I am an experimental economist interested in cross-cultural analysis. I am based in Germany and have conducted quite a lot of research in countries as disparate as Colombia or Papua New Guinea. Over the last years I have become committed to avoid catching a plane on at least one of the two legs of the trip. Therefore, I travelled to Colombia on a cargo ship. Although I had to catch a plane to leave Papua, I then returned to Europe by train, travelling on a marvelous route in Central Asia along the ancient Silk Road. I visited China, Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan, Iran, Turkey, Greece, then took a ferry to Southern Italy and then came North by train. I did this twice already and plan to do the same this year. I have banned taking a plane to travel within Europe. I frequently travel to Italy to visit my parents, or to attend conferences and in the last years I stopped flying. I use either coaches or trains. I try to avoid to travel to other continents to attend conferences, I just wait for interesting conferences to be held in Europe.
I am senior researcher at the Kiel Institute for the World Economy (Germany) and lecturer at the Universitat Jaume I (Castelló de la Plana, Spain). In the past I have held teaching and research positions at Southampton University, Centre for the Study of Globalisation and Regionalisation (Warwick University), IN+ (Instituto Superior Técnico of Lisbon) and Center for Global Cooperation Research (University of Duisburg-Essen).
My research interests delve into the interaction between individual behaviour and socio-economic structures, often adopting an experimental methodology and using a cross-cultural perspective. I have publications in PNAS, Nature Communications, Psychological Science, Experimental Economics, Journal of Evolutionary Economics.
The relationship among globalization, co-operation and trust was explored in a pioneering six-country study which was funded by the US National Science Foundation and that I have founded and co-ordinated with Nancy Buchan (University of South Carolina).
Recently I have also been Principal Investigator in a project on “Fairness, Merit, and Individual Distributive Preferences”. Fieldwork was conducted in various locations in the US, Italy, Norway, and Germany. We aim at understanding the psychological and cultural underpinnings of the broad differences in systems of welfare observed among developed countries. In a recent study, it has been explored how individual distributive preferences react to variations in the fairness with which initial opportunities are assigned within a bargaining problem.
I have also co-ordinated a research project on income inequality in transition developing economies that received a 135k Euros grant from the European Commission. An empirical paper analysing the links between globalisation, regionalisation, and income inequality in transition economies, and a theoretical paper modelling the impact of a technology shock on a developing economy’s income dynamics have been published.
I have also participated in a project assessing the long-term effects on cognitive function of exposure to violence.