Urs Fischbacher (born 17 September 1959 in Dietikon, Zürich) is a Swiss economist and professor of applied economic research at the University of Konstanz. He is director of the Thurgau Economic Institute, an affiliated institute of the University of Konstanz.[1] He pioneered the field of software tools for experimental economics.[2]


A native of Dietikon (Switzerland), Urs Fischbacher studied mathematics at the University of Zurich from 1978 to 1985, earning a doctoral degree under Prof. Dr. Pierre Gabriel with a thesis on the combinatorics of algebras with finite ideals. Thereafter, Fischbacher worked as a software developer in the private sector for Mettler Instrumente (1985–87) and Mecasoft AG (1987-81) before becoming a researcher at the Swiss Federal Institute WSL. In 1995, Fischbacher began working at the Institute for Empirical Research in Economics on the development of z-Tree, a programming language for the implementation of scientific laboratory experiments that is being used worldwide in numerous research institutions.,[3][4] where he also began to perform research in experimental economics. This research resulted in his habilitation in economics in 2006 on the topics of human motivation and cooperation. Since 2007, Fischbacher has been a full professor at the University of Konstanz and the head of the Thurgau Institute of Economics. Additionally, he has also held visiting appointments at Harvard Business School, the University of Copenhagen, the University of Nottingham, and the University of Maastricht. In terms of professional service, Fischbacher performs editorial duties at the European Journal of Political Economy, the Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics, and Experimental Economics, among others. [5]


Urs Fischbacher's research areas include experimental economics, behavioral economics and neuroeconomics. According to IDEAS/RePEc, he belongs to the 1% of most highly cited economists.[6] Key findings of his research include:

Awards and reception

Fischbacher is listed by Thomson Reuters in the "Highly Cited Researchers 2014" list as one of the world's most cited scientists.[15] In the FAZ economists 2014 Rankings, he finished second.[16] In December 2016, Fischbacher was awarded the Joachim Herz Research prize for "Best research work". The prize acknowledged his research on reciprocity in social exchange and the development of the z-Tree laboratory software.[17]

Selected publications

Journal articles


  1. ^ Webpage of Urs Fischbacher at the University of Konstanz. Retrieved February 17, 2018.
  2. ^ Balietti, Stefano (18 November 2016). "nodeGame: Real-time, synchronous, online experiments in the browser". Behavior Research Methods. 49 (5): 1696–1715. doi:10.3758/s13428-016-0824-z. PMID 27864814.
  3. ^ "Offizielle Webpräsenz von z-Tree". Retrieved February 17, 2018.
  4. ^ "Interview with Science Watch". Retrieved February 17, 2018.
  5. ^ Webpage of Urs Fischbacher on the website of the University of Konstanz (incl. CV). Retrieved February 17th, 2018.
  6. ^ Ranking of economists on IDEAS/RePEc. Retrieved February 17th, 2018.
  7. ^ Fischbacher, U.; Gachter, S.; Fehr, E. (2001). "Are people conditionally cooperative? Evidence from a public goods experiment". Economics Letters. 71 (3): 397–404. doi:10.1016/s0165-1765(01)00394-9. hdl:20.500.11850/146559. S2CID 15885836.
  8. ^ Falk A., Fischbacher U. (2006). "A theory of reciprocity". Games and Economic Behavior. 54 (2): 293–315. doi:10.1016/j.geb.2005.03.001. S2CID 5714242.
  9. ^ Falk A., Fehr E., Fischbacher U. (2003). "On the Nature of Fair Behavior". Economic Inquiry. 41 (1): 20–26. doi:10.1093/ei/41.1.20.((cite journal)): CS1 maint: multiple names: authors list (link)
  10. ^ Fehr E., Fischbacher U. (2002). "Why Social Preferences Matter - The Impact of Non-Selfish Motives on Competition, Cooperation and Incentives". Economic Journal. 112 (478): 1–33. doi:10.1111/1468-0297.00027. hdl:20.500.11850/146625. S2CID 15380244.
  11. ^ Fischbacher U., Gachter S. (2010). "Social Preferences, Beliefs, and the Dynamics of Free Riding in Public Goods Experiments". American Economic Review. 100 (1): 541–556. doi:10.1257/aer.100.1.541. S2CID 8204954.
  12. ^ Armin F., Fehr E., Fischbacher U. (2008). "Testing theories of fairness - Intentions matter". Games and Economic Behavior. 62 (1): 287–303. doi:10.1016/j.geb.2007.06.001. hdl:20.500.11850/146605.((cite journal)): CS1 maint: multiple names: authors list (link)
  13. ^ Fischbacher U., Föllmi-Heusi F. (2013). "Lies in Disguise - An Experimental Study on Cheating". Journal of the European Economic Association. 11 (3): 525–547. doi:10.1111/jeea.12014.
  14. ^ Falk A., Fehr E., Fischbacher U. (2005). "Driving Forces Behind Informal Sanctions". Econometrica. 73 (6): 2017–2030. doi:10.1111/j.1468-0262.2005.00644.x. hdl:10419/33524. S2CID 13426232.((cite journal)): CS1 maint: multiple names: authors list (link)
  15. ^ "Highly Cited Researchers 2014". Retrieved February 17, 2018.
  16. ^ "F.A.Z.:: Economist ranking in 2014". Faz.net. Retrieved February 17, 2018.
  17. ^ "Southwest Press, in 8 December 2016". Archived from the original on 23 December 2016. Retrieved 17 February 2018.