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19.02.2019 > News
The status quo is not an option

“The framework agreement with the EU secures Switzerland’s economic strength, which a small country needs to be able to afford sovereignty between the big neighbors,” emphasizes UBS Center Foundation Council Chairman Kaspar Villiger in a guest commentary for NZZ newspaper. He hopes the liberals will have the courage to take the word “progress” from their guiding idea seriously and to stand by for the security and development of the bilateral treaties, he further elaborates.

Kaspar Villiger was a member of the Swiss Federal Council from 1989 to 2003. The article is an excerpt from his speech on the 125th anniversary of the Liberal Democratic Party (FDP) on February 2 in Olten, Switzerland.

05.02.2019 > News
Plan B for Brexit

“Not only to invest in the United Kingdom to serve the local market as a foreign company, but also to export to EU countries - this business model is being queried by Brexit.” Trade expert Ralph Ossa refers to the uncertainty of international UK-based companies in his statement to Swiss television SRF.

A growing number of firms are considering leaving the island and relocating to the continent. In addition to the direct loss of economic output, it is the value chain and supply industry that would also be affected by such measures, says Ossa.

05.02.2019 > News
New advisory board members

We are delighted to welcome five new distinguished members to our advisory board. The are Marianne Bertrand (University of Chicago), Esther Duflo (MIT), Ulrike Malmendier (Berkeley), Ekaterina Zhuravskaya (Paris School of Economics) and Mauro Dell’Ambrogio (former Federal State Secretary for Education Research and Innovation). It’s no coincidence that four of the five new board members are women - it’s part of our effort to promote diversity at the center.


29.01.2019 > News
«I rely on empirical data»

David Dorn is one of the most cited economists in academia - with a strong focus on the US and China. He does not draw his findings from theoretical models, but from large data sets, which leads to important new findings. He was able to show that globalization is affecting labor markets much more negatively than expected. A detailed interview with the Swiss magazine BILANZ provides more insight into his world of ideas.

24.01.2019 > News
«A trade war knows no winners»

Ralph Ossa sees a major threat of the Sino-US trade conflict in the fact that the situation between the US and the EU is exacerbated - for example, the threatened punitive tariffs on European automobile exports. In an interview with FuW, he explains that this would be far more profound than the existing tariffs on steel and aluminum - and it would also affect our country. For as soon as the EU starts to protect its own market against the outside, that would also hit Switzerland hard.

23.01.2019 > News
Culture and work attitude

The third issue of our new “UBS Center Policy Briefs” publication series titled “Culture and work attitudes” by Josef Zweimüller discusses variations in unemployment duration across the Swiss language border.

To what extent can differences in culture and attitudes towards work explain differences in unemployment across time and space? This policy brief examines variations in the time that unemployed people in Switzerland spend looking for work, comparing residents of Swiss nationality who speak German with residents who speak French or Italian.

21.01.2019 > News
Newsletter 12 out now

A new year lies ahead of us – like a blank book. We look forward to many inspiring events and to sharing new research insights with you. Our goals remain: to enable world-class research and to act as a link between research, politics, business, and society. Scan this newsletter for forthcoming events – and the highlights from 2018.

15.01.2019 > News
Genes influence risk behavior

How do our genes affect our behavior? They play an important role when it comes to risk behavior. This has been discovered by an international group of scientists, including Pietro Biroli, Christian Zünd and Ernst Fehr from the Department of Economics at the UZH. The researchers identified 124 previously unknown gene variants in 99 areas of the human genome, which are associated with a person’s willingness to take risks.

According to Pietro Biroli, the current study offers “great basis for further studies to increase our understanding of the connection between genetic variants and behavior.”

11.01.2019 > News
Automation - A gradual process

Contrary to popular belief, the automation of work and everyday tasks will not happen overnight. It will be a gradual process over time and it is important to channel this change, says David Hémous in an interview with The Progressive Post, discussing the impact of automation and focusing on winners and losers of the digital revolution.

09.01.2019 > News
Influential economists in Zurich

According to a recently published ranking of the Swiss newspaper Tagesanzeiger, three Zurich professors are among the 10 most influential economists in Switzerland: behavioral economist Ernst Fehr, development economist and Twitter influencer Dina Pomeranz, and economic historian Tobias Straumann.

At the same time, David Dorn is now one of the most cited contemporary economist regarding recency and impact. Based on REPECs citations ranking including the number of citations, weighted the recursive impact factor, and discounted by citation age (WDScCites) he ranks on an excellent 9th place globally.

09.01.2019 > News
The downside of free trade

Global free trade is no longer “en vogue”. Many countries are sealing themselves off in order to protect their own economies from foreign competition – above all the US. Although economist David Dorn thinks that protectionism is the wrong answer, he can understand why this is happening. Because not everyone benefits from free trade. Swiss radio SRF editor Iwan Lieberherr spoke with David Dorn about the downside of free trade.

08.01.2019 > News
Trade war dominated the trade year 2019

In an interview with Swiss television SRF, economics professor Ralph Ossa stresses Switzerland’s dependence on foreign trade. If world trade were to continue to be shaped by the law of the stronger, Switzerland’s trade position would deteriorate. Especially since the World Trade Organization (WTO) itself is facing an existential crisis.

08.01.2019 > News
Where is the world economy heading?

Protectionism is spreading, many states are sealing themselves off. Like the USA, which impose customs duties on products from China and Europe in order to protect its own economy. In an interview with economist David Dorn, the SRF radio programme “Trend” looks for the causes of this development.


18.12.2018 > News
Apply for a UBS Center Scholarship now

The closing date for the 2019 UBS Center Scholarships will be next January 15. Scholarships are open to graduates from around the world, they are awarded to candidates on the grounds of outstanding academic merit, and continuing support will be subject to satisfactory completion of course work.

Applicants need to apply for admission to the Zurich Graduate School of Economics where they indicate that they are applying for a UBS Center Scholarship. The UBS Center Scholarships cover living expenses and all fees. The stipend covering living expenses currently stands at CHF 42’500 per year.

10.12.2018 > News
Rethinking trade policy

At his inaugural lecture, Ralph Ossa presented the big picture. He explained his research agenda for the upcoming years, signalizing that Deep Intergration is the future of trade policy.

Issues of deep integration include competition policy, investor rights, product standards, public procurement and intellectual property rights, for example.

10.12.2018 > News
Ernst Fehr is top 1% on Web of Science

Ernst Fehr is one of the most cited researchers in 2018 and ranks among the top 1% in his field in terms of the number of citations on the Web of Science platform, indicates Clarivate Analytics.

Web of Science links publications and researchers through quotes and controlled indexing in curated databases, including 59 million records and backfiles dating back to 1898.

04.12.2018 > News
Prosperity is a question of culture

Whether a society creates wealth is a question of culture. Joe Henrich ascribes the rise of the West back to the Church: It preached a “marriage and family program” that promoted an extraordinary personality structure. The interview with Markus Schär (NZZ) took place on the occasion of the Forum for Economic Dialogue.

04.12.2018 > News
One year of trade war and no end

In January, the USA opened a round of reciprocal tariffs with China. Beijing is hoping for normalisation, the USA is counting on China surrendering. An arrangement is not in sight. A comment by David Dorn in Finanz und Wirtschaft.

David Dorn is Professor of International Trade and Labor Markets at the Economics Institute of the University of Zurich and affiliated with the UBS Center.

30.11.2018 > News
The political economy of culture and conflict

Highlighting the Rwandan genocide and the role of propaganda, David Yanagizawa-Drott asked in his inaugural lecture: «If media induces violence, can media induce peace?» A further snippet of evidence from his research was about gender norms in the context of labour markets. Yanagizawa-Drott showed the audience how peer values could be influenced to the benefit of all.

30.11.2018 > News
2019 CEPR Public Economics Symposium

Florian Scheuer invites you to submit a paper proposal or express interest in attending the 2019 CEPR Public Economics Symposium. The Symposium will take place on 20-21 June 2019, hosted by the Department of Economics and the UBS Center.

The goal of the symposium is to provide a forum for high-quality work in public economics and to bring together economists in the field from across Europe as well as key researchers from outside the region. Paper proposals are invited in any area of public economics. Both theoretical and empirical work is welcome.

30.11.2018 > News
Ralph Ossa receives ERC Consolidator Grant

Ralph Ossa was one of five UZH researchers to receive a grant of 1.4 million Euros for his project “Deep Integration Assessments”. In this project, he studies the most controversial aspects of such deep integration agreements, namely investor protection, regulatory cooperation, and intellectual property rights protection.

After decades of trade liberalization, tariffs have reached historically low levels so that there is not much scope for further tariff cuts. As a result, modern trade agreements now largely revolve around non-tariff issues in an attempt to achieve further economic integration elsewhere.

30.11.2018 > News
March of the robots will give women the best jobs

«Jaimovich looked at gender work patterns in the US since 1980 and found a significant fraction of the increase in the share of women in ‘good jobs’ – high-skilled work involving cognitive ability» writes the Guardian in an article featuring our very first Policy Brief on “The End of Men”.

23.11.2018 > News
«Despite integration, we have not become culturally more similar in Europe.»

Europe’s states should come closer to each other. The EU has been trying to do this for decades. The Italian economist Guido Tabellini shows, however: Cultural differences are increasing. He explains why in an interview with the NZZ at the Forum for Economic Dialogue.

23.11.2018 > News
Culture eats strategy for breakfast

Ernst Fehr will hold an executive roundtable keynote at the Global Peter Drucker Forum in Vienna on November 28. He will explain the Behavioural Economics Revolution in Leadership & Management.

Talking about corporate culture has become quite popular in the business world. But why should companies care about corporate culture at all? Ernst Fehr’s new Public Paper on the Behavioral Foundations of Corporate Culture sheds light on this.

19.11.2018 > News
How important culture is for success

According to Markus Diem Meier in Der Bund, the Forum for Economic Dialogue has made it clear how important soft factors are for the prosperity of companies and economies. How does an economically successful culture emerge?

According to Diem Meier, the key elements mentioned at the Forum were values that lead to functioning markets. This includes trust in strangers so that people can trade with each other in the first place.

16.11.2018 > News
Science Stories with Florian Scheuer

«We can try to direct the greed for profit into the right channels, so that ultimately it creates something good.» remarks Florian Scheuer in the latest issue of Science Stories by EU GrantsAccess.

Scheuer continues to say that the financial crisis had a great effect on scientific research. He also believes that economists have become somewhat more humble: «They no longer believe to have everything under control.»

16.11.2018 > News
Dina Pomeranz elected to EEA Council

Dina Pomeranz has been elected to the European Economic Association (EEA) Council for a term of five years. Congratulations!

15.11.2018 > News
Rage against the machines

The second issue of our new “UBS Center Policy Briefs” publication series titled “Rage against the machines” by Bruno Caprettini and Joachim Voth discusses new technology and violent unrest in industrializing England of the 1830s.

The question is: Under what circumstances might the adoption of labor-saving technology like the threshing machine lead to extreme social instability? Read more in the article on the publication in Finanz und Wirtschaft.

13.11.2018 > News
«The women are there, we often just don't see them»

Simona Scarpaleggia is continuously commiting for more diversity. In an interview with Finanz und Wirtschaft, the CEO of Ikea Switzerland regrets that politicians are having difficulty with equality measures. Watch also now on YouTube what Simona Scarpaleggia had to say about beliefs, values and business success at the Forum for Economic Dialogue.

12.11.2018 > News
New Public Paper on Behavioral Foundations of Corporate Culture

In the new UBS Center Public Paper, Ernst Fehr argues that corporate culture is important because human behavior is always co-determined by the prevailing social norms. It is in the company’s interest to shape these norms through a cooperative culture that mobilizes employees’ voluntary cooperation in the pursuit of the firm’s performance goals.

There are many views and opinions on what a good corporate culture is like. But they often lack a sound understanding of what drives behavior in a company. Experimental and behavioral economics sheds light on the underlying decision-making processes and helps managers to positively influence their employees’ behavior. Based on scientific data, it provides answers to questions such as which rules and incentives are needed for a successful corporate culture, how can we limit free-rider effects, and how can we foster productive and constructive cooperation among employees?

09.11.2018 > News
Is culture key?

On Monday, November 12, experts from academia, politics, and business will discuss how culture affects economic prosperity. Leading experts will share new insights with the audience and discuss current challenges for a globalized society, featuring keynote lectures by Guido Tabellini (Bocconi University) and Joe Henrich (Harvard University).

There are still seats available. Register now. For those who are unable to attend the Forum, we will post all videos of the lectures and discussion rounds on YouTube after the event.

06.11.2018 > News
Midterm meddling

David Dorn analyzes for SRF ECO how China, Mexico, Canada and the EU meddle in the US-Midterm elections - through targeted measures in the tariff dispute. Dorn comments: “In earlier cases, you only selected specific sectors for tariffs (…) now it’s all about harming another country economically in a broad way.”

06.11.2018 > News
The lost generation

“At some point, you can have a bit of an effect of a lost generation”, explains David Dorn about the perplexing hole millenial men leave in a hot U.S. labor market.

“If you get to the point where you’re turning 30, you’ve never held a real job and you don’t have a college education, then it is very hard to recover at that point”, concludes Dorn further.

05.11.2018 > News
The End of Men

We are excited to introduce the first issue of our new “UBS Center Policy Brief” publication series. “The End of Men” by Nir Jaimovich discusses the growing demand for women’s social skills in high-paying jobs.

Demand for high-skilled workers who perform cognitive tasks has strongly increased in the United States over the past forty years, with the biggest change between 1980 and 2000. This policy brief shows that the increase in demand was not experienced equally by both genders.

05.11.2018 > News
The female revolution in the labour market

“There are significantly more women in well-paid jobs today,” says Nir Jaimovich in a NZZaS background article on the occasion of the first UBS Center Policy Brief.

In short, the brain is more in demand than muscles. Women have done better in this change than men, as Jaimovich proves in his study (“The ‘End of Men’ and Rise of Women in the High-Skilled Labor Market”, 2018) with Guido Matias Cortes and Henry E. Siu.

02.11.2018 > News
Rethinking of trade policy

Ralph Ossa is Professor of Economics of Globalization and Emerging Markets at the University of Zurich. He has conducted research in both these areas with a particular emphasis on questions of policy relevance. In his inaugural lecture, Professor Ossa will explain why we need a rethinking of trade policy.

15.10.2018 > News
Register now

We are delighted to invite you to the event «Utopie Gleichstellung? Vom Wunschdenken zur Realität». In her keynote speech, Harvard professor Iris Bohnet shares her research insights on “What works - gender equality by design”.

Then Jacqueline Fehr (ZH Government Councillor), Mara Harvey (UBS Wealth Management) and Gabriele Siegert (University of Zurich) join her and discuss what actually works in politics, as well as in the academic and corporate world.

11.10.2018 > News
The political economy of culture and conflict

David Yanagizawa-Drott’s work is centered around economic development and political economy, with current focus on culture, conflict and globalization. His inaugural lecture will cover the latest evidence on topics such as social norms in job markets and the shaping of labourforce.

10.10.2018 > News
New keynote speaker

We are honored that Italian economist Guido Tabellini, former rector of the Università Bocconi and a distinguished expert in cultural and political economics, will hold the opening lecture at the Forum. He will ask “Does Europe belong together?” and analyze the cultural heterogeneity in Europe. We are convinced that Guido Tabellini will create an insightful and inspiring basis for a thought-provoking event.

It is with regret that we need to inform you that Amy Chua, Professor of Law at Yale Law School, must cancel her participation due to an unforeseen medical situation. We send Amy Chua our best wishes for a speedy recovery.

04.10.2018 > News
«Taxes are super exciting!»

«Let me try to convince you why we should talk about taxes… everything else is because of taxes», elaborates Dina Pomeranz in her inaugural lecture. Watch it online now.

04.10.2018 > News
Clear guidelines would make sense

«For some years now there has been a strong expectation on the part of consumers that textile companies will not simply pass the responsibility on to their suppliers,» says David Dorn in a 20min article on H&M.

Dorn thinks it would make sense for companies like H&M to join forces with NGOs like Public Eye and agree on clear guidelines.

21.09.2018 > News
What can economics contribute to public policy?

Recent research in development economics has shed new light on how to understand the impact of public policies, by combining economics concerpts with practical field work and rigorous empirical analysis. Dina Pomeranz’ inaugural lecture next Tuesday discusses some of the lessons learned with examples from Chile, Ecuador and Kenya.

21.09.2018 > News
Forum for Economic Dialogue – Is culture key?

Free registration is now open for the UBS Center Forum. On November 12, we will cover new insights on how culture affects economic prosperity.

21.09.2018 > News
The return of the tariffs

“If such big economies no longer develop well, it also has a contagion effect that can weaken the entire global economy,” warns David Dorn in conversation with 10vor10. The occasion is another round of tariffs and counter-tariffs between the US and China.

“There is a danger that the economy in China will begin to weaken as a result of such a trade war, and the US economy will also be damaged in the end,” Dorn also thinks. Meanwhile, the tariff spiral continues to turn.

11.09.2018 > News
EEA Young Economist Award

Congratulations to Sebastian Dörr for being awarded the EEA Young Economist Award 2018. Sebastian shows in his research that rising real estate prices reduce industry productivity, because they lead to a reallocation of capital and labor towards inefficient firms.

03.09.2018 > News
Ernst Fehr is the most influential economist

Considering research, media and politics in Switzerland on top - Ernst Fehr defends in the current NZZ ranking his top spot as the most influential economist for the fifth time in a row.

For the second time since 2016 Ernst Fehr is also leading in Germany and Austria. Further to be found in the list are David Dorn, Joachim Voth and Ralph Ossa. The ranking was published together with FAZ (Germany) and Die Presse (Austria).

27.08.2018 > News
Is culture key?

At this year’s forum, we will reflect on how prosperity and culture interact. We will explore different culture plots, from cultural groups to organizations and nations. The detailed program with further information is now available.

20.08.2018 > News
When economists get involved

“If you ask me: what is the biggest change in economics in the last 30 years, then it is the empirical revolution.” says Ernst Fehr in SRF Ecotalk.

When do economists decide to express their opinion? Why? And how do they handle headwind? Reto Lipp asked these questions to two economists who regularly seek publicity and are among the most influential in German-speaking countries: Hans-Werner von Sinn and Ernst Fehr.

09.08.2018 > News
UZH Digital Forum - The future of work

As part of the digital society initiative’s event series “UZH Digital Forum”, the University of Zurich is organizing a public event on current digitalization topics on 13 September 2018. After an introductory lecture by Thomas Malone (MIT), David Dorn (University of Zurich) and Corinne Schärer (Unia) will join Professor Malone for a discussion moderated by Abraham Bernstein (University of Zurich).

07.08.2018 > News
Lead or follow - What sets leaders apart?

Researchers from the Department of Economics investigated what it is that sets people with high leadership abilities apart. Micah G. Edelson, Rafael Polania, Christian C. Ruff, Ernst Fehr and Todd A. Hare identified the cognitive and neurobiological processes that influence whether someone is more likely to take on leadership or to delegate decision-making.

In their study, which has been published in the journal Science, they identify and characterize a common decision process that may distinguish followers from leaders: Responsibility aversion, or the unwillingness to make decisions that also affect others.

30.07.2018 > News
ERC Starting Grant for David Hémous

The European Research Council (ERC) has awarded a starting grant to David Hémous for his project on automation and income distribution. David Hémous’ work aims to provide a quantitative account of the two-way relationship between automation and income distribution.

Automation has been a key driver of economic growth ever since the invention of the spinning frame. In the wake of fast technological progress in IT, numerical control or robotics, it is also seen as one of the factors behind the rise in income inequality and the recent decline in the labor share of income in several developed economies. At the same time, the level of wages itself affect the incentives to innovate in automation technologies. Understanding the complex relationship between automation and income distribution is essential to inform policymakers of the long-term effects on wages and growth of policies such as an increase in the minimum wage or a robot tax.

19.07.2018 > News
Newsletter 11 out now

With the summer holidays at our doorstep, it is time to wrap up the successful and busy spring semester at the UBS Center. We wish you an inspiring read and look forward to welcoming you at one of our upcoming events.

17.07.2018 > News
Incorrectly perceived preferences

Pluralistic ignorance refers to wrongly perceived preferences of others. It also influences one’s own behavior - sometimes negative. A comment by Joachim Voth in Finanz und Wirtschaft.

17.07.2018 > News
Raising Money for the State

Dina Pomeranz was invited by the Worldbank to speak on behalf of the DEC Lecture Series. She adressed the challenges of taxation in developing countries, where this task is far from obvious.

No state can exist in the long term without effective taxation. To be able to execute its various roles, the state needs to acquire the capacity to enforce compliance with tax obligations.

17.07.2018 > News
What will become of the WTO when the trade war is over

The WTO has a realistic chance to emerge stronger from the trade conflict. It is history that teaches us that international trade cooperation is ultimately in everyone’s interest. A guest commentary by Ralph Ossa in the NZZ.

17.07.2018 > News
Social appreciation promotes happiness

Ernst Fehr explains in an interview in the Sonntagszeitung, why more wages make people happier, but why this effect decreases with increasing wealth.

Happiness does not increase to the same extent as income. The effect of increasing income on happiness is becoming smaller and smaller. If you can increase your income from 150,000 francs a year to 200,000 francs, the growth in fortune is less than if you can increase it from 50,000 to 100,000 francs.

17.07.2018 > News
Wage growth has halved since the crisis

Unemployment has fallen and the number of vacancies is increasing. Nevertheless, wages in the major industrialized countries of the OECD hardly increase. A look at the OECD’s recent employment outlook indicates that David Dorn is helping to solve the puzzle.

17.07.2018 > News
Women's wages and men's wages?

Different wages for women and men are not proof of wage discrimination - even if they can not be statistically explained. A comment by David Dorn in Finanz und Wirtschaft.

16.07.2018 > News
Newsletter 11 - How to keep Swiss finance in the game

New technologies, new services, new client needs – is the financial market at a historic turning point?

At this year’s UBS Center Podium economic historians and experts from the financial sector were divided on the question about the significance of today’s changes in finance.

16.07.2018 > News
Newsletter 11 - Shaping the future of economic research

Does bank expansion cripple growth? How does working during pregnancy affect newborn babies? How can we reduce food waste? What are the right work incentives in disability insurance?

These are only a few of the questions that our senior scholarship holders address in their research projects.

16.07.2018 > News
Newsletter 11 - New Policy Brief series

We are excited to announce the upcoming publication series titled ‘UBS Center Policy Briefs’. To get some insights, we sat down with editor-in-chief Florian Scheuer.

The Policy Briefs are a condensed and non-technical version of our top research papers. It covers a complex issue in a way that can help readers understand and decide about government policies.

16.07.2018 > News
Newsletter 11 - Dollars and sense

Why are our financial decisions often irrational, leading to bad choices? Behavioral economist Dan Ariely answered this question in a very entertaining and thought-provoking way.

13.07.2018 > News
David Dorn on the Federal Council's WTO case

“If a very large country opposes international rules, then the international organization will have little additional leverage, “said David Dorn in an interview with SRF News on the Federal Council’s WTO case in connection with the ongoing US-China trade dispute.

11.07.2018 > News
Heinz König Young Scholar Award

The Centre for European Economic Research presented the Heinz König Young Scholar Award to our senior scholarship holder Michael Stiefel.

He was awarded the prize for his excellent investigation into the role of the European Central Bank in instilling confidence for government bonds of European countries such as Spain and Italy during the government debt crisis of 2012. Michael’s paper constitutes a significant contribution to research on confidence building on the European financial market in times of crisis.

11.07.2018 > News
Excellence Prize in applied development research

With great pleasure we heared that Dina Pomeranz received the Excellence Prize in applied development research by the German Economic Association and the promotional bank KfW.

The honor is awarded for her co-authorship in “Dodging the Taxman: Firm Misreporting and Limits to Tax Enforcement”.

29.06.2018 > News
About the employment of women in Saudi Arabia

David Yanagizawa documents in a new paper widespread misperceptions on social norms regarding female employment in Saudi Arabia.

Together with his colleagues Leo Bursztyn and Alessandra González they correct the matters for behavior, which increases married men’s willingness to let their wives join the labor force.

29.06.2018 > News
The trade war is likely to be expensive

“In the worst case, this could result in a slowdown in global economic output of 6.25%,” estimates the economist Ralph Ossa in an article by the NZZ.

It is becoming increasingly likely that the United States, China and the EU will be involved in a trade war. What does a spiral of tariff increases mean for the global economy?

22.06.2018 > News
A costly escalation

When the world’s two largest economies are in conflict, that is particularly worrying. A total escalation would cost the global economy 6% real income, according to Ralph Ossa on SRF News.

By the way, Ossa will explain at his inaugural lecture in November why we need to rethink trade policy.

22.06.2018 > News
The arbitrariness of great powers

A reliable set of rules in international trade is central to Switzerland, so that the country “is not exposed to the arbitrariness of major powers,” said David Dorn in the NZZAS. “We are currently experiencing a turnaround in globalization,” summed up the expert on international trade.

15.06.2018 > News
Evidence from Ramadan

Filipe Campante and David Yanagizawa-Drott studied the economic effects of the length of Ramadan fasting. In this context, the Washington Examiner article suggests that the Muslim holy season may actually separate wealth from happiness.

15.06.2018 > News
Thinking outside the box

It is quite likely that we have not yet gotten to the optimal tax system in practice. This conclusion shares Florian Scheuer in the latest Oec. Magazin.

In addition, Ralph Ossa shows that oranges and Harley-Davidsons can have an effect on the possibility of trade wars.

08.06.2018 > News
Co-editor of Theoretical Economics

As of July 1, 2018, Florian Scheuer will serve as a co-editor to the journal Theoretical Economics.

The Econometric Society promotes the advancement of economic theory in its relation to statistics and mathematics and publishes the open access journals Econometrica, Quantitative Economics, and Theoretical Economics.

08.06.2018 > News
AER Excellence in Refereeing Award

David Dorn and Joachim Voth received the AER Excellence in Refereeing Award for the dedication and time they devoted to the advancement of the field of economics.

The American Economic Review announced their list of awards for referees who provided exceptional service to the Review by a large number and quality of referee reports in 2017.

01.06.2018 > News
How high is the risk of social unrest?

When do workers resist the introduction of new technologies, either demanding protection from them or organising a violent reaction? This question is asked by Bruno Caprettini and Joachim Voth in a recent VoxDev article.

They conclude by pointing out that for societies to adopt better technology, enhancing productivity and wealth overall, they need ways to cushion the blow.

01.06.2018 > News
Nomination as best young French economist

David Hémous has been nominated for the prize as best young French economist, congratulations! In the interview with Le Monde, he explains that already at the age of ten he discovered that he could combine his taste for math with his interest in public debate.

«Le Prix du meilleur jeune économiste» was created by Le Monde and «Le Cercle des économistes» to value the work of young French economists.

24.05.2018 > News
Smarter regulations, closer integration, more rapid digitalization.

Sergio P. Ermotti recently held a speech at the Wirtschaftspodium on the future of Swiss Finance and what we need to do to enable Swiss banks to maintain their global success in the future.

He has no doubt that Switzerland can remain successful only if we are not content with just being good. Digitalization will be an important driver that will shape the future.

04.05.2018 > News
What are fair taxes?

In the current «Talk im Turm», Florian Scheuer explains that rent seekers negotiate their salaries at the expense of the productive and thus at the expense of the national economy.

Here it is certainly fruitful to raise top taxes. Like this, society can use the tax system to reduce inequality.

04.05.2018 > News
Redistribution measures against inequality

«Automation has led to a polarization in the labor market and eroded the middle of the income distribution», says Florian Scheuer in an article by Forbes.

The gap between rich and poor is growing, especially in the US - but do the top one percent of income distribution live at the expense of the lower 99 percent?

23.04.2018 > News
4000 years of fintech

The blockchain technology solves a problem that goes back to one of the first questions of finance.

This is explained by William N. Goetzmann in an interview with NZZ economics editor Jürg Müller on occasion of his keynote speech at the Wirtschaftspodium Schweiz.

16.04.2018 > News
Podium videos online now

You are invited to watch all the talks and discussions of the Wirtschaftspodium on our YouTube channel now.

09.04.2018 > News
What follows the Bitcoin-Hype

Do setbacks belong to new technologies or will crypto-currencies disapear into oblivion again? Will the price recover or continue to fall? «Finanz und Wirtschaft» asked Lewin Boehnke and Joachim Voth about this.

09.04.2018 > News
Can one still become rich through one's own work?

The total income shifts significantly in the direction of the capital owners, says David Dorn in an article by Business Insider on prosperity in Germany.

40 percent of the population alone are no longer able to save money. This statistic from one of the richest countries in the world fundamentally questions the value of our work.

22.03.2018 > News
«The ideal performance indicator does not simply lie on the street»

Ernst Fehr explains in an interview with Jan Guldner (WiWo) on the subject of manager bonuses, that the criteria of why someone should earn more or less, are rarely objectively and often easily manipulated.

It is important to separate the performance of an individual company from market fluctuations and other external influences in order to make the actual performance of the management visible.

22.03.2018 > News
Why the internet giants are too powerful

“In the US and many Western European countries, the emergence of the superstar companies has led to a decline in the share of employees in total income,” says David Dorn in an article by Bilanz.

22.03.2018 > News
How Trump’s Protectionism Backfires

A recent NYT article picks up the «China Shock»-paper. This seminal work by David Dorn, David Autor (MIT) and Gordon Hanson (UCSD) shows that workers in counties whose industries were exposed to competition from China lost jobs and suffered declines in wages.

18.03.2018 > News
Is capitalism abolishing itself?

«Breakthroughs are often achieved through state intervention and monopolists», says Joachim Voth in a commentary for Finanz und Wirtschaft. Exactly this, technological progress measured in economic performance, is increasingly missing.

08.03.2018 > News
Has «Swiss Finance» served its purpose?

Christina Kehl, Member of the Executive Board and Managing Director of Swiss Finance Start-Ups (SFS), will address this question at the Wirtschaftspodium Schweiz on April 12.

The film “FinTech Made in Switzerland” by Manuel Stagars opens up some insights into her thoughts and actions.

08.03.2018 > News
Simple moral code supports cooperation

In a newly published article in Nature, Charles Efferson (University of London) and Ernst Fehr discuss the stern judging rule and offer challenging questions for future research.

A study by Santos et al. assessing scenarios in which people judge each other shows that a simple moral rule suffices to drive the evolution of cooperation.

01.03.2018 > News
What is optimal tax policy? When is it fair, when is it unfair?

Hustlers, profiteers, superstars. “In the beginning, the question for me is whether people earn at the expense of others,” says Florian Scheuer in a UZH magazine article by Michael T. Ganz.

In any case, injustice can not only be determined by the pay gap, but above all by the inequality of opportunity, Scheuer adds.

22.02.2018 > News
The Wirtschaftspodium is fully booked

We thank you for the overwhelming interest and are looking forward to an exciting afternoon on April 12th. The event will be available on video.

16.02.2018 > News
How the use of robots affects middle incomes

There are indications for different countries that with the use of robots wages are suffering and jobs decrase, according to Florian Scheuer in an interview with Radio 32.

“It would make sense for companies to internalize the disadvantages for the workers”, Scheuer says with regard to a possible robot tax.

16.02.2018 > News
«It is desirable for a job market to allow for a variety of forms of work»

Atypical forms of work create additional freedom - either for the companies or for the employees. A commentary by David Dorn in Finanz und Wirtschaft.

Satisfaction with part-time work is higher in Switzerland than in Europe. Its popularity is made possible by the relatively high wage level in Switzerland.

08.02.2018 > News
«I think it has a little something to do with herding»

Volatility is back on the stock markets. That plunges many financial products and the courses into the abyss. Investors have put one trillion on auto-traded volatility products. Joachim Voth finds it questionable that the products were not regulated.

08.02.2018 > News
The future is female – or at least female friendly

«We see that there’s this rise of women in high-paying jobs and it’s due to the increasing importance of interpersonal skills», says Guido Matias Cortes in an interview with the Register about a recent paper with Nir Jaimovich and Henry E. Siu.

The research findings are presented by the US-based National Bureau of Economic Research and are based on occupational data from 1980 and 2000.

29.01.2018 > News
«Technically, Bitcoin is very bad»

Despite the Bitcoin hype, Joachim Voth does not fool himself and explains his skepticism in a WDR report using the example of technical characteristics.

“Bitcoin is the first currency in many ways, but that’s the only good thing about it. It was very innovative when it was born. But today it is associated with high transaction costs and very badly tradable.”

29.01.2018 > News
Thanks to bonuses, incomes rise faster

“The actual income concentration is underestimated,” write Reto Föllmi and Isabel Martínez in the Public Paper No. 6. The NZZ am Sonntag picks up this insight in an article by Franziska Pfister.

In the corporations, the incomes in the executive suite and the dividends for shareholders have increased the most. At the base, however, wages have only grown marginally for quite some time.

24.01.2018 > News
What are the forces that influence our behavior?

Dan Ariely is the James B. Duke Professor of Psychology and Behavioral Economics at Duke University. Today, the bestselling author presents his most recent book, in which he answers these and other questions in order to help people live more sensible – if not rational – lives.

No registration required. Free entry on a first-come, first-served basis. Seating is limited.

22.01.2018 > News
Does «Swiss finance» have a future?

We are delighted to announce, that Sergio P. Ermotti, Group CEO of UBS Group AG, will hold a keynote lecture at the annual Wirtschaftspodium.

The second part of the event focuses on the Swiss financial center. Banking expert Ermotti outlines the effects of the fundamental technological change and the current wave of regulations on the Swiss financial center.

10.01.2018 > News
The disadvantage of smaller cities and rural areas

An article in the NY Times quotes research on international airlinks and economic growth by David Yanagizawa-Drott.

Megacities are increasing global connections while losing their local links. Rural areas are bereft of economic spillover effects.

10.01.2018 > News
Right at the top incomes grow faster

The issue of distribution of income and wealth is raging around the world in a heated debate. Daniel Hug (NZZ) takes a look at the conditions in Switzerland with Reto Föllmi and Isabel Martínez.

The incomes are relatively evenly distributed here, but the rise to higher strata is lacking. These and other findings can be read in the latest UBS Center Public Paper.

08.01.2018 > News
Top 40 under 40

Florian Scheuer is named one of Germany’s outstanding talents.

Each year, 40 young people are honored by Capital in the four categories “entrepreneur”, “manager”, “politics and state”, “society and science”. The editorial team interviews managers, politicians, headhunters and consultants as well as the award winners of the previous years

08.01.2018 > News
«Technological development is losing pace»

David Dorn pleads for cooler minds in the discussion about digitization.

Technological change is not always straightforward and not necessarily entails mass unemployment, he says in an interview with the Volkswirtschaft. In addition, one overestimates the current progress.


21.12.2017 > News
Does “Swiss Finance” have a Future?

We are delighted to announce that William N. Goetzmann (Yale) will open the 2018 edition of our Wirtschaftspodium with a keynote lecture.

This time, we will discuss how new technologies and regulatory frameworks have affected the finance sector and what the future holds for the financial center in Switzerland.

20.12.2017 > News
Globalization in reverse?

“How to Deal with the Globalization Backlash?” was the question for leading thinkers and academics who joined us for this thought-provoking and very successful Forum for Economic Dialogue at the Kaufleuten Zurich in November.

19.12.2017 > News
The distribution of income and wealth in Switzerland

We are proud to launch the sixth UBS Center Public Paper, which focuses on the distribution of income and wealth in Switzerland.

The authors, Reto Föllmi and Isabel Martínez, show that Switzerland is a center of stability – in a good as well as in a less good sense.

19.12.2017 > News
Poor Economics

Esther Duflo (MIT) and Abhijit V. Banerjee (MIT) visited the University of Zurich to share the lessons they learned after publishing “Poor Economics: A radical re- thinking of the way to fight global poverty”.

18.12.2017 > News
Bitcoin – Bubble or Brave New World?

Talking about crypto currencies, Joachim Voth has a clear message: “Apart from blackmailers, drug dealers, and arms dealers, there is only one other source of demand for Bitcoin – which is speculators”.

18.12.2017 > News
Class of 2017

A special welcome goes to four promising UBS Center Scholarship holders who joined the Zurich Graduate School of Economics this September.

We sat down with the freshman doctoral students to talk about their reasons for coming to Zurich.

18.12.2017 > News
Interview with Prof. Nir Jaimovich

We are pleased to announce that Nir Jaimovich, formerly of University of Southern California, joined the Department of Economics at the University of Zurich in July 2017.

He is affiliated with the UBS Center. You can find out more about his work in our interview.

18.12.2017 > News
Newsletter No. 10 out now

With the holidays just around the corner, we would like to share recent and upcoming highlights of the UBS Center with you.

We wish you an interesting read and hope to welcome you at one of our future events. Season’s Greetings to all of you.

18.12.2017 > News
Irrationality - The problem of others

We want to make good decisions and think that our behavior is rational – whereas we assume others to act irrationally. Behavioral scientist Ernst Fehr analyzes this paradox. He will be speaking at GDI on January 25, 2018.

06.12.2017 > News
«The new study creates more clarity»

Tagesanzeiger chief economist Markus Diem Meier reports extensively on our latest public paper.

Increased inequality in developed countries is one of the big issues of our time. Studies on the situation in Switzerland are still rare. Reto Föllmi and Isabel Martinez used tax data to take a closer look at both the development of income and wealth distribution in Switzerland.

06.12.2017 > News
This is how the debate runs on social media

The no-billag initiative is a hot topic on Twitter, Facebook and Co. In the midst is Dina Pomeranz.

Who has the biggest influence? And which posts got the most likes? Answers and backgrounds provides a data analysis by Persönlich.

06.12.2017 > News
Dollars and Sense - How We Misthink Money and How to Spend Smarter

Dan Ariely (Duke University) is a renowned behavioral economist who provides us with the practical tools we need to understand and improve our financial choices, save and spend smarter, and ultimately live better. We thus look forward to hearing his advice on these smart choices.

01.12.2017 > News
Evolution of Individual Values and Economic Outcomes

On October 31, 2017, the Center on Capitalism and Society gathered leading scholars in economics, philosophy and sociology to explore themes of individualism, emancipation and self-actualization.

Amongst other, Joachim Voth traced their roots to the day Martin Luther posted his 95 theses on the door at Wittenberg on October 31, 1517.

01.12.2017 > News
Pietro Biroli's inaugural lecture

Biroli explained that genes and environment are inextricably intertwined.

The lecture took place in the main auditorium of the University of Zurich and was open to the public. Pietro Biroli is a microeconomist, interested in the early origins and the life cycle evolution of health and human capital. His research aims at understanding the mechanisms through which effective interventions and optimal choices of investment can help promote human development.

29.11.2017 > News
Debt reduction - yes or no?

Joachim Voth elaborates the advantage of states with little debt: they have important reserves for crises.

As far as public debt is concerned, Switzerland is a model student. Since the mid-2000s, the debt burden has been continuously reduced, Switzerland is currently better off than Sweden or Germany.

29.11.2017 > News
Madness at the housing market

«Rent regulation will not create one square meter of additional living space,» says Joachim Voth.

The regulation of the rental prices is harmful - for the landlords, the socially weak, the building stock and the labor market. A commentary in Finanz und Wirtschaft.

29.11.2017 > News
Politically not very correct

Ernst Fehr talks in the Wirtschaftswoche on the advance of behavioral economics, the economic consequences of dishonesty. And his research with children and brain scanners.

27.11.2017 > News
«We do not need more openness»

Irish economic historian Kevin O’Rourke warns of exaggerations in globalization.

Now it is important to maintain the current level of economic intergration, instead of calling for ever tighter interweaving. The interview was conducted by NZZ business editor Thomas Fuster at the Forum for Economic Dialogue.

22.11.2017 > News
«Switzerland is a good model in dealing with globalization»

SRF News asked Dani Rodrik (Harvard) at the Forum for Economic Dialogue about development in times of Brexit and America First.

The renowned development economist holds a critical stance towards total free trade and demands fair rules for the globalization. Free trade, democracy and national sovereignty are not available as one package, one has to decide against one of the three, according to one of his theses.

22.11.2017 > News
The central bankers listen to him

«Economics has undergone an incredible transformation over the past three decades», says David Dorn.

His research results would partially challenge the old wisdom of his subject. Tages Anzeiger chief economist and author Markus Diem Meier draws a detailed portrait of Dorn. He is considered one of the leading researchers on inequality and world trade and regularly appears in the media.

17.11.2017 > News
Download Public Paper No. 6 now

Prof. Reto Föllmi and Dr. Isabel Martínez of the University of St. Gallen analyse and discuss the distribution of income and wealth in Switzerland.

The analysis over the last 100 years shows that compared on a country level income and wages in Switzerland are high, the inequality between rich and poor is less distinct and the opening of the income gap stays within narrow limits over time.

16.11.2017 > News
Forum videos on YouTube

All the videos of the Forum for Economic Dialogue are available online.

10.11.2017 > News
The opportunities of scholarships

The UBS Center is a main funding body for top international talent at the Zurich University’s Graduate School of Economics.

In a US News report, Maura Wyler-Zerboni, head of communication at the UBS Center, says the associated institute at the University of Zurich gives students access to “renowned experts from academia, the private and the public sector from both Switzerland and abroad.”

10.11.2017 > News
UBS Center Live

Make sure to set the reminder for the live streams on Monday, November 13 at the Forum for Economic Dialogue.

Questions and comments on YouTube and Twitter will be reviewed and selected for the Q&A. In addition, subscribe to our channel to be informed when the full event coverage will be available later on next week.

10.11.2017 > News
Courting for Amazon

Prof. Ralph Ossa outlines the dilemma of competing governors wenn they subsidize company relocations.

The competition of the US states corresponds to at least 30% of their tax revenues, Ossa explains in the Frankfurter Allgemeinen Woche. The question is, whether this is the best way to serve the whole country.

02.11.2017 > News
Work 4.0

From holocracy to the polarization of the labor markets – the digital transformation changes our work environment massively. Prof. David Dorn and alumnus Hans C. Werner (Swisscom), discuss the newest developments.

Dorn outlines in the Oec. magazine how the historical perspective helps to get a balanced picture of future labor markets. Who would have thought a 100 years ago, that there would be so few humans working in agriculture.

01.11.2017 > News
Behavioral economics goes digital

Prof. Dina Pomeranz, behavioral economist with over 18’000 followers on Twitter, uses the new possiblilites for her research.

She explains in an interview with Oec. magazine that she chose the platform to be informed early on about other projects in her research field, to discuss with other researchers and to draw attention to long-term economic trends, which get little space in other media amidst the news and negative headlines.

25.10.2017 > News
The dark side of social capital

Shanker Satyanath (NYU), Nico Voigtländer (UCLA) and Joachim Voth offer an important lesson for civic leaders seeking ways to get out their message in an increasingly polarized climate.

Their research suggests that Germany’s dense network of clubs and social organizations — everything from bowling clubs to animal breeders — provided the social milieu that the Nazis used to spread their ideas and build membership, particularly in the early days of the National Socialist German Workers’ Party (NSDAP).

19.10.2017 > News
Why people often make the "wrong" decisions

Neuroeconomics is still a young science. It explores the biological fundamentals of economic decisions. A visit by the NZZ to the SNS Lab shows what is happening.

The aim of the research activities there is not immodest: in contrast to traditional neoclassical economics, which bases its models on a rather abstract and unrealistic behavioral model, neuroeconomics wants to find out how decisions actually take place in the brain.

19.10.2017 > News
How computers change work

David Dorn held the “Global Economy Lecture” at the Vienna Institute for International Economic Studies.

The rise of the machines will have little impact on overall employment levels but will lead to rising labour market inequality and changes in demand for skills, David Dorn concluded. On the spot, he also spoke with “Die Presse” and the “Salzburger Nachrichten”.

11.10.2017 > News
Economic research for a better world?

With the award of the Sverige Riksbank Prize to Richard Thaler behavioral economics shifts into global focus.

We show a recording of Ernst Fehr in conversation with NZZ chief editor Eric Gujer and Marco Färber about the triangle of economics, psychology and neurology, about self-interest and altruism as the driving forces of our behavior and about behavioral economics as a guide for politics and business.

05.10.2017 > News
Scheuer elected Editorial Board Member

Florian Scheuer has been elected member of the editorial board of The Review of Economic Studies, a top 5 economics journal and the most visible journal in Europe.

Prof Scheuer is currently the second representative from Zurich serving on the board, joining Prof David Dorn who has been a board member since 2015.

02.10.2017 > News
The economics of partnerships

Why does the disappearance of good jobs in the US for people with less education make it harder for them to start, and sustain, relationships?

In a recent paper, David Dorn and his colleagues find that when towns and counties lose manufacturing jobs, fertility and marriage rates among young adults go down, too. Unmarried births and the share of children living in single-parent homes go up. Meanwhile, places with higher manufacturing employment have a bigger wage gap between men and women, and a higher marriage rate.

27.09.2017 > News
Joachim Voth is guest professor for financial history

His opening lecture at Goethe University provided a historical overview of the causes and consequences of bubbles in the financial markets.

Joachim Voth holds the Professorship of Macroeconomics and Financial Markets, endowed by the UBS Center at the University of Zurich. He will be the guest professor for financial history at the House of Finance at the Goethe University Frankfurt this year. The guest professorship was donated to Goethe University in 2014 by Bankhaus Metzler and the Edmond de Rothschild Group on the occasion of the centenary of the university.

27.09.2017 > News
Use method to fight poverty

Esther Duflo and Abhijit Banerjee (MIT) are two of the most influential development economists of the present.

It is important to attribute to them that field experiments are now a standard repertoire when development programs are designed or evaluated. The researcher couple studies experimentally how poverty can be fought better. In “Sternstunde Philosphie” (SRF) Duflo and Banerjee can be seen in conversation with Barbara Bleisch. In an interview with the NZZ, they explain why economists should be like plumbers.

26.09.2017 > News
Poor economics - A radical rethinking of the way to fight global poverty

Esther Duflo (MIT) and Abhijit V. Banerjee (MIT) visited the Department of Economics at the University of Zurich to talk about their research.

Their mission is to reduce poverty by ensuring that policy is informed by scientific evidence. The Event was organized by the Department of Economics together with the Swiss Re Foundation and the UBS Center.

26.09.2017 > News
David Hémous - Innovation and Inequalities

His work is centered around Economic Growth, International Trade and Environmental Economics.

In particular, he has worked on the role of innovation for climate change policies, the long-term growth impact of countercyclical fiscal policy, the labor adjustments to international trade and the impact of relational contracts on innovation.

19.09.2017 > News
UBS Center Forum - Register now!

At this year’s Forum, we want to assess the gains and challenges of globalization and to evaluate strategies for dealing with a potential globalization backlash. Featuring keynote speeches by Leszek Balcerowicz and Dani Rodrik.

18.09.2017 > News
The challenge of automation

David Autor (MIT) delivered the 2016 Zurich Lecture of Economics in Society at last year’s Forum. “Technological change presents new challenges to each generation, but with the right policies in place, we can control and solve them,” said Autor.

13.09.2017 > News
US researchers prefer to come to Zurich

The University of Zurich is the leading research-oriented university of economics in the German-speaking world and is now targeting the world’s top. Director Rainer Winkelmann in an interview with the Handelszeitung on the future of and the challenges for the guild.

11.09.2017 > News
Silcon Valley backs the Dreamers

Florian Scheuer offers analysis of the reasons why the Silicon Valley is opposed to Trump’s decree to stop DACA and is backing the affected workforce with legal and moral support.

11.09.2017 > News
Super-companies are attacking

“There is no doubt that the growing market power of companies is associated with a declining wage rate”, explains David Dorn the results of his empirical study in an article by the Bund.

11.09.2017 > News
University of Zurich takes back first place in Handelsblatt ranking

The new position table of the VWL faculties in the Handelsblatt ranking shows: nowhere are there such research-intensive economists as at the University of Zurich. In addition to the behavioral- and neuroeconomist Ernst Fehr, there are so many distinguished experts in the meantime, that the university takes the first place in the new Handelsblatt ranking of the most research-intensive VWL faculties in the German-speaking world - by far.

07.09.2017 > News
ERC Starting Grants for Dina Pomeranz and Florian Scheuer

The European Research Council (ERC) has announced the awarding of its Starting Grants to 406 early-career researchers throughout Europe. Three grants have been awarded to researchers at the University of Zurich, two of which are holding a professorship endowed by the UBS Center. Dina Pomeranz will be investigating tax evasion in developing countries, focusing on the role of firm networks in Chile and Ecuador. The grant amounts to more than 1.2 Mio. EUR. Florian Scheuer has been awarded a grant amounting to 1.5 Mio. EUR, which will support his research on inequality and its implications for tax policy and political economy.

07.09.2017 > News
Oskar-Morgenstern medal for Ernst Fehr

Ernst Fehr will be awarded the Oscar-Morgenstern medal for his outstanding research accomplishments in behavioural and neuro economics by the University of Vienna. In addition, he once again leads the latest economist ranking of the NZZ.

04.09.2017 > News
Economist Influence Ranking: David Dorn on the way to the top

Especially in the aftermath of Donald Trump’s election Dorn’s research has gained relevance. As a result, he was succesful in gaining media attention and recognition from politicians.

31.08.2017 > News
Protectionists are not so wrong

FAZ elaborates on the resistance against globalization and the acceptance of free trade. David Dorn shows some explanations in this context.

30.08.2017 > News
Dodging the Taxman

Dina Pomeranz, Monica Singhal (UC Davis) and Paul Carillo (George Washington University) explore the mechanisms of large losses in government revenue. Furthermore, they outline the limitations of a possible solution.

28.08.2017 > News
Jackson Hole Economic Policy Symposium

Nina Pavcnik and David Dorn discussed at the Jackson Hole Economic Policy Symposium “Income Inequality and the Distribution Aspects of International Trade”.

25.08.2017 > News
What you need to know about NAFTA

Die Washington Post berichtet über die Wiederaufnahme von NAFTA-Verhandlungen. Zitiert wird dabei eine Studie von David Dorn über Auswirkungen auf den Arbeitsmarkt.

21.08.2017 > News
The Big Crypto-Nonsense

Actually, there are only three sources of demand for bitcoins: criminals, terrorists, and speculators. The digital currency has a problem of legitimation. An analysis by Joachim Voth on 12-App.

17.08.2017 > News
Upswing in Italy and Spain

The success of companies like Microsoft and Amazon lead to a market dominance of a few single suppliers and made their owners immensely rich. A comment by David Dorn in the Swiss newspaper Finanz und Wirtschaft.

14.08.2017 > News
The rise of the superstar companies

Are the labor market reforms the only reason for the economic upswing in Italy and Spain? David Dorn, Professor of International Trade and Labor Markets at the University of Zurich, relativizes: “The main reason for the unemployment reduction is the economic recovery in these countries, also due to the increased stability of the Eurozone.”

18.07.2017 > News
Many Swiss have more than one job

David Dorn explains why more and more people in Switzerland are working two or more jobs. In the Swiss news program 10vor10, he identifies the need for more flexibility as the driving force behind the phenomena.

11.07.2017 > News
Generous people live happier lives

An international group of neuroeconomists – with Ernst Fehr and Philip Tobler from the University of Zurich – has been examining how brain areas communicate to produce the so-called “warm glow” feeling of wellbeing and satisfaction that results after performing an altruistic act. In their experiments, they found that people who behaved generously were happier afterwards than those who behaved more selfishly. However, the amount of generosity did not influence the increase in contentment. The study – which was published in Nature Communications – generated media coverage around the world.

04.07.2017 > News
Digitalization promises to lead to more growth, while also prompting fear

And quite rightly, as a new study shows. In the radio broadcast “Echo der Zeit”, David Dorn (University of Zurich and UBS Center) and Dalia Marin, (Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München) discuss the effects of digitalization for the economy.

30.06.2017 > News
Trump's trade policy could put the economy on a path to 'global recession'

In a recently published article by Business Insider Nederland, the authors brake down just how a protectionist trade scenario could affect the US economy and the geopolitical order. They cite research by labor economists David Autor, David Dorn, and Gordon Hanson on the China shock.

29.06.2017 > News
Merkel attacks Trump – and deservedly so, as a study by Ralph Ossa shows

Trump’s trade experts want to increase customs duty on steel – about 30 percent – on the grounds that it would protect the local weapon industry. Such customs duty or import quota for steel could be the start of a worldwide trade war, which could also affect Switzerland. This is shown in a recently published study by Ralph Ossa, Professor of Economics at the University of Zurich.

29.06.2017 > News
America's program to help trade's losers needs fixing

Since 1962, America has earmarked funding to help people adjust to trade-related shocks. Trade-Adjustment Assistance (TAA) offers people money for retraining and income while they do so. A current article in The Economist explains why more Trade Adjustment Assistance is unlikely to quell the backlash against globalisation. In the 12 months to September 2016 only 127,000 workers received TAA. David Dorn alongside his colleagues, David Autor and Gordon Hanson, have estimated that of the extra government payments associated with Chinese import competition between 1990 and 2007, only 6% came through TAA or unemployment insurance. Most came from other sources: 32% from disability or retirement insurance; 26% as federal-government income assistance; and 32% as extra medical spending.

24.06.2017 > News
Pessimism about productivity growth may prove self-fulfilling

The Economist recently published an article about the influence of central banks on productivity growth. The author argues that technology may be contributing to economic fluctuations in a new way. Around the time productivity began to leap during recessions, America also began suffering a rash of jobless recoveries. In a paper published in 2015, Nir Jaimovich (University of Zurich) and Henry Siu (University of British Columbia), argue that this is because firms began responding to recessions by eliminating routine jobs through reorganisation, outsourcing and automation.

19.06.2017 > News
Interview with Ernst Fehr in the SonntagsBlick

In an interview with the Swiss newspaper SonntagsBlick, Ernst Fehr talks about his research, on how behavior economics explains the Trump phenomenon, and how top managers should get compensated based on their objective performance.

15.06.2017 > News
WTO Trade Dialogues with Ralph Ossa

As part of its Trade Dialogues Series, Ralph Ossa was invited by the WTO to share insights from his research on the benefits of trade talks and the probable costs of a full breakdown of the international trade policy cooperation.

09.06.2017 > News
Interview with Dina Pomeranz in Schweizer Monat

Dina Pomeranz is prominently featured in the current edition of Schweizer Monat. In the spread, she talks about developments in economics, weighs in on the self-awareness of economists, and argues for the utilization of experiments and empirical methods in economic research.

01.06.2017 > News
Social networks and fascism

A recent study by Joachim Voth and his co-authors was mentioned in the online edition of Nature Human Behaviour and shows that social capital can be used for good or ill depending on the political and institutional context. By using new data on the networks of clubs and associations in 229 German cities from the inter-war period, the authors found that towns with denser networks had higher party entry rates – showing that association density contributed to the rise of the Nazi party. Although this is unique historical data documenting the role of physical organizations, its potential implications for our present circumstances regarding the Trump administration should not be overlooked.

26.05.2017 > News
Assessment of Trump's critique on German trade surpluses

US President Trump once again criticized the German trade surpluses on May 25, 2017, reinforcing the fear of a trade war. In a recent edition of the SRF news program “10vor10”, international trade expert David Dorn elaborates on the economic implications of Trump’s trade policy.

13.05.2017 > News
Rise of mega-corporations pushes down wages

From Amazon to Google to Walmart: Since 40 years, the power concentration in the core industries have been increasing, leaving smaller companies with little to nothing. David Dorn, alongside four other top-economists, investigated the rise of so-called “superstar companies”.

01.05.2017 > News
Inconsistencies between salaries and performance

In interviews with NZZ am Sonntag and SRF News, Ernst Fehr talks about new findings indicating that management enumeration often does not correspond with their objective achievements and are based on a false index.

27.04.2017 > News
Ernst Fehr is named foreign honorary member of the American Economic Association

The most important organization of economists in the world, the American Economic Association (AEA), has named the Zurich economist Ernst Fehr as a foreign honorary member. He is thus the first scientist who conducts research at a Swiss university to receive this honor.

24.04.2017 > News
Accounting for the new gains from trade liberalization

Trade economists typically believe that in addition to lower prices for imported goods, trade liberalization also brings import variety and domestic productivity gains. In a recently published VOX column, Ralph Ossa (together with Chang-Tai Hsieh, Nicholas Li, and Mu-Jeung Yang) account for these ‘new’ gains in a careful reconsideration of the Canada-US Free Trade Agreement. The authors state that although the agreement did see improvements in Canadian income associated with import variety and domestic productivity, these were far outweighed by the welfare loss associated with the reduction in domestic variety. Nonetheless, Canadian welfare did improve overall when one takes into account the ‘traditional’ gains associated with lower import prices.

15.04.2017 > News
Successful event on the topic migration policy

More than 300 persons attended this year’s economic podium entitled “Does Switzerland need a new migration policy”. Top specialists from Switzerland and abroad discussed the migration problematic and its consequences for the economy and society. Keynote speaker Sir Paul Collier (Oxford University) spoke with the German “Handelszeitung” at the event. In the interview, Collier discussed the precarious position of refugees in Jordan and summaried an alternative plan for local help.

10.04.2017 > News
The Economics of War and Peace

The resource curse and problems with minorities are significant causes for conflict. The Swiss political system shows, how even minorities can exert influence. The Swiss newspaper Finanz und Wirtschaft recently published an article by Dominic Rohner on this issue. The article provides a summary of his Public Paper on “The Economics of Peace”.

30.03.2017 > News
Honorary Doctorate for Ernst Fehr

The University of Antwerp conferred an honorary doctorate to Prof. Ernst Fehr. He received this for his groundbreaking contribution to the development of economics into a multidisciplinary behavioral science and, in particular, for his pioneering role in neuroeconomics, in which insights and methods from neuroscience are used to expose the foundations of human decision-making in a socioeconomic context.

23.03.2017 > News
The robot, your friend in need

In the current edition of the Weltwoche David Dorn talks about the effect of digitalization on productivity and workforce. Dorn argues that the ongoing discussion does not give enough credit to the extent of technical innovation that the second industrial revolution caused. Compared to that, today’s advancements of computers and networks are relatively small. It is even more surprising that such major technical advancements in the past did not lead to the substitution of human labor but lead to the creation of new jobs in new industries. Furthermore, Dorn does not believe that it will be different this time.

09.03.2017 > News
Economic situation in the US to blame for “unmarriageable” men

New research by David Autor, David Dorn, and Gordon Hanson find that men and women from the US react completely different in times of economic troubles. The study shows that the decline of manufacturing has affected the supply of what the authors’ deem “marriageable” men. Men with lower wages often struggle to make ends meet and can spiral down into drug and alcohol abuse, while women in the same situation are more likely to marry and have children. Evidence proves that when men don’t earn much more than women do, fewer people get married, and more children are being born out of wedlock. This is because when the economic prospects for men decline, they migrate elsewhere, join the military, or fall out of the labor force. The inability of policymakers to help workers adapt is creating a crisis, which is affecting the entire U.S. economy, political system, and prosperity of future generations.

07.03.2017 > News
Technology as enemy of labor

There is a huge gap within the labor market in Switzerland. Whereas salaries of well-qualified workers constantly increase in many industrial countries, workers with simple tasks have been facing decreasing salaries. Hence, there has been an increase of wage inequality. In an interview with Alexander Trentin from Finanz und Wirtschaft, David Dorn elaborates on the reasons for the decreasing share of labor income for economic output.

30.01.2017 > News
New Advisory Board Members

The UBS Center welcomes three new advisory board members: Prof. Manuel Arellano (CEMFI), Prof. David Autor (Massachusetts Institute of Technology), and Nobel Laureate Prof. Oliver Hart (Harvard University).

12.01.2017 > News
The UBS Center welcomes Ralph Ossa and Florian Scheuer

With Ralph Ossa and Florian Scheuer, two outstanding researchers from the University of Chicago and Stanford University, respectively, are joining the UBS Center at the University of Zurich. Prof. Ralph Ossa’s research focuses on international trade, economic geography, and economic development. He has been appointed to the Professorship in Economics of Globalization and Emerging Markets, endowed by the UBS Center. Prof. Florian Scheuer has been appointed to the Professorship in Economics of Institutions, endowed by the UBS Center. His research focuses on public finance, taxation, inequality, public policy, and political economy.

12.01.2017 > News
David Dorn on the limits of globalization

In light of the 2017 World Economic Forum in Davos, SRF dedicated a television broadcast to the issue of globalization. What level of globalization is enough? Are there any limits? These questions took center stage in the «ECO Spezial» one day before the opening of the 2017 WEF. Moderator Patrizia Laeri discussed the issue with Harvard-Professor Dani Rodrik, Oxford-Professor Kevin O’Rourke, and Professor David Dorn from the University of Zurich.


20.12.2016 > News
Protectionism is no solution

Trump has promised that by restricting international trade he would bring back those jobs which have been lost in the U.S. due to globalization. In a recently published article in Finanz und Wirtschaft, Dorn explains why the chances of success for Trump’s campaign promise are very low. If you want to actually help the globalisation-losers, you need a different approach.

11.12.2016 > News
From Zurich to Harvard and back

The NZZ am Sonntag has published a feature on Dina Pomeranz in their latest edition. The article focuses on her academic career and her work in the field of development economics. Professor Pomeranz’ research is far away from the ideological approach which characterized the field of development economics during the movement of

  1. Modern approaches of development economics – to which Dina Pomeranz relates – focus on empirical facts. That is why she worked closely with tax authorities from Chile, Ecuador, and Kenya for her research projects on tax fraud containment policies. Professor Pomeranz is currently working on a study about the transfer price policy of international corporations.
09.12.2016 > News
The role of social mobility for Trump's rise

The Big Idea is a platform from Vox for smart, often scholarly excursions into the most important issues and ideas in politics, science, and culture. Vox recently published an article by Filipe Campante and David Yanagizawa-Drott on how social mobility in the U.S. influenced voting behaviour during the presidential election. Did declining social mobility cause Trump’s rise? No, say Campante and Yanagizawa-Drott, but the influence of social mobility on voting seems to be growing.

10.11.2016 > News
Uncertain future for US economic policy after Trump's win

After Donald Trump’s unexpected win on Tuesday, November 8, which will make him the 45th U.S. president, experts are trying to get to the bottom of his election victory. The Wall Street Journal recently published an article entitled “Jump in Chinese Imports Gave Trump Election Boost, Study Finds,” referring to a new study by David Dorn, David Autor, Gordon Hanson, and Kaveh Majlesi. Furthermore, David Dorn was interviewed by Swiss Television (SRF) for a special on the 2016 U.S. elections. His research shows that cheap imports from China led to an immense job loss in the U.S. economy. Interestingly, those regions which were hardest hit by Chinese import competition became much more likely to elect politicians from the far right or far left. This effect of strong ideological polarization became evident in the current elections. Moreover, Professor Dorn’s professional opinion on the U.S. economic policy under Trump can be found in several newspapers and online articles which are based on a news report by SDA-ATS (e.g., While Dorn predicts little change for Switzerland, he identifies major uncertainties for the future of economic policy in the U.S.

09.11.2016 > News
Income inequality and helicopter parents

The way in which parents interact with their children affects the formation of human capital, which in turn is a crucial determinant of long-run growth and future inequality. In Finanz und Wirtschaft Fabrizio Zilibotti shows that different parenting styles influence the future success of children in different ways and explains why income inequality has a strong effect on the choice of parenting styles.

01.11.2016 > News
Globalisation - A Question of Education

The German economist program “makro” interviewed David Dorn on the decisive factors of globalization and the effects on the political landscape in areas in which the losers outnumber the winners of the process. David Dorn explains how the manufacturing workers in the US are hit hardest: They have fewer options to find new employment in other sectors and are more likely to have to take on lower paid jobs than their better educated colleagues.

29.09.2016 > News
Seven new professorships at the Department of Economics

The number of professors of economics at the University of Zurich has increased substantially from 23 to 30, with a corresponding contribution to research and teaching. Due to this growth of about 30 percent, the Department of Economics has gained a decisive advantage in the international competition between universities. This progress is largely due to the support from the UBS Center. After the University of Zurich appointed the first two of the professorships endowed by the UBS Center last year, two more full professorships, one assistant professorship, and one affiliated professor have now joined the Center and the University.

28.09.2016 > News
Competitiveness and private bankruptcy

In a current article in the «Finanz und Wirtschaft», Joachim Voth elaborates on the fact that most people are not only interested in doing well, they rather want to be better off compared to others. For them, the competition among consumers and the related egotism are part of our economic system. Voth discusses whether the positive effect of social comparison does outweigh its downside. Can the resulting higher collective economic performance make up for costs of individual unhappiness, overconsumption and private bankruptcy?

26.09.2016 > News
Nobel Laureate Paul Krugman on the future of the European Monetary Union

Last Thursday – 70 years after Winston Churchill’s historical speech on Europe that took place in the aula at the University of Zurich - Paul Krugman talked about the future of Europe with a focus on fiscal and monetary policies and the European Monetary Union. Krugman’s lecture which was hosted by the UBS Center attracted over 600 people and received considerable media attention. If you missed the speech, you can watch the whole lecture on YouTube.

15.09.2016 > News
David Dorn on the automation of work

Will the development of intelligent machines lead to an increase of unemployment in the near future? In a recently published article in Finanz und Wirtschaft, David Dorn gives a clear answer to this question. On the one hand, humans still outdo computers in tasks requiring creativity, decision-making, and problem-solving skills (which remain highly paid) and lower product prices lead to more demand for personal services, on the other hand automation creates jobs on both ends of the income scale. However, this is not true for middle-income jobs, which are mostly affected by automation. Thus, the current phase of automation leads to an increasing income gap.

12.09.2016 > News
China becoming an innovation driven economy

In a recent interview for China’s largest Newspaper «People’s Daily», Fabrizio Zilibotti explains how China is now standing at a historical point in time, moving from an investment and export driven to an innovation driven economy. China’s investments into R&D in relation to its GDP are at a similar level as within the EU, pushing forward the innovation based growth strategy. Professor Zilibotti continues recommending further steps: eliminating entry barriers and breaking up monopolies, loosening financing restrictions for SMEs and further investment into building high-tech industrial parks.

08.09.2016 > News
Fabrizio Zilibotti to hold Fredric B. Garonzik Lecture

Fabrizio Zilibotti has been invited to hold the Fredric B. Garonzik Lecture at Brown University. Zilibotti will talk about „China at a Turning Point: The Difficult Transition from Investment-Led to Innovation-Led Growth”. The lecture is hosted by the William R. Rhodes Center for International Economics and Finance and will take place on Tuesday, September 13, 2016.

05.09.2016 > News
Fabrizio Zilibotti held Presidential Address at the 2016 EEA-ESEM Congress

From August 22 to 26, 2016, nearly 1,800 members of the European Economic Association (EEA) and the Econometrics Society (ES) converged to Geneva for the annual EEA-ESEM Congress. Prof. Fabrizio Zilibotti, President of the EEA, held the Presidential Address entitled, “Growing and Slowing Down Like China” on Wednesday evening. In his talk Prof. Zilibotti analyzed the post-reform Chinese growth and explained why the growth in China is set to slow down.

16.08.2016 > News
Why computers have been a double-edged sword for the labor market

The online-platform U.S. News interviewed Professor David Dorn for their article on the profound impact computers have in the labor market. Dorn explains that by substituting human labor in a wide range of clerical jobs through computers, not only the share of production employment but also the share in the overall employment of clerical occupations is declining since the 1980s. The U.S. government expects to see an 8 percent decline in the bookkeeping, accounting and auditing clerk industry sector between 2014 and 2024.

27.07.2016 > News
Will Italy be plunged into chaos?

In his recent commentary for the Swiss newspaper Finanz und Wirtschaft, Fabrizio Zilibotti explains how Matteo Renzi’s government has come under pressure due to the banking crisis and the opposition party of the comedian, Beppe Grillo. An election victory for Grillo would have fatal consequences for the country, says Zilibotti.

20.06.2016 > News
Fabrizio Zilibotti held the 2016 Walras-Bowley Lecture

Fabrizio Zilibotti held this year’s “Walras-Bowley Lecture” during the 2016 North American Meeting of the Econometric Society. The Meeting was hosted by the Wharton School and the Department of Economics at the University of Pennsylvania and took place from June 16 to 19, 2016. The “Walras-Bowley Lecture” is an annual lecture given by a non-North-American member at the North American meeting. Former lecturers include, among others, Philippe Aghion, Per Krusell, Andreu Mas-Colell, Nobel Laureate Christopher Pissarides, and Nobel Laureate Jean Tirole.

03.06.2016 > News
How index funds outsmart antitrust laws

In this edition of the Swiss newspaper Finanz und Wirtschaft Professor Voth discusses how index funds are becoming increasingly powerful market forces undermining antitrust regulations. He argues that, given the structure of their portfolios and their influence on multiple companies within an industry, a monopolistic situation is created.

02.06.2016 > News
Workshop on Behavioral Economics of Financial Markets

Ernst Fehr and Roberto Weber from the Department of Economics at the University of Zurich together with Alexander Wagner (Department of Banking and Finance) organized a Workshop on Behavioral Economics of Financial Markets. The two-day workshop brought together leading specialists in the field of behavioral finance to share and debate their latest insights in terms of methodologies and content.

02.06.2016 > News
Robert Shiller sprach in Zürich über Manipulieren als Notwendigkeit

Nobel Laureate Prof. Robert J. Shiller (Yale University) spoke about “Phishing for Phools: The Economics of Manipulation and Deception” in his lecture at the University of Zurich. This is also the title of his latest book in which George Akerlof and Robert Shiller argue that “competitive markets by their very nature spawn deception and trickery.” In a recent interview with the Swiss newspaper Tages-Anzeiger, Shiller talks about how companies manipulate their customers and why McDonalds has comparatively high standards thanks to regulations.

26.05.2016 > News
New technologies contribute to growing pay gap in Western countries

David Dorn discusses changes in the national and international labor market with Brigitta Bernet, an economic historian, in the current edition of the UZH Magazin. There is a long history of people fearing that new technologies would lead to massive unemployment, says Dorn. Surprisingly, despite the fact that computers, the internet and robot-driven machines have been used for decades, many people still have jobs today. In Switzerland, there have never been so many people employed like in the past few years.

23.05.2016 > News
David Dorn on the election campaign and economy in the US

“Cheap imports from China led to an immense job loss in the US economy,” says David Dorn in an interview with the Swiss newspaper NZZ am Sonntag. His research shows that the U.S. regions which were hardest hit by Chinese import competition became much more likely to elect politicians from the far right or far left, thus contributing to the strong ideological polarization of U.S. Congress.

14.05.2016 > News
The gravedigger of homo economicus

In an interview with the Swiss newspaper Tages-Anzeiger, Ernst Fehr talks about his research, the future of the Department of Economics at Zurich, the arrogance of the American elite, and about fairness and influence.

26.04.2016 > News
Fabrizio Zilibotti on income inequality and growth

The relationship between inequality and economic growth is complex. Yet, an evergrowing income inequality risks harming future growth by creating support for bad policies. A column by Fabrizio Zilibotti in the current issue of the Swiss newspaper Finanz und Wirtschaft.

26.04.2016 > News
New York Times features David Dorn's research on trade and political polarization

The New York Times features David Dorn’s research on trade and political polarization on its front page. The new research shows that the U.S. regions which were hardest hit by Chinese import competition became much more likely to elect politicians from the far right or far left, thus contributing to the strong ideological polarization of U.S. Congress. While trade-exposed regions with white population majority move to right, non-white voters move to the left, thus eroding support for moderate candidates in both the Republican and Democratic parties.

18.03.2016 > News
Evidence from the auto industry about technical change and climate change

Can directed technical change be used to combat climate change? David Hémous (University of Zurich) together with his colleagues Philippe Aghion (Harvard University), Antoine Dechezleprêtre (LSE), Ralf Martin (LSE), and John Van Reenen (LSE) answer this question in their recently published article in the Journal of Political Economy. They show that firms tend to innovate more in clean (and less in dirty) technologies when they face higher tax-inclusive fuel prices.

15.03.2016 > News
Brain connectivity reveals hidden motives

Often, it is hard to understand why people behave the way they do, because their true motives remain hidden. A team around Grit Hein and Ernst Fehr have now shown how peoples’ motives are characterized by a specific interplay between different brain regions and how this interplay allows precise classification of the motives underlying a shown behavior.

10.02.2016 > News
Ernst Fehr is one of the Highly Cited Researchers 2015

Six scientists from UZH are among the most influential researchers in their field. Thomson Reuters recently published the ranking for 2015.

26.01.2016 > News
How free trade with China harmed the lives of U.S. workers

A new study by labor economists David Autor, David Dorn, and Gordon Hanson shows that increased trade with China caused severe and permanent harm to many American workers. Exposed workers experience greater job churning and reduced lifetime income.

14.01.2016 > News
Joachim Voth invited to deliver the 2016 Hicks Lecture

Joachim Voth has been invited to deliver the 2016 Hicks Lecture at All Souls College, Oxford. Named after Sir John Hicks, Nobel Laureate in Economics (1972), the lectures bring prominent economic historians to Oxford to give a keynote. Speakers in recent years have included Claudia Goldin, Joel Mokyr, Jeffrey Williamson, Christina Romer, Peter Temin, and Robert Allen. The lecture will take place on April 26.

12.01.2016 > News
Fabrizio Zilibotti delivers Keio Economic Society Lecture 2016

Fabrizio Zilibotti delivered the “Keio Economic Society Lecture 2016” with the title “Do Unequal Societies Have More Pushy Parents? The Economics of Parenting Styles” on December 24. 2015. Following the event, Nikkei Shinbun Nikkei’s flagship publication and the world’s largest financial newspaper published a full-page interview with Zilibotti on January 11, 2016.


24.12.2015 > News
What can economic science tell us on effective leadership?

Read Roberto Weber’s opinion piece on effective leadership which has recently been published in the Swiss newspaper NZZ.

15.12.2015 > News
UBS Center Newsletter No. 6, December 2015

Read about recent and current highlights of the UBS Center. In this issue, we feature Joachim Voth’s work on the economic history of conflict and sovereign debt. Furthermore, you will find several articles in this edition, which cover our recent events as well as the launch of the fourth UBS Center Public Paper, which focuses on how computers have changed our working life.

14.12.2015 > News
Joachim Voth assumes UBS Center endowed professorship

The UBS Center is pleased to announce that, on November 1, 2015, Joachim Voth was appointed to the Professorship in Macroeconomics and Financial Markets, endowed by the UBS Center. Voth has been Professor at the University of Zurich and Affiliated Professor at the UBS Center since 2014. On March 7, 2016, Voth will give his inaugural lecture on “Fear, Folly and Financial Crises – Some Policy Lessons from History.” The lecture will take place at the main auditorium of the University of Zurich and will be open to the public.

26.11.2015 > News
Fabrizio Zilibotti on the unresolved pension reform

The return on the AHV should be adapted to the production growth and demographic trends, the second pillar should be strictly guided by the market interest rates.

24.11.2015 > News
oachim Voth describes how long term shares are probably not always spot on

To a certain extent shares are part of any sensible investment strategy. But history does not repeat itself - excess returns on equity investments are not guaranteed.

17.11.2015 > News
Fabrizio Zilibotti invited to give the 2016 Walras-Bowley Lecture

Fabrizio Zilibotti has been invited to give the “Walras-Bowley Lecture” at the 2016 North American Meeting of the Econometric Society. The Meeting is hosted by the Wharton School and the Department of Economics at the University of Pennsylvania and will take place from June 16 to 19, 2016.

27.10.2015 > News
David Hémous on how innovation enriches the 1%, while increasing social mobility

David Hémous explains how the quickening pace of innovation has made life both sweeter and more unstable for the mega-rich, and given the poor a higher chance of reaching the top.

25.09.2015 > News
Female genital cutting is largely a family matter and not an all-pervasive social norm

According to the study, published in Science, families actually vary tremendously in matters related to cutting. This indicates that heterogeneous motives at the family level play a crucial role when parents decide whether to cut their daughters. The results question the assumptions behind many programs that attempt to reduce cutting. Worldwide an estimated 125 million girls and women are cut despite the fact that female genital cutting leads to serious health problems throughout life. Development agencies spend considerable resources each year on programs that attempt to reduce cutting. These programs are often based on the assumption that cutting is a deeply entrenched social norm arising from a strong need for families to be alike.

14.09.2015 > News
Hans-Joachim Voth - Nazi indoctrination is still effective

The economists Hans-Joachim Voth (University of Zurich), and Nico Voigtländer (University of California) show that Germans who grew up under the Nazi regime are much more anti-Semitic than those born before or after that period. The share of committed anti-Semites, who answer a host of questions about attitudes toward Jews in an extreme fashion, is 2–3 times higher than in the population as a whole. Results also hold for average beliefs, and not just the share of extremists; average views of Jews are much more negative among those born in the 1920s and 1930s.

30.07.2015 > News
How to measure the Value of Decision Rights

Decision rights carry not only instrumental value but may also be valuable for their own sake. The ideas of autonomy, freedom, and liberty derive their intuitive appeal—at least partly—from an assumed positive intrinsic value of decision rights. Providing clean evidence for the existence of this intrinsic value and measuring its size, however, is intricate. Björn Bartling, Ernst Fehr, and Holger Herz from Zurich University developed a method capable of achieving these goals. The data reveal that the large majority of the subjects intrinsically value decision rights beyond their instrumental benefit.

27.07.2015 > News
Joachim Voth on the debt miracle

Jaume Ventura (Universitat Pompeu Fabra) and Joachim Voth (Zurich University) say that when the dangers of debt in today’s world are considered, the potential benefits should not be forgotten. Looking at the conditions under which the Industrial Revolution in Britain took place, the researchers ask why the country that borrowed the most industrialised first.

26.06.2015 > News
UBS Center Newsletter, June 2015

Read about recent and current highlights of the UBS Center.

23.06.2015 > News
Harald Uhlig - Greece must be forced to obey certain rules

Within the scope of the academic conference on “The Economics of Sovereign Dept”, Harald Uhlig (University of Chicago) was interviewed by the Swiss Television SRF. Watch his view on the Greek debt crisis:

23.06.2015 > News
Kenneth Rogoff - Wendepunkt in der Geldpolitik

Kenneth Rogoff (Harvard University) spoke about “Dealing with debt” at the University of Zurich. He regards the elimination of the zero bound as a major turn in monetary policy, after the ending of the gold standard and the fixed exchange rates.

19.06.2015 > News
Fabrizio Zilibotti says China needs economic reforms

After a golden decade, economic growth in China has slowed down since 2012. In the year 2014, a growth of 7.4% of the GDP was reported for China. Forecasts for 2015 set the GDP growth rate below 7%, with no rebound in sight for 2016. Fabrizio Zilibotti says China’s institutions have been successful in promoting investment-led growth. However, the transition towards innovation-led growth necessitates economic reforms that raise the opposition of vested interests.

15.06.2015 > News
Kenneth Rogoff recommends drastic measures for Greece

In an interview with NZZ am Sonntag, Economist Kenneth Rogoff asks for drastic measures to keep Greece in the Eurozone. Also, he defends the Swiss National Bank’s measure to abadon the minimum price for a euro.

12.06.2015 > News
Keynote speech by Fabrizio Zilibotti in Hangzhou, China

Fabrizio Zilibotti will be the keynote speaker of a conference on Innovation and Global Economy organized by the College of Economics (Zheijang University), the Center for Finance and Development (The Graduate Institute Geneva), and the Alibaba Group. The conference will take place at Alibaba Headquarters in Hangzhou.

07.06.2015 > News
Ernst Fehr on NZZ-Standpunkte: Economic research for a better world?

Professor Ernst Fehr talks about self-interest and altruism as incentives for human behavior and about behavioral economics as an adviser for politics and economics with NZZ-editor-in-chief Eric Gujer and Marco Färber.

01.06.2015 > News
Fabrizio Zilibotti challenges the popular view on Greece

Andreas Müller, Kjetil Storesletten, and Fabrizio Zilibotti say the best response to the Greek debt crisis is pragmatism and sequential compromise. The economists plead for an assistance programme providing the country with debt relief.

31.05.2015 > News
Zilibotti talks about educational styles at the Economy Festival Trento

At the Economy Festival Trento, economy scholars, Nobel Prize winners and managers from all over the world meet for dicussing economic topics with the audience. Fabrizio Zilibotti talked about “Parents put to the Test. Educational Styles and Social Consequences”.

27.05.2015 > News
Misconceived economic principles could bring large welfare losses for Greece

In the policy circles, there are confronting positions regarding Greece’s assistance programme and the structural reforms it should implement. In a recently published column Fabrizio Zilibotti, Kjetil Storesletten, and Andreas Müller argue that the best response is pragmatism and sequential compromise. Efficiency requires an assistance programme providing the country with debt relief with an intervention of an institution such as the IMF. Thus, misconceived economic principles could bring large welfare losses for Greece and renewed financial instability in the Eurozone.

07.05.2015 > News
Joachim Voth: Nazi indoctrination and anti-Semitic beliefs in Germany

In their recently published paper, Hans-Joachim Voth and Nico Voigtländer use survey data on anti-Semitic beliefs and attitudes in a representative sample of Germans to show that Nazi indoctrination was highly effective. Between 1933 and 1945, young Germans were exposed to anti-Semitic ideology in schools, in the (extracurricular) Hitler Youth, and through radio, print, and film. As a result, Germans who grew up under the Nazi regime are much more anti-Semitic than those born before or after that period.

07.05.2015 > News
Joachim Voth - Big governments drive economic performance

It is a common misconception that large governments are the main obstacles to economic prosperity. That is according to Joachim Voth, keynote speaker at the Citywire Montreux 2015. He said big governments are not a source of inefficiency but tend to drive economic performance and stability.

07.05.2015 > News
Joachim Voth - Threat of ‘full-blown’ European crisis looms large

In his opening address at the Citywire Montreux 2015, Joachim Voth said the ECB’s stimulus measures are not doing enough to dispel the fear of a ‘full-blown’ European crisis. According to Voth, political support for measures are on an increasingly fragile footing which could lead to an economic collapse in the next 12-to-24 months.

26.04.2015 > News
Fabrizio Zilibotti - Forcing Greece to leave the euro zone would be a mistake

On April 26, Fabrizio Zilibotti was interviewed by the main Serbian Newspaper “Politika” on the recovery of the economy in the Eurozone.

15.04.2015 > News
Fabrizio Zilibotti gives honorary lecture "Parenting with Style"

On April 15, Fabrizio Zilibotti delivered an honorary lecture on “Parenting with Style” at the International Academic Conference on Economic and Social Development in Moscow. He addressed some interesting questions: Does the economy influence the way people bring up their children? How can we determine and measure a child’s utility? How can parenting styles be categorized in an economic model?

10.04.2015 > News
Joachim Voth designated editor of The Economic Journal

Starting in June 2015, Joachim Voth will be a Joint Managing Editor at The Economic Journal. The journal belongs to the Royal Economic Society, which is one of the oldest and most prestigious economic associations in the world.

12.03.2015 > News
Why Obama’s key trade deal with Asia would actually be good for American workers

David Dorn (together with David Autor and Gordon H. Hanson) explains why blocking the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) on fears of globalization would be a mistake.

19.02.2015 > News
Ernst Fehr - One of the most important thinker of our time

The German newspaper Handelsblatt is currently featuring the 25 most important thinkers of our time in a series. The article refers to Ernst Fehr as the worldwide leading neuroeconomic scientist.

14.02.2015 > News
Fabrizio Zilibotti demands pragmatism in the Greek debt crisis

Fabrizio Zilibotti criticizes that many politicians believe that only a tough stand can solve the Greek problems. Current research findings at the University of Zurich indicate an efficient way to handle a debt crisis involving an economy struggling with a persistent recession. Zilibotti points out the risk that – in the name of misconceived economic principles – the outcome imposes large welfare losses.

26.01.2015 > News
Hans-Joachim Voth promotes economic history

Hans-Joachim Voth promotes economic history, with research on Hitler and government debts.

23.01.2015 > News
Fabrizio Zilibotti talks about the Swiss-Chinese ties

In the years to come, China will be one of the main engines of worldwide economic growth. In the year 2014, a growth of 7.4% of the GDP is reported for China. By comparison, the l atest IMF-forecast suggests an increase of 3.5% in the global GDP in 2015. This is why the presence of Chinese Premier Li Keqiang in this year’s annual meeting of the World Economic Forum in Davos draws worldwide attention. China Radio International interviewed Professor Fabrizio Zilibotti on the China-relevant elements of this year’s World Economic Forum and on the importance of China and Switzerland to each another.

23.01.2015 > News
Fabrizio Zilibotti on Draghi’s measure

The European Central Bank (ECB) carries out monthly asset purchases to amount to 60 billion euros until at least September 2016. Mario Draghi, the president of the ECB, announced this program in late January 2015. Professor Fabrizio Zilibotti discusses the measure on Radio della Svizzera Italiana.


07.12.2014 > News
Tiger moms and helicopter parents

Fabrizio Zilibotti’s article on “Parenting with Style” (together with Matthias Doepke) has gained considerable attention in the media. A review of the article was published in the New York Times on 28 October, 2014, entitled “Unequal Societies Give an Incentive for Pushy Parenting”. The article has received additional media coverage in different newspapers. The column “Tiger moms and helicopter parents: The economics of parenting style” – based on the same research and published in VOX, CEPR’s Policy Portal – has consistently topped the number of downloads of the portal with over 30.000 reads.

17.11.2014 > News
Forum for Economic Dialogue "Sound Economic and Institutional Foundations for Europe"

The Forum for Economic Dialogue 2014 on “Sound Economic and Institutional Foundations for Europe” offered an ideal platform for academics, business people, public officials, and interested citizens to engage in an exchange of knowledge, latest insights, and ideas.

06.11.2014 > News
Fabrizio Zilibotti invited to deliver the 2014 YAN Fu Memorial lecture

On November 6th, 2014, Fabrizio Zilibotti will deliver the 2014 YAN Fu Memorial lecture. Established in 2001 and hosted by the National School of Development at Peking University, the “Yan Fu Memorial Lecture in Economics” is one of the most prestigious academic events in China across all fields. It annually invites an internationally renowned economic scholars to speak, both to recall the contribution of sages, but also in order to inherit their ancestors and to continue to promote the development of Chinese modern economic discipline for China’s prosperity.

Previous speakers include Nobel Laureates Robert Mundell, Amartya Sen, Kenneth Arrow, and other renowned economists including Partha Dasgupta, Dani Rodrik, Prasanta Pattanaik, James Robinson, Timothy Besley, Robert Feenstra, and Steven Durlauf.

03.11.2014 > News
UBS Center Newsletter, November 2014

With only two months left in 2014, we would like to share a summary of recent highlights and give you a preview of what we have in store for 2015.

31.10.2014 > News
One of the most highly cited young economists in the world joins the University of Zurich

With only two months left in 2014, we would like to share a summary of recent highlights and give you a preview of what we have in store for 2015.

31.10.2014 > News
David Dorn, formerly at CEMFI Madrid, joins the University of Zurich as professor for International Trade and Labor Markets

Prof. David Dorn has been appointed as professor at the University of Zurich and as affiliated professor with the UBS Center of Economics in Society in Zurich. This will allow for an expansion of the important and current fields of international trade and labor economics in research and teaching at the University of Zurich.

28.10.2014 > News
New UBS Scholarship holders 2014

The UBS International Center welcomes this year’s UBS Center Scholarship holders. The three top students were selected from 400 applicants to the Zurich Graduate School of Economics, with the school’s international reputation attracting students from around the world.

23.10.2014 > News
Philippe Aghion elected President of the European Economic Association (EEA)

Philippe Aghion (Harvard University), member of the UBS International Center advisory board, has been elected President of the European Economic Association (EEA). He will be Vice-President in 2015, President Elect in 2016, and President in 2017. The EEA is the most important association of academic economists in Europe. The list of current and past presidents comprises two Nobel laureates (Christopher Pissarides and James Mirrlees), and most renowned researchers.

26.09.2014 > News
New Working Papers

In the newest issues of our Working Paper Series, you will find out, whether female officers improve law enforcement quality and what effects they have on crime reporting and domestic violence escalation. You will also learn about the role of the apprenticeship system in terms of employment polarization. We wish you much interest while reading these working papers.

23.08.2014 > News
UBS Center Scholarship holders selected for the 2014 Lindau Nobel Laureate Meeting

The 5th Lindau Meeting on Economic Sciences provided an open exchange of economic expertise and inspired cross-cultural and intergenerational encounters among economists from all over the world.

19.08.2014 > News
Economists attract two top professors to the University of Zurich

The Department of Economics at the University of Zurich is bringing back Swiss talent with David Dorn who is leaving the CEMFI Madrid for a professorship in Zurich. In addition, the renowned professor Andrei Levchenko has accepted a guest professorship at the University of Zurich for one year. Both professors will be affiliated with the UBS Center.

18.07.2014 > News
New Advisory Board Members

The UBS Center welcomes six new advisory board members: Prof. Raquel Fernández (New York University), Prof. Rachel Griffith (University of Manchester), Prof. Yingyi Qian (Tsinghua University), Prof. Klaus Schmidt (Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München), Prof. Kjetil Storesletten (University of Oslo), and Prof. Harald Uhlig (University of Chicago).


21.10.2013 > News
Fabrizio Zilibotti elected President of the European Economic Association (EEA)

Fabrizio Zilibotti, Scientific Director of the UBS International Center of Economics in Society, has been elected President of the European Economic Association (EEA). He will be Vice-President in 2014, President Elect in 2015, and President in 2016. The election was held by a secret electronic vote involving all members of the association (ca. 3,000 members). The EEA is the most important association of academic economists in Europe. The list of current and past presidents comprises two Nobel laureates (Christopher Pissarides and James Mirrlees), and most renowned researchers including, over recent years: Manuel Arellano, Timothy Besley, Richard Blundell, Mathias Dewatripoint, Ernst Fehr, Jordi Gali, Andreu Mas Colell, Torsten Persson, Nick Stern, Guido Tabellini, and Jean Tirole. Since the foundation of the EEA in 1986, Prof. Zilibotti will be the third president from an institution located in the German-speaking world (after Martin Hellwig, 1992, and Ernst Fehr, 2008).

14.10.2013 > News
Prof. Robert Shiller has been awarded the 2013 Nobel Prize in Economics

Prof. Robert Shiller, member of the Advisory Board of the UBS Center, has been awarded the 2013 Nobel Prize in Economics!

09.04.2013 > News
Ernst Fehr received the 2013 Gottlieb Duttweiler Prize

Ernst Fehr received the 2013 Gottlieb Duttweiler Prize. The prize was awarded for his pioneering research on the role of fairness in markets, organisations and in individual decisions. The ceremony took place on 9 April 2013 with the prize-giving speech by Dan Ariely, professor of behavioural economics.

For almost two decades Ernst Fehr has been carrying out detailed and cutting-edge research into the social behaviour and economic preferences of people. In doing so, he has revised the traditional concept of man as “homo oeconomicus”. Based on a number of experiments, Fehr has been able to document the “fairness preference” of people beyond cultural boundaries, in other words the fact that we are often driven not by selfishness but by a desire for fairness. As one of the most influential economic scientists in the world, Fehr has made an important contribution to the “psychological turnaround in economics”. Thanks to his transdisciplinary research approach he has managed to link economics with psychology, biology and neurosciences. The study areas of the award-winning researcher are diverse, ranging from the limits to the self-regulation capability of competitive markets to the role of the neuropeptide oxytocin in confidence-building and how to prevent female circumcision. The politically independent Gottlieb Duttweiler Prize is awarded at irregular intervals for outstanding contributions to the community. Previous prize-winners include Wikipedia founder Jimmy Wales, former UN Secretary General and Nobel Prize winner Kofi A. Annan and the last president of Czechoslovakia, Václav Havel. Ernst Fehr is yet another prize-winner whose work aims to create a better world. The presentation of the prize, worth 100,000 francs, took place on 9 April 2013 at the Gottlieb Duttweiler Institute in Rüschlikon/Zurich in front of invited guests. Professor Dan Ariely, lecturer in behavioural economics at Duke University, paid tribute to his research colleague. The ceremony marked the high point of the anniversary year of the GDI, which was founded in 1963.


13.12.2012 > News
UBS Center Working Paper series launched

UBS Center Working Paper series launched with papers on Chinese pensions and the origins of authority. The Lure of Authority: Motivation and Incentive Effects of Power Sharing High Growth Across Generations: Pensions and Demographic Transition in China

13.12.2012 > News
Recruiting process for the first chair in Macroeconomics and Financial Markets begins.

The Faculty of Economics, Business Administration, and Information Technology of the University of Zurich invites applications for a Professorship in Macroeconomics and Financial Markets

Applications are invited for a position as Full Professor (Chair), starting earliest in the fall 2013. Our faculty places strong emphasis on outstanding research and scholarship. Through its educational and research objectives, the University of Zurich aims at attracting leading international researchers who are willing to contribute to its development and to strengthening its reputation. The research focus of the chair will be the study of the nexus between macroeconomics and financial markets, from both a theoretical and an empirical perspective. Relevant topics include, among others, the nature of financial frictions, the channels through which they affect macroeconomic performance and business cycle fluctuations, the relationship between housing markets and macroeconomic stability, the targets of monetary policy (especially, in relationship with asset prices), and the analysis of policies and institutions promoting financial stability. This professorship is part of a broader initiative of the University of Zurich and the UBS Foundation that foresees the establishment of five new professorships at the Department of Economics, and led to the creation of the UBS International Center of Economics in Society, which supports cutting edge research in economics. The new professor will have the opportunity of being affiliated to the UBS International Center of Economics in Society. The position involves teaching undergraduate and graduate courses. The language of instruction is either German or English.

13.12.2012 > News
The UBS Center recently awarded its first UBS Center Scholarship

The UBS International Center of Economics in Society recently awarded its first UBS Center Scholarship. The recipient, Jean-Michel Benkert, will be investigating why people need incentives to complete tasks efficiently and behave in the interests of society.

Jean-Michel Benkert is fascinated by the abstract, by theory. “But a theory must have a practical use,” says the first recipient of the scholarship awarded by the UBS International Center of Economics in Society. Anyone who, like him, was a student during the financial crisis, is inclined to be skeptical about theories. After all, during the crisis many theories failed to deliver on what they had promised. As such, Benkert’s focus is always on finding practical solutions to problems.

Before this can happen, the first thing that needs to be done is to develop a concrete question from a theoretical idea. This is an art, and it requires discussion with others. That is why Benkert has now sought out the University of Zurich - because of the many like-minded people he has found there.

In addition to a critical mass of postgraduate students and researchers, Benkert also regards it as very important that there is a good level of supervision by professors. As a scholarship holder, he appreciates the independence that the UBS Center gives him. It gives him the opportunity to shape his ideas in an interdisciplinary environment. For him, the important thing is to take advantage of the entire research spectrum and to keep an inquiring mind. He therefore looks forward to the chance to exchange thoughts and ideas with leading figures from academia, the private and public sector at the events held by the UBS Center. “I think there are valuable synergies to be exploited through interaction with other disciplines, and in particular with society. The UBS Center provides a valuable shared platform for doing so,” says Benkert.

What interests Benkert is how we can use game theory to find solutions that can be applied to the economy. How, for example, can tasks be distributed so that the objective is achieved? Especially when the interests of the person who is placing the order are not the same as the interests of the person who is carrying it out. Incentives are the lynchpin here, according to Benkert.