Prof. Esther Blanco, PhD

I am Professor of Economics in the Department of Public Finance at the University of Innsbruck, Austria and Affiliated Faculty of The Ostrom Workshop, Indiana University, USA. I am Deputy Head of the Research Area Economy, Politics and Society, at the University of Innsbruck, conglomerating the research conducted by more than 400 researchers in economics, finance, management, political science, sociology, education, psychology and statistics.


I am co-PI of the Special Research Area on Credence Goods, Incentives and Behavior (~4 million Euros). I am also Coordinating Lead Author of the APCC Assessment Report on Climate Change in Austria (2022- 2025, ~2 million Euros). 


Research highlight! Check out my research on local governance of natural resources that has received in 2022 the Prize to the Best Published Paper by the Spanish-Portuguese Association of Environmental and Natural Resource Economists: 

Procedural fairness and nepotism among local traditional and democratic leaders in rural Namibia. 2020. (with Vollan, B., Steimanis, I., Petutschnig, F. and Prediger, S.) Science Advances, Vol. 6, no. 15, eaay7651. doi: 10.1126/sciadv.aay7651


My research program addresses the influence of institutions on cooperative behavior in fostering greener, fairer, knowledge-based societies. My current research builds mainly on multi-method studies coupling evidence from field experiments with complementary data from questionnaires, surveys, interviews and secondary data to assess the robustness and external validity of findings.


The scientific contributions of my previous research revolve around three topics: First, I have developed new paradigms in experimental games to incorporate real-life complexity from conservation decisions. Specifically, including probabilistic damages, analyzing the strategic interaction of mitigation and adaptation decisions and incorporating donors in payments for ecosystem services. Second, I have pushed the methodological and knowledge boundaries on the interrelation between local governance of natural resources and pro-social and anti-social preferences. Studies in this line of research use multi-method, multi-disciplinary research approaches with participants in lower income countries. Third, I have provided theoretical and experimental evidence on the interaction between firms’ certified and uncertified green claims in settings where there is scope for fraud, advancing our understanding on corporate social responsibility. My research informs policy design fostering greener, fairer, societies, pursuing the objectives of the Climate Change Paris Agreement, the EU Biodiversity Strategy for 2030, the EU Green Deal, and the UN Sustainable Development Goals.



List of Publications


List of Research Projects


Google Scholar Profile