Dr. Elisabeth Gsottbauer is an Environmental Economist from Austria working at the Institute of Public Finance, University of Innsbruck on the intersection of economics, psychology and policy analysis aiming to improve the design of environmental policy instruments. Currently, her research aims to investigate the effect of behavioural economic factors, such as social preferences, on different policies related to natural resource management and biodiversity protection including the design of new policy instruments. In her analysis she uses methods from experimental economics to game theory.
Dr. Gsottbauer will conduct her Visiting Fellowship at the University of Cambridge where she will work with Prof. Andreas Kontoleon from the Department of Land Economy in order to develop a new research line exploring the use of field experiments to study the optimal design of environmental conservation policies. Prof. Kontoleon was chosen as an ideal host as he and his team is dedicated to study policies for the management of land and natural resources using a combination of experimental field research and micro-econometric methods.
The research objective of the Visiting Fellowship is to experimentally investigate the effectiveness of incentives such as payments for ecosystem services (PES) with different degrees of conditionality to secure ecosystem service provision. Furthermore, it will also incorporate insights from theories within behavioural economics and explore if social preferences, measured by simple economic games, interact with provided incentives and are able to account for policy performance. Overall, knowledge and research results created by the Fellowship will assist conservation organization and policy makers to improve upon the design of PES policies.