Bruno Frey

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Bruno Frey 2010

Bruno S. Frey (born 4 May 1941 in Basel, Switzerland) is a Swiss economist and visiting professor for Political Economy at the University of Basel. Frey's research topics include Political economy and Happiness economics, with his published work including concepts derived from Psychology, Sociology, Jurisprudence, History, Arts, and Theology. In 2011, Frey was criticized for, and admitted to, cases of self-plagiarism.[1][2]

Career and Academic Positions[edit]

Frey studied economics at the University of Basel and at the University of Cambridge, obtaining a doctorate in economics in 1965. From 1969 to 2010 Frey was an associate professor of economics at the University of Basel, from 1977 to 2012 a professor of Economics at the University of Zurich, and since 1969 has held editor positions at Kyklos, a Swiss journal on political economy. Since 2004 Frey has been a director of research for the Center for Research in Economics, Management and the Arts (CREMA).[3]

In July 2011, the University of Zurich established a commission to investigate allegations of publication misconduct (plagiarism) by Frey and his co-authors. In October of the same year the commission reported that Frey had committed misconduct,[4] findings that led to Frey's dismissal from the university.[5]

In 2012, the government of Bhutan appointed Frey to an international group of experts to investigate "a new development paradigm designed to nurture human happiness and the wellbeing of all life on earth."[6]

In their 2014 ranking of "the most influential economists in Switzerland," the Swiss newspaper Neue Zürcher Zeitung ranked Frey third.[7]

Published work[edit]

Frey's published research has included topics related to behavioral economics (including motivational crowding effects[8][9][10][11]), the economics of awards,[12][13] political economics,[14] the economics of happiness,[15][16] the effects of democracy upon society,[17][18][19] corporate governance,[20] community enterprises,[21] and the economics of war.[22][23]


During 2010 and 2011 Frey, with coauthors Benno Torgler and David Savage, published four articles concerning the Titanic disaster in four different journals. Concerning these articles, in 2011 Frey and his coauthors were accused of self-plagiarism and of not citing the work of other scholars.[1][24][25] On 3 May 2011 David Autor, editor of the Journal of Economic Perspectives, wrote a public letter[2] to Frey claiming "very substantial overlap between these articles and your JEP publication. Indeed, to my eye, they are substantively identical." Pointing out that the other articles were not cited, Autor further wrote that "your conduct in this matter [is] ethically dubious and disrespectful to the American Economic Association, the Journal of Economic Perspectives and the JEP's readers." In a public response Frey accepted theses accusations and offered his apologies,[2] writing, "[i]t was a grave mistake on our part for which we deeply apologize. It should never have happened. This is deplorable."

For this offense, which was covered in the popular press,[26][27][28][29] Frey, Torgler and Savage were placed on a list of self-plagiarism offenders at Research Papers in Economics,[30] and Frey's contract with the University of Zurich was not renewed.

Selected books[edit]

  • Frey, Bruno S., 1972. Umweltökonomie. Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, Göttingen.
  • Frey, Bruno S., 1978. Modern Political Economy. Halsted Press, Wiley, New York.
  • Frey, Bruno S., 1983. Democratic Economic Policy. A theoretical introduction. Martin Robertson, Oxford.
  • Frey, Bruno S., 1984. International Political Economics. Basil Blackwell, Oxford und New York.
  • Frey, Bruno S. and Werner W. Pommerehne, 1989. Muses and Markets. Explorations in the Economics of the Arts. Basil Blackwell, Oxford.
  • Frey, Bruno S., 1992. Economics as a Science of Human Behaviour. Towards a New Social Science Paradigm. Kluwer Academic Publishers, Boston/Dordrecht/London.
  • Frey, Bruno S., 1997. Not just for the money. An economic theory of personal motivation. E. Elgar, Cheltenham.
  • Frey, Bruno S. and Reiner Eichenberger, 1999. The New Democratic Federalism for Europe. Functional, Overlapping and Competing Jurisdictions. Edward Elgar Publishing Limited, Cheltenham.
  • Frey, Bruno S., 2000. Arts & Economics. Analysis & Cultural Policy. Springer Verlag, Berlin, Heidelberg, New York.
  • Frey, Bruno S., 2001. Inspiring Economics: Human Motivation in Political Economy. Edward Elgar Publishing Ltd., Cheltenham, UK and Northampton, Mass.
  • Frey, Bruno S. and Alois Stutzer, 2002. Happiness and economics. How the economy and institutions affect well-being. Princeton University Press, Princeton (N.J.).
  • Frey, Bruno S., 2004. Dealing with Terrorism: Stick or Carrot. Edward Elgar Publishing Ltd., Cheltenham, UK and Nothhampton, Mass.
  • Frey, Bruno S., 2008. Happiness: A Revolution in Economics. The MIT Press, Cambridge, MA und London, England 2008.

Academic honours[edit]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b Shea, Christopher (13 July 2011). "Economist Slammed for 'Concurrent Publications'". The Wall Street Journal.
  2. ^ a b c
  3. ^ "CREMA". CREMA - Center for Research in Economics, Management and the Arts. CREMA Vermögensverwaltung & Research GmbH. Retrieved 4 June 2019.
  4. ^ University of Zurich ad hoc commission report about academic misconduct by Bruno Frey
  5. ^
  6. ^ "Archived copy" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 29 March 2013. Retrieved 27 December 2012.CS1 maint: Archived copy as title (link)
  7. ^ "Die einflussreichsten Ökonomen in der Schweiz". Neue Zürcher Zeitung, 6 September 2014, Nr. 206, page 34.
  8. ^ Frey, Bruno S., and Reto Jegen. "Motivation crowding theory." Journal of economic surveys 15.5 (2001): 589–611.
  9. ^ for example: Osterloh, Margit, and Bruno S. Frey. "Motivation, knowledge transfer, and organizational forms." Organization science 11.5 (2000): 538–550.
  10. ^ Feld, Lars P., and Bruno S. Frey. "Trust breeds trust: How taxpayers are treated." Economics of Governance 3.2 (2002): 87–99.
  11. ^ or even more broadly: Frey, Bruno S. "A constitution for knaves crowds out civic virtues." The Economic Journal 107.443 (1997): 1043–1053.
  12. ^ „Honours and Money.The Economics of Awards“, Oxford University Press, Oxford 2017.
  13. ^ Bruno S. Frey and Susanne Neckermann "Prices and Awards" in Elgar, Edward. "Handbook on the Economics of Reciprocity and Social Enterprise." Beiträge zur aktuellen Wirtschaftspolitik No 2013 (2013): 16.
  14. ^ Beat Kappeler (Hrsg.). Was vermag Ökonomie? Silvio Borner, Bruno S. Frey, Kurt Schiltknecht zu wirtschaftlichem Wert, Wachstum, Wandel und Wettbewerb. Zürich: Verlag Neue Zürcher Zeitung. S. 29 (2002)
  15. ^ Frey, Bruno S., and Alois Stutzer. "What can economists learn from happiness research?" Journal of Economic Literature 40.2 (2002): 402–435.
  16. ^ Stutzer, Alois. "The role of income aspirations in individual happiness." Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization 54.1 (2004): 89–109.
  17. ^ Frey, B. S. (1997). A constitution for knaves crowds out civic virtues. The Economic Journal, 107(443), 1043–1053.
  18. ^ Feld, L. P., & Frey, B. S. (2002). Trust breeds trust: How taxpayers are treated. Economics of Governance, 3(2), 87–99.
  19. ^ Frey, B. S., Stutzer, A., & Benz, M. (2001). Trusting Constitutions. Économie publique/Public economics, (07).
  20. ^ Frey, B. S., and M. Osterloh. "Stop tying pay to performance. The evidence is overwhelming: It doesn’t work." Harvard Business Review (2012): 1403–1404.
  21. ^ Frey, Bruno S., and Margit Osterloh. "Yes, managers should be paid like bureaucrats." Journal of Management Inquiry 14.1 (2005): 96–111.
  22. ^ Frey, Bruno S., and Heinz Buhofer. "Prisoners and property rights." The Journal of Law and Economics 31.1 (1988): 19–46.
  23. ^ Frey, Bruno S., and Marcel Kucher. "History as reflected in capital markets: the case of World War II." The Journal of Economic History 60.02 (2000): 468–496.
  24. ^ "A summary of the Bruno Frey affair", Olaf Storbeck,, 2011/07/07. Retrieved 25 January 2013
  25. ^ Storbeck, Olaf (7 July 2011). "Starökonom schreibt bei sich selbst ab". Retrieved 29 August 2011.
  26. ^ Gasser, Benno (25 April 2012). "Bruno S. Frey bleibt Professor – in England". Tages Anzeiger. Retrieved 6 January 2013.
  27. ^ Ritter, Pascal (27 April 2012). "Auch wer sich selbst kopiert, plagiiert". Zürcher Studierendenzeitung. Archived from the original on 26 January 2013. Retrieved 6 January 2013.
  28. ^ Pastega, Nadja (29 April 2012). ""ICH FÜHLE MICH NICHT BESONDERS SCHULDIG". Sonntagszeitung. Retrieved 6 January 2013.
  29. ^ Storbeck, Olaf (12 September 2011). "Neue Eigenplagiate bringen Züricher Top-Ökonomen unter Druck". Handelsblatt. Retrieved 6 January 2013.
  30. ^
  31. ^ "Raymond Vernon Memorial Award". Association for Public Policy Analysis & Management. Association for Public Policy Analysis & Management. Retrieved 4 June 2019.
  32. ^ "Fellows - The Royal Society of Edinburgh". RSE - The Royal Society of Edinburgh. The Royal Society of Edinburgh. Retrieved 4 June 2019.
  33. ^ "About". ACEI. Association for Cultural Economics International. Retrieved 4 June 2019.
  34. ^ "Röpke-Preis für Zivilgesellschaft". Liberales Institut. Liberales Institut. Retrieved 4 June 2019.

External links[edit]