We work on projects with the potential to impact both academic economic research and economic policy-making.

Example projects

We are currently setting up our project portfolio for the coming years. Following ZEW's mission, all our projects are meant to impact both academic economic research and economic policy-making and to raise synergies between the two. All projects address one or more of the research areas we are working on. A few examples of projects we are currently kicking off:

Algorithmic bias in online consumer credit scoring

  • Online retailers and payment services increasingly use their own credit-scoring models instead of credit registry assessments.
  • Such credit-scoring models are trained on existing customer data or externally purchased data, e.g. online-tracking data or social network information. Much of this is happening outside the regulated financial system.
  • Do these credit scores exhibit biases along protected attributes?

Information provision in online rental marketplaces to avoid discrimination

  • The majority of the matching of housing supply and demand in OECD countries happens on online rental marketplaces.
  • Similar to labor markets, they are likely to show discriminatory patterns against protected attributes.
  • Can we redesign information provision in the tenant screening process to alleviate discrimination?

Designing markets to uncover algorithmic misbehavior

  • Existing regulatory frameworks and recent policy initiatives increasingly require algorithms checks.
  • In contrast to common checking procedures (for other products), algorithm checks have differing requirements, e.g. higher checking frequency due to the dynamic nature of algorithms, intellectual property issues, or disincentives of participants.
  • Can we design market mechanisms that ensure an adequate assessment of algorithmic misbehavior?