Ernst Fehr

Ernst Fehr ( born June 21 1956 in Hard, Vorarlberg ) is an Austrian economist.


Fehr studied 1975-1980 Economics at the University of Vienna and graduated with a Master's from. Between 1980 and 1982 he worked as a research assistant at the chair of Alexander Van der Bellen; During this time he also attended courses at the Institute for Advanced Studies. This is followed in 1982 joined (Department of Helmut Frisch) as an assistant professor at the Technical University of Vienna, which he held until 1991. Between 1988 and 1989, Fehr also held a research position at the London School of Economics.

Fehr was awarded his doctorate in 1986, after his habilitation in June 1991. From 1991 to 1994 he was employed as an associate professor at the Technical University of Vienna, from 1993 he was in Vienna the Director of the Ludwig Boltzmann Institute for Research in Economic Growth (until 2003). Since 1994 he has been Professor of Microeconomics and Experimental Economic Research at the University of Zurich, where he moreover acts as director of the 2011 newly created Institute of Economics. Fehr has numerous calls rejected by prestigious universities, including the University of Bonn, the University of California, Berkeley, the University of Cambridge and the University of Oxford. From 2003 to 2005 he also served as President of the Economic Science Association.

Fehr is a founding member and chairman of the consulting firm Fehr Advice & Partners. In addition, he is promoting " socially relevant [r ] economic [r ] excellence" at the University of Zurich is the founder and President of the Board of the Excellence Foundation Zurich for Economic and Social Research, puts to an end.

Fehr is married and has two children. He lives in Zurich.


Fehr is an honorary member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, a member of the American Academy of Political and Social Sciences, the Academia Europaea and the Leopoldina, an external member of the Faculty of Economics at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and since 2011 Global Distinguished Professor in Economics at New York University.

In Handelsblatt economists ranking 2011, which analyzes the research output of economists from Germany, Austria and German-speaking Switzerland, Fehr was in both the category " Current research performance (since 2007) " and in the category " Top -250 life's work " on the third Place.

Prizes and awards

  • 2013: Gottlieb Duttweiler Prize
  • 2012: Austrian Decoration for Science and Art
  • 2011: Vorarlberg Science Award
  • 2008: Marcel Benoist Prize
  • 1999: Gossen Prize of the Association for Social Policy

Works (selection)

  • Ernst Fehr and Armin Falk: Psychological foundations of incentives. In: European Economic Review. Vol 46, No 4-5 ( 2002), pp. 687-724. doi: 10.1016/S0014-2921 (01) 00208-2 ( freely available as Working Paper: doi: 10.3929/ethz-a-004374228 )
  • Ernst Fehr and Urs Fischbacher: The nature of human altruism. In: Nature. Vol 425, pp. 785-791. doi: 10.1038/nature02043
  • Ernst Fehr and Simon Gächter: Cooperation and punishment in public goods experiments. In: American Economic Review. Vol 90, No. 4, 2000, pp. 980-994. doi: 10.1257/aer.90.4.980
  • Ernst Fehr and Simon Gächter: Fairness and Retaliation: The Economics of Reciprocity. In: Journal of Economic Perspectives. Vol 14, No. 3, 2000, pp. 159-181. doi: 10.1257/jep.14.3.159
  • Ernst Fehr, Georg Kirchsteiger and Arno Riedl: Does fairness prevent prevention market clearing? An experimental investigation. In: Quarterly Journal of Economics. Vol 108, No. 2, 1993, pp. 437-459. doi: 10.2307/2118338
  • Ernst Fehr and Klaus M. Schmidt: A theory of fairness, competition, and cooperation. In: Quarterly Journal of Economics. Vol 114, No. 3, 1999, pp. 817-868. doi: 10.1162/003355399556151.
  • Ernst Fehr and Gerhard Schwarz (ed.): Psychological foundations of economics. 3rd edition, Verlag Neue Zürcher Zeitung 2003. ISBN 3-85823-958-5.
  • Ernst Fehr and Jean -Robert Tyran: Does money illusion matter? In: American Economic Review. Vol 91, No. 5, 2001, pp. 1239-1262. doi: 10.1257/aer.91.5.1239
  • Herbert Gintis, Samuel Bowles, Robert T. Boyd and Ernst Fehr (eds.): Moral Sentiments and Material Interests. The Foundations of Cooperation in Economic Life. MIT Press, 2005. ISBN 978-0-262-07252-6.
  • Paul W. Glimcher, Colin Camerer, Ernst Fehr and Russell Alan Poldrack ( Eds.): Neuroeconomics: Decision Making and the Brain. 1st edition, Academic Press, 2008. ISBN 978-0-12-374176-9.