Dr Gsottbauer works on the intersection of economics, psychology and policy analysis, aiming to improve the design of environmental policy instruments. Currently, her research aims to investigate the effect of behavioural economic factors, such as social preferences, on different policies related to natural resource management and biodiversity protection, including the design of new policy instruments. In her analysis, she uses methods from experimental economics to game theory.
The research objective of her Visiting Fellowship is to experimentally investigate the effectiveness of incentives, such as payments for ecosystem services (PES) with different degrees of conditionality, to secure ecosystem service provision. Furthermore, the project will ncorporate insights from theories within behavioural economics and explore if social preferences, measured by simple economic games, interact with provided incentives and are able to account for policy performance. Overall the knowledge and research results created by this project will assist conservation organisations and policy makers to improve upon the design of PES policies.