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Dr. Stephan Wolf



Dr. Stephan Wolf

Researcher and Lecturer
Department of Environmental Economics and Resource Management

University of Freiburg, Germany

Email: stephan.wolf@ere.uni-freiburg.de
phone: +49 (0)761 203-3795

physical adress


Short bio

Currently, I am a post-doctoral researcher and teaching assistant at the University of Freiburg, Germany, and part of its Environmental Economics and Resource Management group. My main interests lie in the economic and philosophical study of what “sustainable resource use” may actually mean, and how to foster institutions which help realize respective development paths. My undergraduate studies in “Environmental and Resource Management” (BTU Cottbus, Germany) covered a variety of disciplinary approaches towards understanding environmental problems. Over time, I developed a deep interest in economic issues, so I continued my studies in economics as a post-graduate at the University of Freiburg, Germany. After completing my Master’s, I went on with my Ph.D. dissertation on intergenerational justice from a social contractarian perspective. A part of my research comprised running experiments in which I investigate on what resource distribution individuals agree in stylized decision making settings. Now being a post-doctoral researcher, I continue this approach since with each experiment, new and unforeseen exciting questions arise.

Over the past years, I have been teaching a variety of courses both at the economics and the environmental sciences departments of my university, ranging from introduction to general and environmental economics to research-oriented seminars on environmental economic experiments. In my leisure time, I enjoy playing the drums and when work and weather allow, I ride my mountain bike or racing bike through beautiful Black Forest just behind Freiburg’s city borders.




Ph.D. in economics (Dr. rer. pol), University of Freiburg (Germany) economics department, title of dissertation: “Theory and experimental analysis of dynamic social contracts: a Constitutional Economic approach to problems of inter- and intragenerational justice”


During Master’s program: exchange student at the University of Bologna (Italy), Master of Economics program


Master of Arts in “Economics and Politics”, University of Freiburg

During Bachelor’s program: exchange student at the University of Costa Rica, attending economics, politics, and geology courses

 10/2002-10/2006 Bachelor of Science in “Environmental and Resource Economics”, BTU Cottbus (Germany)


 Work Experience

 Since 08/2014 Researcher and Lecturer, Department of Environmental Economics and Resource Management, University of Freiburg 
 10/2012-09/2015 Lecturer for General and Environmental Economics, Faculty of Environment and Natural Resources, University of Freiburg 
 07/2011 & 07/2012 Guest lecturer at the Faculty of Environment and Natural Resource, University of Freiburg 
 05/2009-12/2011 Lecturer at the Institute for the Education of International Students, Freiburg
 04/2009-09/2012 Research and teaching assistant, Department of Economic Policy and Constitutional Economic Theory, University of Freiburg
 04/2008-03/2009 Tutor and student assistant, Department of Economic Policy and Constitutional Economic Theory, University of Freiburg


 Teaching (Selection)

  • Experimental Sustainability Economics, M.Sc. Environmental Sciences, Winter 2015
  • Experimental Environmental and Resource Economics, M.Sc. Environmental Sciences, Winter 2013 & 2014
  • Topics in Experimental Environmental and Resource Management, M.Sc. Program Environmental Governance, Summer 2014 & 2015
  • Environmental Economics, M.Sc. Environmental Sciences, Winter 2012 to 2014
  • Economics, Institutions, and the Environment, M.Sc. Environmental Governance, Summer 2011 to 2015
  • Forestry and Environmental Economics, Part “Environmental Economics”, B.Sc. Forestry Economics and Environment
  • Sustainable Management of Renewable Resources, Tutorial, B.Sc. Program Environmental Natural Sciences, Summer 2015
  • Societal Framework of Renewable Energy Management, Part “Introduction to Economics”, M.Sc. Renewable Energy Management, Summer 2012 to 2014
  • Social Contract Lab, M.Sc. Economics, Winter 2009 & Summer 2012
  • Economic Policy and Public Choice, Tutorial, Winter 2010 & 2011
  • Constitutional Economics, Tutorial, Summer 2008 to 2012
  • Foundations of Economic Policy, Tutorial, Winter & Summer 2009 to 2012


Awards and Scholarships

04/2007-03/2009 Scholarship from Heinrich Böll Foundation (during Master studies)


Research interests

  • Sustainability economics
  • Inter- and intragenerational justice
  • Political and economic philosophy
  • Social contract theory
  • Experimental economics
  • Voting rights for children (theory and empirics)


Publications (including Working Papers available online)

Wolf, Stephan; von Detten, Roderich (forthcoming 2016). „Eine Spontane Ordnung der Wälder? Die Grenzen der nachhaltigen Bewirtschaftung natürlicher Ressourcen durch Marktpreise.“ ORDO – Jahrbuch für die Ordnung von Wirtschaft und Gesellschaft (in press).

Lenger, Alexander; Wolf, Stephan (2016). “Empirische Gerechtigkeitsforschung.“ In: Mieth, Corinna; Goppel, Anna; Neuhäuser, Christian (Hrsg.) Handbuch Gerechtigkeit. Berlin: J.B. Metzler Verlag, S. 68-77.

Wolf, Stephan; Goldschmidt, Nils, Petersen, Thomas (2015). “Votes on Behalf of Children: a Legitimate Way of Giving Them a Voice in Politics?” Constitutional Political Economy 26(3), 356-374.

Wolf, Stephan; Dron, Cameron (2015). “Intergenerational Sharing of Non-Renewable Resources: An Experimental Study Using Rawls’s Veil of Ignorance.” Constitutional Economics Network Working Paper 01-2015.

Wolf, Stephan; Lenger, Alexander (2014). “Utilitarianism, the Difference Principle, or Else? An Experimental Analysis of the Impact of Social Immobility on the Democratic Election of Distributive Rules“. In: Lütge, Christoph; Rusch, Hannes; Uhl, Matthias (Eds.). Experimental Ethics. Houndsmills: Palgrave MacMillan, 94-111.

Wolf, Stephan; Lenger, Alexander (2013). “Choosing Inequality: An Experimental Analysis of the Impact of Social Immobility on the Democratic Election of Distribution Rules.” Constitutional Economics Network Working Paper 02-2013.

Johanisova, Nadia; Wolf, Stephan (2012). “Economic democracy: A path for the future?”. Futures, Vol. 44(6).

Wolf, Stephan (2010). “Von Hayek’s Theory of Cultural Evolution in the Light of a Simplified Model of Kaufmann’s General Biological Evolutionary Theory”. Constitutional Economics Network Working Paper 03-2010.

Wolf, Stephan (2010). “An Intergenerational Social Contract for Common Resource Usage: A Reality-Check for Harsanyi and Rawls”. Constitutional Economics Network Working Paper 02-2010.

Wolf, Stephan; Lippert, Ingmar (2005). “Hochschulen auf dem Weg zur Nachhaltigkeit: Möglichkeiten studentischer Partizipation”. In: Filho, Walter L; Delakowitz, Bernd (Eds.). Umweltmanagement an Hochschulen: Nachhaltigkeitsperspektiven. Berlin: Peter Lang, 413-162.



Wolf, Stephan; Goldschmidt, Nils; Petersen, Thomas (2015). „If parents could vote on behalf of their children:  Empirical evidence from a field study during the 2014 EU-Elections.” Manuscript.

Sajons, Christoph; Meier, Jan; Wolf, Stephan. „Electing parents—a way to foster sustainability orientation of policies?“ (Manuscript). 

Wolf, Stephan; Drupp, Moritz; Baumgärtner, Stefan; Gagnon, Nickolas; Quaas, Martin F.; Riedl, Arno; Schill, Caroline; Van Soest, Daan P.; Wade-Benzoni, Kimberly. “Experimental Sustainability Economics”

Professional activities

  • Referee for the Journal of Cleaner Production
  • Co-organizer of the international “Workshop on Sustainability Economics: Experiments on Justice under Uncertainty”, 11th-14th of October 2015, Universities of Freiburg and Kiel, Germany
  • Member of the International and the European Society for Ecological Economics


 CV for download


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