Research

Welcome! I am a Professor of Management at Goethe University Frankfurt. My research employs methods from game theory and experimental economics (lab and field experiments) to answer questions regarding the determinants and consequences of human decision-making and social interaction. I am particularly interested in understanding why humans (do not) cooperate and under what conditions cooperation in teams and groups can be sustained.

Recent papers study the role and impact of intrinsic motivation, the relationship between social preferences and collective-action outcomes, distributional preferences in large groups, and the formation and stability of (social, economic) institutions as well as organizational culture.


I am also a research fellow at CEPRCESifoIZA, and ZEF.

New Books

November 2017
On March 9, 2017 Karim Sadrieh and I organized an academic commemoration for Reinhard Selten who had died on August 23, 2016 at the age of 85. The commemoration took place at Goethe University Frankfurt, where Reinhard Selten had been a student in mathematics and postdoc in economics during the 1950s and 60s. Besides colleagues and friends, also members of Reinhard Selten’s family participated. Goethe University has published a documentation of the event, which is available for download here. While most parts of the documentation are in German, it also includes contributions in English from Eric van Damme, Werner Güth, Peter Hammerstein, and Jörgen Weibull.


Luc-Alain Giraldeau, Philipp Heeb, Michael Kosfeld (Editors)
Strüngmann Forum Reports, Vol. 21, Julia Lupp, Series Editor
MIT Press, 2017


Recent Papers

Guido Friebel, Michael Kosfeld, Gerd Thielmann
September 2017, Instructions

Heiner Schumacher, Iris Kesternich, Michael Kosfeld, Joachim Winter
Review of Economic Studies 84, 2017, 1346-1377
A former version of this paper with similar results based on different (earlier) data is available as CESifo Working Paper No. 4657.

Michael Kosfeld, Susanne Neckermann, Xiaolan Yang
Economic Inquiry 55, 2017, 237-247

Michael Kosfeld, Ulrich Schüwer
Review of Finance 21, 2017, 1189-1216

Selected Publications


Joel van der Weele, Julija Kulisa, Michael Kosfeld, Guido Friebel
American Economic Journal: Microeconomics 6, 2014, 256-264

Competition, Cooperation, and Corporate Culture
Michael Kosfeld, Ferdinand von Siemens
Michael Kosfeld, Susanne Neckermann
Devesh Rustagi, Stefanie Engel, Michael Kosfeld
Science 330, 2010, 961-965
Michael Kosfeld, Akira Okada, Arno Riedl
American Economic Review 99, 2009, 1335-1355
Armin Falk, Michael Kosfeld
Ernst Fehr, Urs Fischbacher, Michael Kosfeld
American Economic Review (Papers & Proceedings) 95, 2005, 346-351

Oxytocin Increases Trust in Humans
Michael Kosfeld, Markus Heinrichs, Paul J. Zak, Urs Fischbacher, Ernst Fehr
Nature 435, 2005, 673-676


For a complete list of publications, please see my CV.