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Prof. Dr. Matthias Sutter

Cluster position Principal Investigator

Cluster member since 2019

Main research topics

Experimental economics, children’s economic preferences, team decision-making, credence goods markets, patience, public goods


Matthias Sutter is the Director of the Max Planck Institute for Research on Collective Goods in Bonn and part-time Professor of Experimental Economics at the Universities of Cologne and Innsbruck. Furthermore, he is a Research Fellow of the IZA and CESifo. He studied Economics in Innsbruck and received his PhD in 1999. Before taking over the executive management of the Max Planck Institute for Research on Collective Goods in 2017, he worked as a full professor in Florence (EUI), Innsbruck, and Cologne.


Published papers

Discussion papers

Policy briefs


What is the best thing about your job?

The luxury of dealing with questions that I find interesting.

If you had not gone into research, what would you be doing today?

Ever since I was young I knew I wanted to do scientific work – even though I studied theology and only started my economics degree at the age of 24. But I am interested in multiple scientific disciplines, including mathematics and physics, for example.

Who or what inspires you?

Daily life and observing how people behave.

When was the last time you had to change your mind?

Constantly, for instance when evaluating empirical data and comparing them with my priors. But these are exactly the exciting points at which one would like to dig deeper.

Which advice would you have needed yourself as a doctoral student?

I got the most important one from my PhD-supervisor: Do what you are passionate about, then you will work best.