Content of the final thesis at our professorship
At our professorship, Bachelor and Master theses are supervised. We accept both empirical and conceptual topics, but please note that the workload for both will be about the same. Even if you want to focus on a topic that is particularly relevant to practice, your thesis must have a solid theoretical foundation and meet the requirements of a scientific paper. Please note accordingly that you cannot submit a purely practical topic, e.g. a business plan, as a thesis.
The main focus of our chair is on Behavioral Economics, but we also cover general economic topics.
Prerequisite for a thesis at our chair are above-average results in the courses of our chair, whereby we place a special focus on the courses in the field of Behavioral Economics.
Please read the descriptions of the available topics on our website. If you think that one of the topics fits your interests and your course of study, please contact us by e-mail.
If you intend to work on a topic of your choice, please check the research interests of our team members for a potential consultant and apply with your proposal.
To apply for a thesis, please send us the following information by e-mail:
- Short letter of motivation (please indicate your preferred topic or provide a sketch of your self-chosen topic(s) of interest)
- Curriculum Vitae
- Your current course credit statement
Incomplete applications will not be considered. We will contact you promptly after receipt of your application.
Bachelor thesis: 3 months
Master thesis: 6 months
Fabienne Cantner is the contact person for Bachelor and Master theses. Please contact Ms. Cantner if you are interested in writing a thesis at our chair under the following e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Currently available topics
Bachelor Thesis / Master Thesis: Distorted Beliefs and Consumers’ Carbon Emissions
Climate change is one of the most pressing challenges we face today. The Intergovernmental
Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) estimates that human activities have caused the global mean
surface temperature to rise by approximately 1.0 °C since the industrial revolution. To prevent
global warming from exceeding 2.0 °C and endangering both natural and human systems,
carbon emissions need to be significantly reduced (Masson–Delmotte et al., 2021; Pörtner et
al., 2022). Consequently, governments worldwide are attempting to implement effective
Consumers have also become increasingly concerned about climate change (Goerg et al.,
2022; Gellrich et al., 2021; Leiserowitz et al., 2022). But despite evidence suggesting that many
consumers affirm to change their consumption habits, there is a considerable gap between
stated willingness and actual behavior (Groening et al., 2018; ElHaffar et al., 2020). In this final
thesis project, you will examine to what extent people’s – potentially distorted – beliefs about
their actual carbon footprint explain consumption behavior, and whether exogenously
manipulating these beliefs ultimately changes behavior.
The final thesis involves developing a survey with a representative sample of the German
population. The survey will be representative at the NUTS–2 level with regard to age, gender,
and income distribution to ensure sufficient regional and demographic variation. In the first part
of the survey, you will use a scientifically–validated carbon footprint calculator developed by
KlimAktiv to measure subjects’ carbon footprints in different consumption categories (e.g.
housing, mobility). In the second part, you will elicit – for each consumption category – subjects’
incentivized beliefs about their relative carbon footprints, compared to other subjects in the
The goal of this thesis is to document systematic correlations between people’s beliefs about
their carbon footprints and their relative abatement costs of specific consumption activities. For
instance, we posit that rural subjects have higher abatement costs for car usage than urban
subjects, who generally have shorter commutes and better public transport. Consequently, we
expect that rural subjects underestimate the carbon footprint of mobility more strongly than
urban subjects. Moreover, the results will help policymakers understand how people’s
misperceptions about their carbon impact interact with their individual preferences and life
Please send your current CV and transcript of records to email@example.com if you are
interested in the topic.