Esther Blanco

Professor of Economics,  University of Innsbruck, 

Affiliated Faculty, The Ostrom Workshop, Indiana University.

I am co-PI of the Special Research Area on Credence Goods, Incentives and Behavior (~4 million Euros), leading one project on information provision in green markets and a second one on insurance against information asymmetries. I am also Coordinating Lead Author of the APCC Assessment Report on Climate Change in Austria (2022- 2025, ~2 million Euros), for the chapter on navigating demand-side transformations towards net-zero societies. I contribute to the scientific community of the Ostrom Workshop, co-funded by Nobel Prize Winner Elinor Ostrom, strengthening the research on commons and governance. 

My research examines the factors shaping individual and firm decisions to conserve natural resources. It crosses the fields of environmental, behavioral and experimental economics. Key topics in my research include responses to the scarcity of natural resources, as well as to the fragility of resources and damages due to climate change, including mitigation and adaptation choices. My research spans diverse populations, from university students to non-standard groups in lower-income countries, including pastoralists, farmers, landowners, fishermen, local leaders and legislators. 

My ongoing research focuses on addressing the research gap identified in the latest 2022 IPCC report of Working Group III, focusing on the dynamic interaction between individual, social, and structural drivers of change for climate action. I am working on a systematic evaluation of components of cooperative behavior—individual preferences, strategic behavior, and collective action—in fostering climate-friendly behavior and support for climate policy. Methodologically, I emphasize randomized control trials and field experiments in multi-method studies including complementary data from questionnaires, surveys, interviews and secondary data to assess the robustness and external validity of findings.

Highlighted ongoing projects

#ManyDesignsCarbon is an innovative crowd-science initiative focused on exploring the influence of behavioral interventions on the social support for carbon pricing. Bringing together teams around the world to answer "What is the impact of behavioral interventions on the real-world support for a price of carbon?"

#Cooperate4Climate builds competences for decision-making for the climate for adolescents; more informed decision-making, more reflective, and intentional in nature, based on individual preferences and possibilities.

5 most relevant publications