Jana Freundt

Welcome to my website!


I am a Postdoctoral Fellow at the Philosophy, Politics and Economics Program at the University of Pennsylvania. As a member of the Social Norms Group PENNSoNG and the BeLab, I am working on the research project "Freedoms, Inequality and Social Change" that investigates the relationship between individuals' perception of inequality and their feeling of autonomy.

My research interests lie in the fields of behavioral economics and philosophy & economics. Using experiments and surveys, I investigate individuals' redistribution preferences and fairness judgments as well as ethical behavior in markets and investment decisions. Furthermore, my research aims at understanding how democratic institutions affect (redistribution) behavior and how people perceive and value autonomy and freedom of choice. Before coming to Philadelphia, I was a PhD student at the Department of Economics, University of Hamburg, Germany, where I also worked as a research associate at the Chair of Andreas Lange.

I obtained a B.A. in French Linguistics at the University of Hamburg with a thesis on "Focus in French cleft constructions: An analysis in terms of evolutionary game theory" supervised by Aria Adli. Later, I graduated in the M.Sc. Economics with a thesis "On the Determinants of Giving under Risk", supervised by Andreas Lange.  During my PhD studies, I spent eight months as a visiting PhD student at the Department of Economics at the University of California in Berkeley (2016) and I visited the FAIR centre in Bergen for two weeks in 2016 and one week in 2017. 




Freundt, Jana and Andreas Lange. 2017. On the Determinants of Giving under Risk. 2017. Journal of Economic Behavior and Organization 142, 24-31.

Working Papers

(for a working paper pdf please contact me)

Manipulated Votes and Rule Compliance, together with Arno Apffelstaedt.

Green assets on financial markets – Is there a price premium for socially responsible investments?, together with Andreas Lange, Andreas Nicklisch and Stefan Palan.

Abstract: We investigate the financial performance of socially responsible investments in competition with conventional investments on financial markets. Setting up experimental asset markets for 'green', i.e. socially responsible, and non-green stocks and using a novel market design, we identify the impact of green investment opportunities on the development of prices and trading volumes. In particular, we test how speculation about future prices influences green market prices and to what extent subjects' behavior in the market is correlated with their generosity in individual donation decisions. We observe no price premium for the green assets. On the contrary, the introduction of green investment opportunities increases prices for the non-green assets compared to markets with only conventional firms.

Investments in Impure Public Goods.

Abstract: This paper experimentally investigates to what extend the type of risk inherent in social investments influences their attractiveness for investors. In particular, we analyze how risk in the provision of the public benefit and in the financial return to the investor each affect investment decisions separately and how, in addition, their correlation influences investments when both risks are simultaneously present. The results show that the reaction to risk in the private return to the investor and in the public benefit (that is paid to a charity) crucially depends on (1) the correlation of the co-existent risks and (2) the type of the investor. Identifying heterogeneous treatment effects shows a particularly strong reaction of pro-social and risk averse participants to coexistent risks when random draws are independent. It furthermore suggests that less inherently pro-social and less risk averse participants can be attracted to invest in risky impure public goods. The findings not only inform social investments such as crowdinvestments and microlending but also theories of giving under risk: the data rather support models that assume donors (also) care about the impact of their donation on the public good.

Social Investments in the Laboratory: On the Impact of Risky Private and Public Returns. together with Andreas Lange.

Abstract: We use a laboratory experiment to disentangle the impact of risk in the private and public dimension of investments in public goods. In variants of a standard public good game, we separate the return of a subject's contribution for herself vs. the return to other group members and introduce risk one-by-one in each dimension. Individuals' contributions strongly respond to the correlation of the risks in both components of the return. More precisely, the data suggests that participants do not take the whole distribution of risk into account but particularly respond to the downside risk of investments. This finding indicates the importance of attenuating the risk of complete failure for attracting investments in environmental protection projects like abatement of emissions.  

 Picture taken by  FotoNHHS

Picture taken by FotoNHHS


Current Position

Postdoctoral Fellow, University of Pennsylvania (since March 2018)

Member of PENNSoNG, University of Pennsylvania (since March 2018)

Member of BeLab, University of Pennsylvania (since March 2018)

Education and Past Positions

PhD in Economics, University of Hamburg (2014-2018), supervisor: Andreas Lange.

Research Associate, Chair of Andreas Lange, University of Hamburg (2014-2017).

Visiting PhD Student, hosted by Shachar Kariv, Department of Economics, University of California, Berkeley (8 months in 2016).

Visiting PhD Student, hosted by Alexander Cappelen, FAIR centre, Norwegian School of Economics (NHH), Bergen (2 weeks in 2016, 1 week in 2017).

Master of Science in Economics, University of Hamburg (2010-2013).

Bachelor of Arts in French Linguistics, University of Hamburg (2006-2009).

Teaching (at University of Hamburg)

Tutorials: Microeconomics (2015, B.Sc. Business Administration), Game Theory (2014, B.Sc. Economics), Econometrics II (2012, B.Sc. Economics )

Courses: Introduction to Academic Research (2012, 2013, 2015, B.Sc. Economics)

Invited Presentations

Research Seminar, Vienna University of Economics and Business, Institute for Markets and Strategy (Nov 2017)

Behavioral Economics Seminar, Kiel Institute for the World Economy (Aug 2017)

Student Workshop in Experimental/Behavioral Economics, Stanford University (Nov 2016)

Student Theory Seminar and Reading Group, University of California, Berkeley (Mai 2016)

Conference Presentations

2017: Behavioral Models of Politics Conference, Duke University, Durham; International Meeting on Experimental and Behavioral Social Sciences, Barcelona

2016: European Meeting of the Economic Science Association, Bergen

2015: Winter Experimental Social Sciences Institute – Alumni Workshop (sponsored by Princeton University and New York University), Florence; European Meeting of the Economic Science Association, Heidelberg; Social and Biological Roots of Cooperation and Risk Taking Workshop, Kiel; 6th Meeting of the French Experimental Economics Association, Paris

2014: 16th Foundations of Utility and Risk Conference, Rotterdam; 5th Meeting of the French Experimental Economics Association, Besancon

Summer Schools

Spring School in Behavioral Economics, Rady School of Management, San Diego, and FAIR (NHH), Bergen (1 week in March 2016)

WESSI – Winter Experimental Social Sciences Institute, New York University, Abu Dhabi (2.5 weeks in Jan 2014)

Refereeing Activities

Journal of Economic Behavior and Organization, Social Choice and Welfare