Research Website of

Eugen Dimant


Since January 2019, I am a Senior Research Fellow with the Identity and Conflict Lab (Political Science Department) at the University of Pennsylvania. I'm also a fellow in the Behavioral and Deciscion Sciences Program and the Behavioral Ethics Lab also at the University of Pennsylvania as well as an external fellow of the Centre for Decision Research & Experimental Economics (CeDEx) at the University of Nottingham.

Prior to this, I was a Lab Fellow at the Edmond J. Safra Center for Ethics at Harvard University's (under Lawrence Lessig), as well as an (affiliated) visiting researcher at

My most recent CV can be found here.

My Twitter account is here.


February 2019:

  • New experimental working paper with Cristina Bicchieri and Silvia Sonderegger on 'Lying and Belief Distortion Under Norm-Uncertainty'. We explore the relationship between norm-uncertainty and lying and study the mechanism of belief-distortion as a means to facilitate lying. The paper can be found here.

January 2019:

  • Published a paper on 'Nudging with Care: The Risks and Benefits of Social Information' (joint with Cristina Bicchieri), in which we synthesize the literature on nudges, norms, and the growing approach of 'norm-nudging'. We provide actionable insights based on existing social norms theories and discuss them in light of recent experimental evidence. The paper can be found here.
  • New experimental working paper entitled 'Becoming Friends or Foes? How Competitive Environments Shape Altruistic Preferences' (joint with K. Hyndman). The paper can be downloaded here.

December 2018:

  • New working paper out (joint with G. Bolton and U. Schmidt) on 'When a Nudge Backfires: Using Observation with Social and Economic Incentives to Promote Pro-Social Behavior'. In this paper, examine a popular nudge - observability of behavior - and question its universality. In fact, we find backfiring effects when the nudge uses only social as opposed to economic incentives. Read here to find out more.

November 2018:

  • Updated working paper out with Cristina Bicchieri and Erte Xiao on 'Deviant or Wrong? The Effects of Norm Information on the Efficacy of Punishment'. We show that norm information can enhance the effectiveness of punishment in some cases, and backfire in others. Read to found out what happens when here here.

  • Updated working paper out on 'Contagion of Pro- and Anti-Social Behavior Among Peers and the Role of Social Proximity'. I find that (I) anti-social behavior is more contagious than pro-social behavior, (II) social proximity amplifies anti-social contagion in particular, and (III) that initially anti-social people are the most susceptible to contagion through peers. The paper can be found here.

August 2018:

  • Updated working paper with J. Buckenmaier, U. Schmidt, and A.-C. Posten on Efficient Institutions and Effective Deterrence: On Timing and Uncertainty of Punishment. We examine the relationship between the timing of punishment & resolution of uncertainty on deterrence. Main result: efficient institutions are not necessarily better. The paper can be found here

April 2018:

  • Our paper on the "Effects of Institutional History and Leniency on Collusive Corruption and Tax Evasion" (with J. Buckenmaier & L. Mittone) is now forthcoming in the Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization. Most recent WP

March 2018:

  • Published a new survey in Journal of Economic Surveys in the April 2018 issue that we hope comes in handy. Here, we shed light on the empirical causes and effects of corruption and what we have learned from past decade's research. The link to the paper titled Causes and Effects of Corruption: What has Past Decade's Empirical Research Taught Us? A Survey (joint work with G. Tosato) is here.

November 2017:

  • Published a new experimental working paper entitled Deviant or Wrong? The Effects of Norm Information on the Efficacy of Punishment (joint work with C. Bicchieri and E. Xiao). We examine the relationship between norm information and effectiveness of punishment. Main result: depending on the nature of the norm information, punishment can be either very effective or extremely detrimental. The paper can be found here


  • Published a new empirical working paper on Negative Returns: U.S. Military Policy and Anti-American Terrorism (joint work with D. Meierrieks and T. Krieger). It is a hot topic, comments are most welcome. You can find the paper here.


  • Published a new empirical working paper on Match Fixing and Sports Betting in Football. Empirical Evidence from the German Bundesliga (joint work with C. Deutscher and B. Humphreys). You can find the paper here.