Aller à : contenu haut bas recherche
EN     FR
Vous êtes ici:   UNIL > HEC Inst. > HEC App. > RECHERCHE

Christian Zehnder


Full Professor
Department of Organizational Behavior

Internef, room 612
Tel 021.692.36.81

Postal address
Université de Lausanne
Quartier UNIL-Chamberonne
Bâtiment Internef
1015 Lausanne


master Organizational Theory and Decision Making
Related programmes
Master of Science (MSc) in Economics
Maîtrise universitaire ès Sciences en management, Orientation Behaviour, Economics and Evolution
Master of Science (MSc) in Management, Orientation Strategy, Organization and Leadership
Master of Science (MSc) in Management, Orientation Marketing
Master of Science (MSc) in Management, Orientation Business Analytics


Research areas

In its most general sense, my research program seeks to elucidate the driving forces behind economic decisions and to understand how behavioral motives and social considerations affect market outcomes, organizations and institutions. Most of my work can be attributed to the field of "behavioral economics", a relatively new line of research that combines insights from economics and psychology and examines systematic departures from the standard assumptions in economic models

In exploring my research questions I apply a variety of research tools, including laboratory experiments, field experiments and game theoretic models. The great advantage of the experimental approach is that it allows establishing a controlled decision environment in which behavior can be perfectly observed. Experiments enable us to study interaction of people in a very clean and well defined set-up, where many of the measurement and endogeneity problems present in field data can be overcome Furthermore, in many cases experimental investigations can provide valuable insights as they permit direct and rigorous tests of theoretical predictions. My research therefore reflects an ongoing interplay between experimental examinations and advancements in behavioral theory


Mariela Chacaltana Bonifaz

  Oriana De Saint Priest
Tel: (021 692) 3472
Room: NEF 623

full description
Sirio Lonati
Tel: (021 692) 3472
Room: NEF 623

full description
  Benjamin Maillard



36 last publications

: Peer Reviewed


Valle Lara Victoria, ZEHNDER Christian (Dir.) (2019). THREE ESSAYS IN EXPERIMENTAL ECONOMICS. Université de Lausanne, Faculté des hautes études commerciales.


Lonati S., Quiroga B.F., Zehnder C. ; Antonakis J. (2018). On doing relevant and rigorous experiments: Review and recommendations. Journal of Operations Management, 64, 19-40. Peer Reviewed


Bartling Björn, Grieder Manuel ; Zehnder Christian (2017). Competitive pricing reduces wasteful counterproductive behaviors. Journal of Public Economics, 156, 34-47.

Zehnder C., Herz H. ; Bonardi J.-P. (2017). A productive clash of cultures: Injecting economics into leadership research. The Leadership Quarterly, 28, 65-85. Peer Reviewed


Brown M., Schmitz J. ; Zehnder C. (2016). Social Norms and Strategic Default. Swiss Institute of Banking and Finance.

Chassang S. Zehnder C. (2016). Rewards and punishments: informal contracting through social preferences. Theoretical Economics, 11, 1145-1179.

Chassang S. , Zehnder C. (2016). Rewards and punishments: Informal contracting through social preferences . Theoretical Economics, 11, 1145-1179.

Zehnder C. (2016). Incomplete Contracts, Reference Points and Communication. The Impact of Incomplete Contracts on Economics. Oxford University Press.


Antonakis J., D'adda G., Weber R. ; Zehnder C. (2015). Just Words? Just Speeches? – On the Economic Effects of Charismatic Leadership. HEC Lausanne.

Bartling B., Grieder M. ; Zehnder C. (2015). Is Competition Fair? An Experimental Study. Swiss National Science Foundation.

Bartling B., Grieder M. ; Zehnder C. (2015). Does Competition Justify Inequality?. University of Lausanne.

Bendahan S., Zehnder C., Pralong F.P. ; Antonakis J. (2015). Leader corruption depends on power and testosterone. The Leadership Quarterly, 26, 101-122. Peer Reviewed

Fehr E., Hart O. ; Zehnder C. (2015). How do informal agreements and revision shape contractual reference points?. Journal of the European Economic Association, 13, 1-28. Peer Reviewed


Herz H., Schunk D. ; Zehnder C. (2014). How do judgmental overconfidence and overoptimism shape innovative activity?. Games and Economic Behavior, 83, 1-23. Peer Reviewed


Eisenegger C., Pedroni A., Rieskamp J., Zehnder C., Ebstein R., Fehr E. ; Knoch D. (2013). DAT1 polymorphism determines L-DOPA effects on learning about others' prosociality. PLoS ONE, 8, e67820. Peer Reviewed

Falk A., Meier S. ; Zehnder C. (2013). Do lab experiments misrepresent social preferences? The case of self-selected student samples. Journal of the European Economic Association, 11, 839-852. Peer Reviewed

Falk. A. , Zehnder. C. (2013). A city-wide experiment on trust discrimination. Journal of Public Economics, 100, 15-27. Peer Reviewed

Foray D., Grieder M., Lalive R. ; Zehnder C. (2013). Peux-tu me dire si je dois lire cet article? Une introduction théorique et expérimentale à l'évaluation de la recherche par les non-scientifiques. Penser la valeur d'usage des sciences (pp. 199-212). Paris: Editions des archives contemporaines.


Barmettler F., Fehr E. ; Zehnder C. (2012). Big experimenter is watching you! Anonymity and prosocial behavior in the laboratory. Games and Economic Behavior, 75, 17-34. Peer Reviewed


Fehr E., Hart O. ; Zehnder C. (2011). Contracts as reference points - Experimental evidence. American Economic Review, 101, 493-525. Peer Reviewed

Grieder M., Zehnder C. ; Krings F. (2011, Jan). The Value of Voice - How Granting And Denying Voice Affects Reciprocity. 12th Congress of the Swiss Psychological Society.

Zehnder C. (2011). A behavioral view of employment: The role of fairness for motivation. Responsible management practices for the 21st century. Pearson Education, Paris.


Brown M. , Zehnder C. (2010). The emergence of information sharing in credit markets. Journal of Financial Intermediation, 19, 255-278. Peer Reviewed


Falk Armin , Zehnder Christian (2009). Discrimination and In-group Favoritism in a Citywide Trust Experiment. University of Lausanne.

Fehr Ernst , Zehnder Christian (2009). Reputation and Credit Market Formation: How Relational Incentives and Legal Contract Enforcement Interact. University of Lausanne.

Fehr E., Brown M. ; Zehnder C. (2009). On Reputation - A Microfoundation of Contract Enforcement and Price Rigidity. The Economic Journal, 119, 333-353. Peer Reviewed

Fehr E., Goette L. ; Zehnder C. (2009). A Behavioral Account of the Labor Market: The Role of Fairness Concerns. Annual Review of Economics, 1, 355-384. Peer Reviewed

Fehr E., Goette L. ; Zehnder C. (2009). The Behavioral Economics of the Labor Market: Central Findings and Their Policy Implications. Policymaking Insights From Behavioral Economics (pp. 171-240). Federal Reserve Bank of Boston, Boston, Massachusetts.

Fehr E., Hart O. ; Zehnder C. (2009). Contracts, Reference Points, and Competition - Behavioral Effects of the Fundamental Transformation. Journal of the European Economic Association, 7, 561-572. Peer Reviewed

Fehr E. , Zehnder C. (2009). Altruism (Economics perspective). The Oxford Companion to Emotion and the Affective Sciences (pp. 24-26). Oxford University Press, Oxford, UK.

Fehr E. , Zehnder C. (2009). Trust. The Oxford Companion to Emotion and the Affective Sciences (pp. 392-393). Oxford University Press, Oxford, UK.

Fehr E. , Zehnder C. (2009). Reputation and Credit Market Formation: How Relational Incentives and Legal Contract Enforcement Interact. Forschungsinstitut zur Zukunft der Arbeit Institute for the Study of Labor.


Fehr E., Hart O.D. ; Zehnder C. (2008). Contracts as Reference Points - Experimental Evidence. NBER (National Bureau of Economic Research).


Brown M. , Zehnder C. (2007). Credit Reporting, Relationship Banking, and Loan Repayment. Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, 39, 1883-1918. Peer Reviewed


Falk A., Fehr E. ; Zehnder C. (2006). Fairness Perceptions and Reservation Wages - The Behavioral Effects of Minimum Wage Laws. Quarterly Journal of Economics, 121, 1347-1381. Peer Reviewed


Zehnder C., Fehr E. & Schmutzler A. (Dir.) (2005). Reciprocity, Reputation and Performance. Universität Zürich.



2001 - 2005
Phd in Economics at the University of Zurich (with Ernst Fehr)

1996 - 2001
Studies of Economics at the University of Zurich (Master degree)

1992 - 1996
Maturity (Type E - Business and Economics) at the Kantonsschule Baden

Work experience

2008 - present
Assistant Professor of Organizational Behavior and Decision Making, University of Lausanne

2007 - 2008
PostDoc in Organizational Economics, Harvard Business School

2007 - 2008
Visiting Scholar, Federal Reserve Bank of Boston

2006 - 2007
Assistant Professor (Oberassistent), University of Zurich

2001 - 2005
Research and Teaching Assistant, University of Zurich (with Ernst Fehr)


  • compensation and motivation
  • contracts economy
  • fairness and trust in organisations
  • organisational behavior
  • psychological effects of minimum wages


Internef - CH-1015 Lausanne - Suisse  -   Tél. +41 21 692 33 00  -   Fax +41 21 692 33 05
Swiss University