ECONtribute Research Workshop: Autonomy and Paternalism

ECONtribute invites to the “Markets & Values” ECONtribute Summer Workshop 2022. This workshop brings together both senior experts as well as promising young researchers from all over the world to network and present new ideas and novel evidence on economic approaches to autonomy and paternalism.

People can and sometimes are forced to delegate decisions to others, including machines. Yet, research in economics is only beginning to understand what “giving away” decisions or decision rights means for people (for those who give away and those who are given these rights). In some situations, people pay to make a decision themselves. In others, people seem to enjoy not having to make a decision. To willingly give away decision rights requires trust in the receiver, be it another person, an institution, or an AI. What are the cognitive, affective, and motivational mechanisms that shape this trust? When designing the decision environment, what is the right degree of paternalism? Should paternalism primarily be used to strengthen the autonomy of the individual? When making decisions for others, the question arises in how far people enjoy this power, how this might influence their decisions, whether they want to keep the freedom of the delegee or act paternalistically, and how much these decisions are in the best interest of others. When delegating, it is typically assumed that responsibility is shared. But how does this shared responsibility affect people’s decisions and how are their outcomes viewed by others? Do people exploit delegation or decision authority for selfish reasons? What role do levels of hierarchy within organizations play for the exploitation of delegation? How can “shared responsibility” be modelled and empirically assessed? What role do new technologies (such as algorithms) play for questions of autonomy and decision rights? We are particularly interested in questions that touch upon morally relevant choices and on how these questions interact with markets.

Keynote lectures

by Oriana Bandiera (London School of Economics) and B. Douglas Bernheim (Stanford University).


The workshop will take place virtually (via Zoom) from June 27-29, 2022 between 2pm and 8pm CET (8am and 2pm EST).


The notifications of acceptance have been sent out. Registration  for participants without a presentation is now open.


We plan to have 16-18 non-parallel live presentations of about 30 minutes plus a session of live blitz talks (5 min). There will be no participation fee.


27.06. - 29.06.2022

14:00 - 20:00

online via Zoom

Research Event

Local organizers

Arno Apffelstaedt

Bernd Irlenbusch

Louis Strang

Further info



Louis Strang