Esther Blanco, PhD

I am Assistant Professor in the Department of Public Finance at the University of Innsbruck, Austria and Affiliated Faculty of The Ostrom Workshop, Indiana University, USA. I hold a PhD in Economics (excellent cum laude) with a research interest in environmental and natural resource economics, game theory, experimental economics, public economics, and industrial organization.

 

My research program addresses how economic agents make decisions in social dilemmas on the use of natural resources; focusing on incentives and how these incentives are affected by contextual factors – such as institutional change.

 

A first line of research focuses on the use of natural resources in settings of scarcity and conflict. The study of scarcity includes, in a broad sense, the analysis of behavioral responses to changes in the availability of resources, the private and social marginal value of those resources as well as their resilience. My interest in conflict refers to settings where there is a trade-off between conservation and social welfare and on how institutional change can alleviate such trade-offs. 

 

 A second line of research addresses firms' corporate social responsibility. Research efforts in this direction study voluntary over performance by firms and the role of certifications in modifying firms’ strategies as a result of market incentives. More generally, this line of research addresses information problems associated to markets for credence goods and the role of institutional development to alleviate them.