What's Worth Knowing?

A Global Survey on Problem Choice in Economics

We ran a large survey among academic economists around the globe in summer 2020 and received about ten thousand responses. The study revolves around the choice of research topics in economics and addresses two main questions: On which topics should economists work? Which styles of research (e.g. policy relevance versus intrinsic interest) should they endorse? The survey hopes to stimulate and inform a discussion of research topics and practices in economics. The results will be made public.

The project is run by Professor Armin Falk and Peter Andre at the briq Institute on Behavior & Inequality and is supported by the Collaborative Research Center Transregio 224 of the University of Bonn.

about us

Armin Falk

Armin Falk

Armin Falk is interested in behavioral economics with a focus on inequality, childhood development and moral behavior. He is Professor of Economics at the University of Bonn and CEO of the Institute on Behavior and Inequality (briq) and the Bonn Laboratory for Experimental Economics at the University of Bonn. In addition, he is Program Director at the Institute of Labor Economics (IZA), an external scientific member of the Max-Planck Institute for Collective Goods, a fellow of the Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR), a fellow of the Center for Economic Studies (CESifo), a research professor at the German Institute for Economic Research (DIW), and a member of the Scientific Advisory Council of the Ministry for Economics and Technology. His work has been recognized with numerous awards, including the Yrjö Jahnsson Award in Economics (2011), the Gottfried-Wilhelm-Leibniz Award of the German Science Foundation (2009), and the Gossen Award of the German Economic Association (2008). Falk has also received many research grants, including two European Research Council Grants: an ERC Starting Independent Research Grant in 2008 (on the theme of preferences) and an ERC Advanced Grant in 2015 (on the theme of morals). [more]

Peter Andre

Peter Andre

Peter Andre is a Ph.D. student at the University of Bonn. His main field is behavioral economics, where he focuses on individuals' perceptions, beliefs, and fairness ideals. [more]

frequently asked questions

We invite scholars who actively contribute to research in economics. We selected authors who recently published in an economics journal, indexed by EconLit, and doctoral students from several graduate institutions. Only email addresses which are publically available will be used. If you receive an invitation, we would be grateful if you take a couple of minutes and participate in the survey.

Participation is possible only by invitation. Invitations are sent out in June and July. You may want to check your email account's spam folder or the inbox of secondary email addresses.

Yes, the study was approved by the local ethics committee at the medical department of the University of Bonn. Approval date: 11th of April 2020. Approval number: 119/20.

The survey is generously funded by the Collaborative Research Center Transregio 224 and the briq Institute on Behavior & Inequality, which was initiated and is supported by the Deutsche Post Foundation.

The data will be stored and analyzed in full compliance with the highest standards of the European Union data protection laws (GDPR). In particular, no conclusions about your person will be drawn. You can find the survey's data protection information here.


Institute on Behavior & Inequality
Peter Andre and Armin Falk Schaumburg-Lippe-Straße 5–9
53113 Bonn, Germany


briq project