The media continually reports about the failure to provide help. For example, the failure to provide help in the case of a deceased pensioner in an Essen bank. The phenomenon can be seen in almost every country and happens in very different situations, for example mobbing, racism, accidents and attacks, where many people do not intervene and help even though they could. In addition to the personal suffering of the victim, failure to assist has social consequences for society as it reduces macroeconomic welfare. ‘Nudges’ could be a way of increasing the willingness to help. A nudge is a method that influences the behaviour of people without having to resort to bans or laws or having to change social incentives. Nudges are becoming a more popular way of influencing people’s behaviour as new laws or regulations do not have to be issued as policy. Nudges could help to overcome individual blocks such as fear or uncertainty concerning responsibility, thus increasing the level of social welfare.
In the recent past, life expectancy has expanded significantly while at the same time the birth rates in Europe remained on a low level. As a result, the European population has grown older. That leads to a fundamental challenge for our societies: How can we cover the need of more longtime care for older adults, in particular when they spent their final years in a severe health condition? How can we match this high demand for longtime care in Europe and what costs are related to this issue? We have to find new solutions and ways to create a sustainable and fair care system for all generations.
The massive wave of migrants coming to Europe since 2015 has become a central challenge for German and European politics. This topic has dominated recent the federal and regional election campaigns. Fears, prejudices and mistrust resulted in strong support for the AFD in recent elections. However, this support varies dramatically, even on a local level within cities or administrative districts. This is a signal that the success of the integration of refugees is very different regionally as well as there are very different fears related to refugees among the population.‘Nudges’ could be a way of increasing the willingness to help. A nudge is a method that influences the behaviour of people without having to resort to bans or laws or having to change social incentives. Nudges are becoming a more popular way of influencing people’s behaviour as new laws or regulations do not have to be issued as policy. Nudges could help to overcome individual blocks such as fear or uncertainty concerning responsibility, thus increasing the level of social welfare.
Recently, strengthening the economy in African developing countries has become an issue on the political agenda in Europe (Marshall Plan for Africa). This is above all a consequence of the increasing number of refugees coming from these countries to Europe. Many of them come for economic reasons since the prospects are meagre for find a job that allows earning an adequate income. Foreign Aid so far helped little to improve the situation. The work could start with a description of the political and economic situation in an African country or a group of countries. Reasons should be identified what hampers economic development. Built on this, a proposal should be outlined that might help to improve the situation. This can be either a concrete project on a micro level (e.g. improving access to education) or a broader project involving more participants.
Most German citizens consume meat regularly, commonly because they like the taste or associate it with additional benefits. Thus, the decision between the consumption of meat or other food sources is mainly based on preferences. This ignores many factors that are apparently connected with this decision. It is known, for instance, that livestock farming is related to high water consumption as well as significant emissions of greenhouse gas. Additionally, excessive meat consumption entails health risks and is detrimental to animal welfare. Taken together, all of these factors suggest that meat consumption imposes substantial costs that may render it highly inefficient for society at large. The measurement of the societal and private dimension of this inefficiency, as well as the development and evaluation of possible solutions, are fields of applied economics and is the subject of this YES-Challenge.