The Marburg Centre for Institutional Economics aims to communicate research in Institutional Economics to a broad audience
The Marburg Centre for Institutional Economics (MACIE) pools the research activities on Institutional Economics within the School of Business & Economics. It provides a platform for the exchange of ideas with external researchers in seminars, workshops and conferences. The School’s focus on Institutional Economics dates back at least to 1957, when Prof. Dr. Karl Paul Hensel established the research centre “Forschungsstelle zum Vergleich wirtschaftlicher Lenkungssysteme”. Since 2007, the research centre is known as the “Marburg Centre for Institutional Economics” (MACIE).
The strong commitment towards the research focus on Institutional Economics is also reflected in the hiring policy. An internationally recognized contribution in the field of Institutional Economics has been a major selection criterion in all hiring procedures since 2003. The faculty’s competence in Institutional Economics is accessible to students through a course and seminar program, especially in the Master of Science in Economics and Institutions.
Economic Research Activities
“Institutions are the rules of a game in a society or, more formally, are the humanly devised constraints that shape human interaction. In consequence, they structure incentives in human exchange, whether political, social, or economic.” (Douglass North, 1990)
The quote of Nobel Laureate Douglass North allows for a broad view on the object of study of Institutional Economics. Indeed, the word “institutions” has several connotations. Large organizations are associated with the term, but it also applies to traditions, systems, rules or policies. Institutions include diverse concepts such as markets, laws, currencies or contracts. A comprehensive perspective on the institutional setting is key to Institutional Economics, recognizing the relevance of both, formal and informal institutions.
Our research contributes to understanding:
- How individuals respond to the incentive structure imposed by the institutional framework,
- how such behaviour translates into aggregate economic outcomes,
- how the institutional framework is shaped by individual preferences, beliefs and behaviour, and
- how well the institutions serve the interests of the society whose „rules of the game” they define.
We tackle these questions with formal-theoretical and empirical methods.