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Cluster of Excellence ECONtribute: Markets & Public Policy

The German Research Foundation (DFG) and the German Science Council (WR) announced the successful Clusters of Excellence in the national Excellence Strategy competition on 27 September. With the Excellence Strategy, the German federal and state governments want to strengthen the academic landscape in Germany and further promote the country’s top position in the international competition of universities.

Cluster of Excellence in economics: ECONtribute

The new Cluster of Excellence in economics of the Universities of Cologne and Bonn conducts research on markets, focusing on the tension between business, politics and society (public policy). The aim of the scientists involved in the Cluster is to better understand markets and to develop a new paradigm for the analysis of market failure that goes beyond traditional approaches and takes current political, social and technological challenges into account. 

Social concerns such as fairness, social mobility and social responsibility should be taken into account in the design of markets. In the work of the Cluster, these objectives will be systematically integrated into the analysis of incentives, market mechanisms and political decision-making processes.

Comments on the Cluster of Excellence

Prof. Dr. Felix Bierbrauer

We are very happy about the funding. With ECONtribute, we want to hazard a new, comprehensive perspective on markets. Financial crises, the need to regulate digital markets or increasing inequality – traditional perspectives no longer suffice to understand these things. With ECONtribute, we will not only further develop insights from the field of economics, but also from political science, psychology and law.

Prof. Dr. Felix Bierbrauer, ECONtribute spokesperson 2019/20, WiSo Faculty

Professor Dr. Isabel Schnabel, spokesperson at the University of Bonn, says: "We will provide new answers to the question of how markets produce good results and in which cases more political regulation is needed. To achieve this, we will rely on close exchange with political decision makers and the public sphere. We want the ECONtribute network to establish an entirely new dialogue between top research and policy." The ECONtribute Cluster will meet the new challenges of markets under the roof of the Reinhard Selten Institute, which both universities founded last year. It is the only Cluster in economics.

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Prof. Dr. Werner Mellis

The funding of our economic Cluster of Excellence ECONtribute is a significant success with great appeal. Together with our colleagues from the University of Bonn, we are very pleased about the successful performance of the joint ECONtribute cluster: Markets & Public Policy. I would like to express my sincere thanks to all the researchers and academics, but also to all those involved, whose dedicated commitment has made this success possible!

Prof. Dr. Werner Mellis, Dean of the WiSo Faculty at the University of Cologne

Professor Dr. Frank Schulz-Nieswandt, Vice Dean of Studies at the WiSo Faculty of the University of Cologne, emphasises that students will also benefit from the funding of the economic Cluster of Excellence.

Prof. Dr. Frank Schulz-Nieswandt

It is part of the Faculty's self-image that good teaching must be anchored in very good research. Because a university is a place of research-based learning in exchange with research-oriented teaching. Students can be proud to learn at the WiSo Faculty. Learning is not to be understood as cramming, but as action-oriented learning. After all, university education is about the competence to shape social reality in a responsible and value-oriented way. To achieve this, a school must be very well positioned.

Prof. Dr. Frank Schulz-Nieswandt, Vice Dean of Studies at the WiSo Faculty