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Dr Sebastian Tonke receives VfS dissertation prize

WiSo-Alumnus awarded for practice-oriented development research.

 Dr. Sebastian Tonke

Sebastian Tonke receives the award for the best dissertation in the field of practice-relevant development research from the Development Economics Committee of the "Verein für Socialpolitik" (VfS). With roughly 4,000 personal and institutional members, the Verein für Socialpolitik is one of the largest professional economics associations in Europe. The prize is supported by KfW Entwicklungsbank.

The dissertation was supervised by Professor Bettina Rockenbach, (WiSo Chair for Experimental Economic and Behavioural Research), cluster member at ECONtribute: Markets & Public Policy. The prize honours young researchers whose doctoral theses combine scientific excellence and practical relevance for development policy.

In his dissertation, Sebastian Tonke is investigating, in cooperation with public water suppliers in Kosovo and Namibia, how a sustainable use of the increasingly scarce resource water can be achieved. To this end, he develops innovative instruments from behavioural economics to encourage consumers to use water in a more sustainable way. The interventions are evaluated with the help of controlled experimental field studies and are characterised by their effectiveness, cost efficiency and social compatibility. The dissertation shows the potential, but also the limitations of behavioural economic interventions to solve complex, global problems.

Dr. Sebastian Tonke is now working as a post-doc at the Max Planck Institute for Research on Collective Goods in Bonn. The Institute (Director: Prof. Dr. Matthias Sutter) is also closely associated with the WISo Faculty and a cooperation partner of ECONtribute: Markets & Public Policy, so that the WiSo-Faculty can look forward to a further close cooperation with Dr. Sebastian Tonke.