Jakub Steiner joined our Faculty at the beginning of January 2019 as Associate Professor for microeconomic theory (50% position). His primary research interests are in behavioral economics. In the introductory interview he explains his motivation to join the University of Zurich and what he would like to convey to his students.
What do you focus on in your research?
I've spent last few years studying behavioral economics. I'm quite new to this topic, so I'm fascinated by all the documented biases of human behavior. We, people, seem to systematically misinterpret uncertainty. As a theorist, I would love to move beyond the description of these biases, and would like to know why they arise. Do these biases have a function? How do they change from one environment to another?
What would you like to convey to your students?
I still recall my shock when I learned as a student how little we know how economies work. For instance, we, economists are stil not quite sure how is the monetary policy transmitted to real economy, and we can't ask central bankers to wait until we figure it out. Good economic education conveys economic findings as an ongoing debate disciplined by a mixture of logic and empirics.
What were the decisive factors for you to join the University of Zurich?
Great economists working in the department. Zurich is a dream place for somebody interested in the intersection of behavioral economics and economic theory. On top of that, the departmant was very acommodating to my preference for the part-time position.