated recent debate on whether markets erode social responsibility and moral behavior. In fact, competitive pressure on markets may create strong incentives for unethical practices (like using...

IZA Discussion Paper No. 9704

Human communication in organizations often involves a large amount of gossiping about others. Here we study in an experiment whether gossip affects the efficiency of human interactions. We let subjects play a trust game. Third parties observe a trustee's behavior and can gossip about it by sending a message to...

IZA Discussion Paper No. 9383

According to Chen's (2013) linguistic-savings hypothesis, languages which grammatically separate the future and the present (like English or Italian) induce less future-oriented behavior than languages in which speakers can refer to the future by using present tense (like German). We complement Chen's approach with experimentally elicited time preference data from...

IZA Discussion Paper No. 9330
published in: Games and Economic Behavior, 2015, 94, 39-56.

We utilize a laboratory experiment to compare effort provision under optimal tournament contracts with different distributions of prizes which motivate agents to compete to be first, avoid being last, or both. We find that the combined tournament contract incorporating both incentives at the top and at the bottom induces the...

IZA Discussion Paper No. 9314
published in: Economic Letters, 2015, 137, 21-24

The ability to delay gratification has been shown to be related to higher education and income and better health status. We study in an experiment with 336 kindergarten children, aged three to six years, whether intertemporal choice behavior is malleable. In a control condition, about 50% of children prefer two...

IZA Discussion Paper No. 9085
published in: Journal of Public Economics, 2015, 129: 14-25

We experimentally examine the impact of tax evasion attempts on the performance of credence goods markets, where contractual incompleteness results from asymmetric information on the welfare maximizing quality of the good. Our results suggest that tax evasion attempts – independently of whether they are successful or not – lead to...

IZA Discussion Paper No. 9039
published in: European Economic Review, 2016, 90, 254-264

We present experimental evidence from a bilingual city in Northern Italy on whether the language spoken by a partner in a prisoner's dilemma game affects behavior and leads to discrimination. Running a framed field experiment with 828 six- to eleven-year old primary school children in the city of Meran, we...