Michael works at the University of Western Australia in Perth. Being originally from Germany, he received both his B.A. (2007) and his Ph.D. (2011) in Economics from the University of Memphis (USA). From 2011 to 2015, he worked at the Universidad EAFIT in Medellin, Colombia, first as an Assistant Professor and then as a Full Professor.

Michael’s research interests are mostly related to Political Economy, Public Economics, Behavioral Economics, and Media Economics. His current projects focus on the determinants of terrorism and armed conflict, as well as issues related to economic development (e.g., corruption and inequality) and gender differences in competitiveness and preferences.

He joined IZA as a Research Fellow in April 2013.

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Publications

IZA Discussion Paper No. 11204

This paper evaluates the effect of financial shocks on interpersonal trust levels, exploiting longitudinal survey data from 22,112 Australians. Using within-individual level variation, we find that trust does not change meaningfully following a positive financial shock (e.g., winning the lottery). However, trust falls sharply following a negative financial shock (e.g.,...

IZA Discussion Paper No. 11201

Studying competitiveness and risk-taking among Jeopardy! contestants in the US, this paper analyzes whether and how gender differences emerge with age and by gender of opponent. Our samples contain 186 children (aged 10–12), 310 teenagers (aged 13–17), and 299 undergraduate college students. We measure competitiveness via the likelihood of (i)...

IZA Discussion Paper No. 10708

Can media coverage of a terrorist organization encourage their execution of further attacks? This paper analyzes the day-to-day news coverage of Al-Qaeda on US television since 9/11 and the group's terrorist strikes. To isolate causality, I use disaster deaths worldwide as an exogenous variation that crowds out Al-Qaeda coverage in...

IZA Discussion Paper No. 10585

We investigate the effect of individual income on interpersonal trust levels, using longitudinal survey data for 22,219 Australians over the 2005-2014 period. Our results produce two key insights. First, we demonstrate the importance of accounting for individual-level fixed effects, as the income coefficient goes from positive and statistically significant in...

IZA Discussion Paper No. 10151
forthcoming in: Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, 2017

This paper analyzes 12,596 wagering decisions of 6,064 contestants in the US game show Jeopardy!, focusing on the anchoring phenomenon in financial decision-making. We find that contestants anchor heavily on the initial dollar value of a clue in their wagering decision, even though there exists no rational reason to do...

IZA Discussion Paper No. 10015
Michael Jetter, Sabine Laudage, David Stadelmann

Contrary to previous findings, we find a systematic and economically sizeable relationship between income levels and life expectancy in a panel dataset of 197 countries over 213 years. By itself, GDP/capita explains more than 64 percent of the variation in life expectancy. The Preston curve prevails, even when accounting for...

IZA Discussion Paper No. 9996

When do opposition groups decide to mount a terrorism campaign and when do they enter an open civil conflict against the ruling government? This paper models an opposition group's choice between peace, terrorism, and open conflict. Terrorism emerges if executive constraints are intermediate and rents are sizeable. Open conflict is...

IZA Discussion Paper No. 9669
forthcoming in: European Economic Review

Using 4,279 episodes of the popular US game show Jeopardy!, we analyze whether the opponents' gender is able to explain the gender gap in competitive behavior. Our findings indicate that gender differences disappear when women compete against men. This result is surprising, but emerges with remarkable consistency for the probability...

IZA Discussion Paper No. 9447
Julia Debski, Michael Jetter

This paper analyzes the relationship between gender and corruption, controlling for country-specific heterogeneity in a panel framework. Using annual observations in a pooled setting (no country-fixed effects) confirms the positive link between the involvement of women in society and the absence of corruption. However, once country-fixed effects are acknowledged, only...

IZA Discussion Paper No. 9210
María Aristizábal-Ramírez, Gustavo J Canavire Bacarreza, Michael Jetter

This paper analyzes the individual-level determinants of wage inequality for Bolivia, Colombia, and Ecuador from 2001 to 2010. Using a rich annual data set from surveys in all three countries, we analyze wages both using conventional wage regressions and decompositions of standard Gini indices. Although popular opinion and standard Gini...

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