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photo 1: privat, photo 2: T. Reutemann, photo 3: P. Gorris, photo 4: B. Behera

Research Group
Behavioral Economics for the Environment

In 2014, Stefanie Engel was awarded an Alexander von Humboldt professorship , the highest endowed international research award in Germany, issued by the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation and the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research. Consequently, the Alexander von Humboldt Professorship in Environmental Economics was established at the University of Osnabrueck in October 2014. The research of our team focuses on the Behavioral Economics of Environmental Policy (BEE). The general objective of the professorship is to analyze how to design environmentally effective and cost-efficient environmental policies. We apply methods from experimental economics, game theoretic modelling and social network analysis to analyze the impacts of alternative environmental policy designs. Environmental problems analyzed include topics ranging from climate mitigation and adaptation, biodiversity conservation and water resources management. At the University of Osnabrueck, we are part of the Institute for Environmental Systems Research , the Laboratory for Economics Research , and the faculty of Economics.

IPBES Assessment on the diverse conceptualization of multiple values of nature and its benefits

Prof. Stefanie Engel and Dr. Ann-Kathrin Koessler have been selected to contribute as Lead Author and Fellow, respectively, to the upcoming IPBES report 'Methodological assessment regarding the diverse conceptualization of multiple values of nature and its benefits'. IPBES, the Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services, is a scientific, inter-governmental panel of the UN, which aims to provide objective and reliable information on the state and development of biodiversity and ecosystem services. The forthcoming report deals with the issue which methods and tools are suited for the assessment of the multiple values of biodiversity and ecosystem services. For more information on IPBES, see

Payments for environmental services: beyond schools of thought

Payments for environmental services (PES) have become a major and much debated approach to promoting sustainable land use worldwide. In an article just released in Nature Sustainability, Sven Wunder (Center for International Forestry Research), Stefanie Engel (IUSF) and others bring together scientists from different previously alleged 'schools of thought' on payments for environmental services (PES) to jointly highlight main PES lessons from an economics and social scienceperspective, and to what degree they are actually implemented in existing PES schemes worldwide.

Press here to see the press release.
Press here to see the paper.

3rd annual meeting of the Research Network on Economic Experiments for the Common Agricultural Policy on the 9th and 10th September 2019

The Alexander von Humboldt-Professorship of Environmental Economics will host the 3rd annual meeting of the Research Network on Economic Experiments for the Common Agricultural Policy (REECAP). The network unites researchers across Europe that are interested in evaluating agricultural and agri-environmental policies using experimental and behavioral economic methods.
The workshop will take place on the 9th and 10th of September 2019 in the Bohnenkamp-Haus of the Botanical Garden. The call for contributions and more information can be found on the REECAP webpage.
Call for Contributions


    Stefanie Engel was a keynote speaker at the 8th PhD workshop of the European Association of Agricultural Economists, which took place from June 10-12, 2019 at the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences in Uppsala, Sweden. Link

    Stefanie Engel will be a keynote speaker at the 6th Annual Conference of the French Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, which will take place from August 29-30, 2019 in Rennes, France. Link

    Pre-Conference Workshop: „The Role of Social Preferences for Conservation Behaviour“ on the 12th of September

    Latest publications

    • Ferré, M., Muller, A., Leifeld, J., Bader, C., Müller, M., Engel, S., Wichmann, S. 2019. Sustainable management of cultivated peatlands in Switzerland: insights, challenges, and opportunities. Land Use Policy 87 (2019) 104019;
    • Heitmann, F., Pahl-Wostl., C., Engel, S. 2019. Requirements Based Design of Environmental System of Systems: Development and Application of a Nexus Design Framework. Sustainability 2019, 11, 3464; doi:10.3390/su11123464

    • Thomas, F., E. Midler, M. Lefebvre and S. Engel (2019). Greening the Common Agricultural Policy: a behavioural perspective and lab-in-the-field experiment in Germany. European Review of Agricultural Economics, doi: 10.1093/erae/jbz014

    • Thomas, F., A. Koessler and S. Engel (2018). Stupsende Agrarpolitik? Nudging zu einer nachhaltigen Landwirtschaft. Vierteljahreshefte zur Wirtschaftsforschung 87 (2/2018): 127-138. DIW, Berlin.

    •  Wunder, S., Brouwer, R., Engel, S., Ezzine-de-Blas, D., Muradian, R., Pascual, U., Pinto, R. 2018. From principles to practice in paying for nature’s services. Nature Sustainability 1 (March 2018): 145-150.

    • Ferré, M., Engel, S., Gsottbauer, E. 2018. Which Agglomeration Payment for a Sustainable Management of Organic Soils in Switzerland? – An Experiment Accounting for Farmers' Cost Heterogeneity. Ecological Economics 150: 24-33.


    We are part of the

    LaER. is the experimental research group of the departments of Business and Economics, and of the Institute of Environmental Systems Research at the Universität Osnabrück