School of Economics

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Simon Gaechter

Professor of Psychology of Economic Decision Making, Faculty of Social Sciences



Simon joined the University of Nottingham in February 2005. He is Professor of the Psychology of Economic Decision Making. He received his doctorate in Economics in Vienna. Before coming to Nottingham he worked at the Universities of Vienna, Linz, Zurich, and St. Gallen. He is also affiliated with the CESifo network (Munich), and the Institute for the Study of Labour (IZA Bonn).

Professor Gaechter's complete cv can be downloaded here in pdf format. Simon's Facewall page.

European Research Council Advanced Grant 295707 COOPERATION (2012 - 2017)

European Research Council Advanced Grant 101020453 PRINCIPLES (2021 - 2026)

Personal webpage

Google Scholar Profile

Research Summary

Simon's research interests are in the area of behavioural and experimental economics, organisational economics, labour economics, and game theory. His main research tools are experiments. Currently,… read more

Selected Publications


The Behavioural Mechanisms of Voluntary Cooperation in WEIRD and Non-WEIRD Societies, CeDEx Discussion Paper No. 2021-03 (with Till Weber, Benjamin Beranek, Fatima Lambarraa-Lehnhardt & Jonathan Schulz).

Risk, Temptation, and Efficiency in Prisoner's Dilemmas, CeDEx Discussion Paper No. 2020-15 (with Kyeongtae Lee and Martin Sefton)

Social Proximity and the Erosion of Norm Compliance, IZA Discussion Paper 13864 (with Cristina Bicchieri, Eugen Dimant and Daniele Nosenzo).

Working Too Much for Too Little: Stochastic Rewards Cause Work Addiction, CeDEx Discussion Paper No. 2020-03, February 2020 (with Brice Corgnet and Roberto Hernan-Gonzalez).

The Surprising Capacity of the Company You Keep: Revealing Group Cohesion as a Powerful Factor of Team Production, CeDex Discussion Paper No. 2019-16 December 2019 (with Chris Starmer and Fabio Tufano).


"Individual-level loss aversion in riskless and risky choices". Theory and Decision, August 2021 (with Eric J. Johnson and Andreas Herrmann) [Data & Analysis files].

"Social mindfulness and prosociality vary across the globe", Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, August 2021, 118 (35) e2023846118 (with Niels Van Doesum, Ryan O. Murphy, Marcello Gallucci, Paul Van Lange, and 60 further co-authors) [Data & Analysis files].

"Contextualised strong reciprocity explains selfless cooperation despite selfish intuitions and weak social heuristics", Scientific Reports 11, July 2021, Article number: 13868 (with Ozan Isler, A. John Maule and Chris Starmer) [Supplementary Information] [Data & Analysis files].

"People prefer coordinated punishment in cooperative interactions", Nature Human Behaviour 3, September 2019, 1145-1153 (with Lucas Molleman, Felix Koelle and Chris Starmer). [Supplementary Information] [Data & analysis files].

"Leaders as role models and 'belief managers' in social dilemmas", Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization 154, October 2018, 321-334 (with Elke Renner). [Instructions] [Data & analysis files]

"Societal background influences social learning in cooperative decision making", Evolution and Human Behavior 39(5), September 2018, 547-555 (with Lucas Molleman), [Supplementary Materials], [Data and analysis files]

"Dispositional free rider do not free ride on punishment", Nature Communications 9, 19 June 2018, Article number: 2390 (with Till Weber and Ori Weisel). [Online Supplementary Materials] [Data & Analysis Files]

"Conducting interactive experiments online", Experimental Economics 21(1), March 2018, 99-131 (with Antonio A. Arechar and Lucas Molleman) [Supplementary Materials 1 Instructions and additional figures] [Supplementary Materials 2 Experimental Data and analysis files]

"Reciprocity and the tragedies of maintaining and providing the commons", Nature Human Behaviour 1(9), September 2017, 650-656 (with Felix Koelle and Simone Quercia). [Supplementary Materials] [Data and Analysis Files]

"Conditional Cooperation and betrayal aversion", Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization 141, September 2017, 110-121 (with Robin Cubitt and Simone Quercia). [Supplementary Materials, Data & Analysis Files]

"The importance of peers for compliance with norms of fair sharing" European Economic Review 97, August 2017, 72-86 (with Leonie Gerhards and Daniele Nosenzo) [Data & Analysis files] [zTree files] [Instructions & Further Analyses]

"Growth and inequality in public good provision", Journal of Public Economics 150, June 2017, 1-13 (with Friederike Mengel, Elias Tsakas and Alexander Vostroknutov). [Supplementary Materials 1: Screen shots, instructions, and additional analysis] [Supplementary Materials 2: Data, analysis files, ztree codes]

"Combining "Real Effort" with Induced Effort Costs: The Ball-Catching Task", Experimental Economics 19(4), December 2016, 687-712 (with Lingbo Huang and Martin Sefton) [Demo Video] [zTree files] [Supplementary Materials] [Data].

"Religion, Discrimination and Trust across Three Cultures, European Economic Review 90, November 2016, 280-301 (with Swee-Hoon Chuah, Robert Hoffmann and Jonathan Tan). [Instructions] [Data, Analysis Files]

"Eye Movements in Strategic Choice", Journal of Behavioral Decision Making 29(2-3), April 2016, 137-156 (with Neil Stewart, Takao Noguchi and Timothy L. Mullett). [Data]

"Intrinsic Honesty and the Prevalence of Rule Violations across Societies", Nature 531, 24 March 2016, 496-499 (with Jonathan Schulz) [Supplementary Information] [Data] [News & Views Commentary by Shaul Shalvi]. [pdf]

"Measuring the Closeness of Relationships: A Comprehensive Evaluation of the 'Inclusion of the Other in the Self' Scale". PLoS ONE 10(6), June 2015, e0129478 (with Chris Starmer and Fabio Tufano) [Supporting Information including Data]

"Peer Effects and Social Preferences in Voluntary Cooperation: A Theoretical and Experimental Analysis", Journal of Economic Psychology 48, June 2015, 72-88 (with Christian Thöni) [Data] [Supplementary materials including instructions]

"Antisocial Punishment Across Societies" Science 319, 7 March 2008, 1362-1367 (with Benedikt Herrmann and Christian Thöni). (Data)

Current Research

Simon's research interests are in the area of behavioural and experimental economics, organisational economics, labour economics, and game theory. His main research tools are experiments. Currently, his main research interests are on voluntary cooperation in the presence of free rider incentives, and on the interplay of material and psychological incentives in incentive provision. He has published in American Economic Review, Econometrica, Science, Nature, Journal of Economic Perspectives, Journal of Labor Economics, Journal of Public Economics, Journal of the European Economic Association, Management Science, Nature Human Behaviour and Nature Communications. He held a £1.5m European Research Council (ERC) Advanced Investigator grant on the Behavioural Economics of Cooperation (2012-2017). He was recently awarded another ERC Advanced Grant on the Behavioural Principles of Large-Scale Cooperation (2021 - 2026).

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