Department of Economics

University of Essex

Wivenhoe Park

Colchester CO4 3SQ

United Kingdom

Phone : +44 1206-87-3417

E-mail: fr.mengel :-) gmail.com

I am a Professor of Economics at the University of Essex and a Visiting Guest Professor at Lund University. I am also a Co-Editor of the Journal of Economic Behavior and Organization, an Associate Editor at the Economic Journal and the European Economic Review and on the Editorial Board of Experimental Economics and the Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics. I got my PhD in 2008 from the University of Alicante.

Much of my research is on (Evolutionary) Game Theory and Learning with a particular interest in learning across games and categorization as well as models of (bounded) rationality more generally. Another focus of my research is the study of behaviour in social networks and the emergence of social norms. Recently I also started to work on repeated games and on the formation of preferences. I received an ERC Starting grant in 2018 for my work on Opinion Dynamics. A webpage for the grant can be found here.

I teach (or have been teaching) courses on Microeconomic Theory, Game Theory, Mathematics and Behavioural Economics. More information about teaching can be found on the webpage of the Department of Economics. We created an MSc in Behavioural Economics at Essex. Information can be found here.


Current Working Papers/ Work in Progress

Behavioural Variation in Tullock Contests, joint with A. Masiliunas and J.P. Reiss. {undergoing revision}Do Markets Encourage Risk Seeking Behaviour?, joint with R. Peeters {r+r EJF}Eliciting strategies in indefinitely repeated games of strategic substitutes and complements, joint with M. Embrey and R. Peeters {undergoing revisions}Gender Biases in Opinion Aggregation {r+r IER}Uncertainty Attitudes, Subjective Expectations and Decisions under Uncertainty, joint with A. Delavande and J. Ganguli {undergoing revisions}Collective Incentives and Cooperation in Teams with Imperfect Monitoring, joint with E. Mohlin and S. Weidenholzer {submitted}Benchmarking Information Aggregation in Experimental Markets, joint with A. Albertazzi and R. Peeters {r+r EER}Match Length Realization and Cooperation in Indefinitely Repeated Games, joint with L. Orlandi and S. Weidenholzer {submitted}Matching and Confidence, joint with M.Y. Gurdal and E. Leni {submitted}.Extension of the SEIR Model for the Analysis of Tailored Social Distancing and Tracing Approaches to Cope with Covid19, joint with V. Grimm and M.Schmidt {submitted} [Media Coverage: Die Welt, Trierischer Volksfreund].

Publications (by topic, for chronological list see CV)

Learning in Networks

Compliance Behavior in Networks: Evidence from a Field Experiment (joint with F. Drago and C. Traxler), American Economic Journal: Applied Economics 12(2), (2020), 1-40.Experiments on Belief Formation in Networks (joint with V. Grimm), Journal of the European Economic Association 18(1), (2020), 49-82.Learning in Network Games (joint with J. Kovarik and J.G. Romero), Quantitative Economics 9(1) (2018), 85-139. [Online Appendix] [Data] [Best Paper Award]

Learning Across Games, Categorization and Behavioural Spillovers

Extrapolation and Structural Similarity in Games (joint with E. Sciubba), Economics Letters 125(3), (2014), 381-385.An Experiment on Learning in a Multiple Games Environment,(joint with V. Grimm), Journal of Economic Theory 147(6), (2012), 2220-2259. [Data]On the Evolution of Coarse Categories, Journal of Theoretical Biology, 307 (2012), 117-124.Learning Across Games, Games and Economic Behavior, 74(2), (2012), 601-619.

Social Identity and Discrimination

Gender Differences in Networking, Economic Journal, forthcoming.Gender Bias in Teaching Evaluations, joint with J. Sauermann and U. Zoelitz, Journal of the European Economic Association 17(2) (2019), 535-566. [Online Appendix] [Media Coverage: The Economist, Sueddeutsche Zeitung, Bayerischer Rundfunk, Times Higher Education, IZA Newsroom]Identity,Homophily and In-Group Bias, joint with S. Currarini., European Economic Review 90 (SI: Social Identity and Discrimination) 2016, 40-55. [Data]

Learning and Strategies in Repeated Games

Strategy Revision Opportunities and Collusion (joint with M. Embrey and R. Peeters), Experimental Economics 22(4), (2019),834-856.Learning by (limited) forward looking players, Journal of Economic Behavior and Organization 108 (2014), 59-77. Strategic Behavior in Repeated Voluntary Contribution Experiments, (joint with Ronald Peeters), Journal of Public Economics 95(1), (2011), 143-148. [Data]

Evolution of Cooperation: Social Structure and Social Networks

Risk and Temptation: A Meta-Study on Social Dilemma Games, Economic Journal 128 (2018), 3182-3209. [Online Appendix] [Data01] [Data02]Growth and Inequality in Public Good Provision, joint with S. Gaechter, E. Tsakas and A. Vostroknutov, Journal of Public Economics 150 (2017), 1-13. [Online Appendix] [Instructions] [Data]Natural Disasters and Social Cohesion, joint with A. Calo-Blanco, J. Kovarik and J.G. Romero, Plos ONE 12(6) (2017), e0176885.Limited Memory can be Beneficial for the Evolution of Cooperation (joint with G. Horvath and J. Kovarik), Journal of Theoretical Biology 300, (2012), 193-205.Cooperation through Imitation and Exclusion in Networks (joint with Constanza Fosco), Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, 35 (2011), 641-658. [Summary Picture]Matching Technology and Choice of Institutions in a Prisoner's dilemma (joint with V. Grimm), Journal of Econ. Behavior and Organization 78 (2011), 333-348. [Data]Cooperation in Viscous Populations – Experimental Evidence, (joint with Veronika Grimm), Games and Economic Behavior 66(1) (2009), 202-220. [Data]Conformism and Cooperation in a Local Interaction Model, Journal of Evolutionary Economics 19 (3), (2009), 397-415.Matching Structure and the Cultural Transmission of Social Norms, Journal of Economic Behavior and Organization 67 (2008), 608-623.The Evolution of Function-Valued Traits for Conditional Cooperation, Journal of Theoretical Biology 245 (2007), 564-575.

Other: Behavioural Economics, Political Economy, Learning

Common Value Elections with Informative Priors- Theory and Evidence (joint with J. Rivas), Games and Economic Behavior 104 (2017), 190-221. [Data] [Media Coverage: The Conversation]Past Experience of Uncertainty Affects Risk Preferences (joint with E. Tsakas and A. Vostroknutov), Experimental Economics 19(1), (2016), 151-176. (Supplementary Material); [Data] [Blogs: Plaintext]Computer Games and Pro-social Behaviour, PLoS ONE, (2014); doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0094099. [Data]An Axiomatization of Simple Learning Rules when Counterfactuals are not observed (joint with J. Rivas), BE-Journal of Theoretical Economics 12, (2012).Let me sleep on it: Delay reduces Rejection Rates in Ultimatum Games (joint with V. Grimm), Economics Letters 111(2), (2011), 113-115. [Data]; [Media Coverage: Scientific American; Blogs: Muriel Niederle's Exp Econ, Kevin Lewis' National Affairs, Stirling Beh. Science Group.]An Evolutionary Analysis of Buyer Insurance and Seller Reputation in Online Markets, (joint with W. Güth and A. Ockenfels), Theory and Decision 63(3) (2007), 265-282.

Book chapters and Surveys

Explaining Variation in Cooperative Behavior – Perspectives from the Economics Literature (joint with J. Van der Weele), In: Investors and Exploiters in Ecology and Economics: Principles and Applications, ed. L-A. Giraldeau, P. Heeb, and M. Kosfeld. Strüngmann Forum Reports, vol. 21, J. Lupp, series editor. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, May 2017.The Ecological and Economic Conditions of Parasitic Strategies (joint with M. Burton-Chellew, A. Kacelnik, M. Arbilly, M. Dos Santos, K.J. Mathot, J. Mc Namara, J. Van der Weele and B. Vollan), In: Investors and Exploiters in Ecology and Economics: Principles and Applications, ed. L-A. Giraldeau, P. Heeb, and M. Kosfeld. Strüngmann Forum Reports, vol. 21, J. Lupp, series editor. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, May 2017.Investment Incentives in Auctions: An Experiment ( joint with V. Grimm, G. Ponti and L.A. Viianto) in Experimental Economics for Competition Policies, Hinloopen and Normann (eds.), Cambridge University Press, 2008


I teach (or have been teaching) courses on Microeconomic Theory, Game Theory, Evolutionary Game Theory and Mathematics. I am currently teaching Behavioural Economics, Cognitive Psychology and Economics as well as a summer module on Experimental Economics. More information about teaching can be found on the webpage of the Department of Economics.

Links and More

My Erdös Number is at most 4 (Erdös, Koczy, Strobel, Güth) and at least 2 :-) Google Scholar PageECON department AlicanteECON department MaastrichtECON department NottinghamECON department EssexPfinztal -SöllingenFuhrheinerBest football team in the worldBest football team in the UK