I am a Research Associate at the IZA and a PhD candidate at the Bonn Graduate School of Economics.

My research interests are Behavioral Economics, Organizational Economics, Labour Economics and Public Policy.

Contact Information:

e-mail: radbruch(at)iza.org

address: Schaumburg-Lippe-Straße 5-9, 53113 Bonn, Germany



The effectiveness of incentive schemes in the presence of implicit effort costs (with Sebastian J. Goerg, Sebastian Kube) Management Science, 2019, 65(9), 4063-4078

[earlier version was circulated as IZA Discussion Paper No. 10546 (2017)]

Do Teams Procrastinate? Strategic Procrastination in a Dynamic Environment (with Sebastian J. Goerg, Sebastian Kube, and Philipp Weinschenk) Experiments in Organizational Economics (Research in Experimental Economics, Volume 19), Sebastian J. Goerg , John R. Hamman (Eds.) Emerald Group Publishing

Working Papers

Passive Choices and Cognitive Spillovers

(with Steffen Altmann and Andreas Grunewald) IZA Discussion Paper No. 12337 (2019)

revise and resubmit at the Review of Economic Studies.

Abstract: Passive behavior is ubiquitous - even when facing various alternatives to choose from, people fail to take decisions. This paper provides evidence on the cognitive foundations of such "passive choices" and studies the resulting consequences for policies that encourage active decision-making. In an experiment designed to study passive behavior, we document three main results. First, we demonstrate that scarcity of cognitive resources leads to passive behavior by inducing individuals to disregard certain decisions. Second, policies that encourage active choice succeed in reducing passivity and improve decisions in the targeted domain. Third, however, these benefits of choice-promoting policies come at the cost of negative cognitive spillovers to other domains.

Self-selection of peers and performance

(with Lukas Kießling and Sebastian Schaube) Current Version CRC Discussion Paper (2019) [Former version was circulated as IZA Discussion Paper No. 11365 (2018)]

Abstract: In many natural environments, carefully chosen peers influence individual behavior. Using a framed field experiment at secondary schools, we examine how self-selected peers affect performance in contrast to randomly assigned ones. We find that self-selection improves performance by approximately 15% of a standard deviation relative to randomly assigned peers. Our results document peer effects in multiple characteristics and show that self-selection changes these characteristics. However, a decomposition reveals that variations in the peer composition contribute only little to the estimated average treatment effects. Rather, we find that self-selection has a direct effect on performance. In light of our findings, we discuss implications for peer assignment rules more generally.

To whom you may compare — Preferences for Peers

(with Lukas Kießling and Sebastian Schaube) CRC Discussion Paper (2019)

Abstract: Peers influence behavior in many domains. We study whom individuals choose as peers and explore individual determinants of peer selection. Using data from a framed field experiment at secondary schools, we analyze how peer choices depend on relative performance, personality differences, and the presence of friendship ties. Our results document systematic patterns of peer choice: friendship is the most important determinant, albeit not the only one. Individuals exhibit homophily in personality, and prefer on average similar but slightly stronger performing peers. Our results help to rationalize models of differential and non-linear peer effects and to understand reference group formation

Interviewing Candidates Sequentially

(with Amelie Schiprowski) [Available upon request]

Abstract: This paper studies how the assessment of a candidate is influenced by the other candidates seen by the same interviewer. We leverage novel data on more than 9,000 interviewer assessments made within the admission process of a large study grant program. We find that a candidate's assessment decreases in the quality of all other candidates seen by the same interviewer. However, the influence of the previous candidate strikingly stands out and exceeds the influence of any other candidate by a factor of about three. As a result, assessments follow a strong negative autocorrelation of about 20\%. We argue that the findings are in line with the presence of a sequential contrast effect. We further identify a striking asymmetry with respect to the sequencing of gender: while female candidates are negatively affected by strong candidates of both genders, male candidates are not negatively affected by a strong female candidate. We show that this asymmetry contributes strongly to the gender gap in assessments.

Work in Progress

Task Autonomy, Motivation and Performance (with Timo Freyer, Lukas Kießling and Sebastian Schaube)

Female Committee Members and the Gender Evaluation Gap (with Amelie Schiprowski and Jakob Wegmann)

Popular Writing

Radbruch, J., "Alle sind Mitte", DIE ZEIT, 08/2018

Altmann S., Falk A., Heuser U. J., Radbruch J., "Wer zahlen soll" , DIE ZEIT, 09/2018

Both articles are part of a larger project about economic literacy with Altmann S., Falk A. and Heuser U. J.. All articles of the series can be found here and more information about the project can be found here in the briq newsroom.