Dr. Dr. Hannes Rusch

Independent Max Planck Research Group Leader, MPI-CSL, Freiburg im Breisgau
& Associate Professor of Economics, MPE Department, Maastricht University

How come that we as humans are those social animals that became uniquely cooperative, cultural, and civilized? How come that, at the exact same time, we are our own worst enemy, dehumanizing, subjugating, exploiting, and aggressing each other? And, most importantly: How can we prevent the conflicting interests permeating all human societies from escalating into segregation, suppression, violence, and war?

These are the fundamental issues bothering me as a person and motivating me as a researcher. I am convinced that no single academic discipline alone can answer them to full satisfaction. Therefore, in my work on selected aspects of these overarching questions, I draw on the results and use the empirical methods and formal frameworks of several behavioral sciences, foremost: behavioral and applied microeconomics, experimental psychology, and behavioral ecology. Correspondingly, my career path has crossed disciplinary boundaries multiple times.

I'm affiliated with these academic centers and networks:

You can download my CV here:

Hannes Rusch
> 50
> 1.5k
≈ €2 million
> 40
   Courses taught


(59)2023Cloos, Janis,
Greiff, Matthias,
Rusch, Hannes
Editorial Favoritism in the Field of Laboratory Experimental EconomicsJournal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics 107: 102082. (doi: 10.1016/j.socec.2023.102082)
(58)2022Greiff, Matthias,
Rusch, Hannes
Sharing Responsibility for the GoodJournal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics 101:101953. (doi: 10.1016/j.socec.2022.101953)
(57)2022Rusch, HannesModeling Behavior in Intergroup Conflicts: A Review of Microeconomic ApproachesPhilosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences 377: 20210135. (doi: 10.1098/rstb.2021.0135)
(56)2022Doğan, Gönül,
Glowacki, Luke,
Rusch, Hannes
Are Strangers Just Enemies You Have Not Yet Met? Group Identities, Not Intergroup Relations, Shape Ingroup Bias in Three Natural GroupsPhilosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences 377: 20210419. (doi: 10.1098/rstb.2021.0419)
(55)2022Rusch, HannesHeroic Behavior: A Review of the Literature on High-Stakes Altruism in the WildCurrent Opinion in Psychology 43:238-243. (doi: 10.1016/j.copsyc.2021.07.024)
(54)2020Böhm, Robert,
Rusch, Hannes,
Baron, Jonathan
The Psychology of Intergroup Conflict: A Review of Theories and MeasuresJournal of Economic Behavior and Organization, 178: 947-962. (doi: 10.1016/j.jebo.2018.01.020)
(53)2020Rusch, Hannes,
Gavrilets, Sergey
The Logic of Animal Intergroup Conflict: A ReviewJournal of Economic Behavior and Organization, 178:1014-1030. (doi: 10.1016/j.jebo.2017.05.004)
(52)2019Ronay, Richard,
Oostrom, Janneke,
Lehmann-Willenbrock, Nale,
Mayoral, Samuel,
Rusch, Hannes
Playing the Trump Card: Why We Select Overconfident Leaders and Why It MattersThe Leadership Quarterly, 30: 101316. (doi: 10.1016/j.leaqua.2019.101316)
(51)2019Rößler, Christoph,
Rusch, Hannes,
Friehe, Tim
Do Norms Make Preferences Social? Supporting Evidence from the FieldEconomics Letters, 183: 108569. (doi: 10.1016/j.econlet.2019.108569)
(50)2019Rusch, HannesThe Evolution of Collaboration in Symmetric 2×2-Games with Imperfect Recognition of TypesGames and Economic Behavior, 114:118-127. (doi: 10.1016/j.geb.2018.12.005)
(49)2019Kempa, Karol,
Rusch, Hannes
Dissent, Sabotage, and Leader Behaviour in Contests: Evidence from European FootballManagerial and Decision Economics, 40(5):500-514. (doi: 10.1002/mde.3019)
(48)2018Böhm, Robert,
Theelen, Maik M.P.,
Rusch, Hannes,
van Lange, Paul A.M.
Costs, Needs, and Integration Efforts Shape Helping Behavior Toward RefugeesProceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the USA, 115(28):7284-7289. (doi: 10.1073/pnas.1805601115)
(47)2018Doğan, Gönül,
Glowacki, Luke,
Rusch, Hannes
Spoils Division Rules Shape Aggression Between Natural GroupsNature Human Behaviour, 2:322-326. (doi: 10.1038/s41562-018-0338-z)
(46)2018Rusch, HannesAncestral Kinship Patterns Substantially Reduce the Negative Effect of Increasing Group Size on Incentives for Public Goods ProvisionJournal of Economic Psychology, 64:105-115. (doi: 10.1016/j.joep.2017.12.002)
(45)2016Rusch, Hannes,
Lütge, Christoph
Spillovers from Coordination to Cooperation – Evidence for the Interdependence Hypothesis?Evolutionary Behavioral Sciences, 10(4):284-296. (doi: 10.1037/ebs0000066)
(44)2016Böhm, Robert,
Rusch, Hannes,
Gürerk, Özgür
What Makes People Go to War? Defensive Intentions Motivate Retaliatory and Preemptive Intergroup AggressionEvolution and Human Behavior, 37(1):29-34. (doi: 10.1016/j.evolhumbehav.2015.06.005)
(43)2015Rusch, HannesDo Bankers have Deviant Moral Attitudes? Negative Results from a Tentative SurveyRationality, Markets and Morals 6:6-20.
(42)2015Rusch, Hannes,
Leunissen, Joost M.,
van Vugt, Mark
Historical and Experimental Evidence of Sexual Selection for War HeroismEvolution and Human Behavior, 36(5):367-373. (doi: 10.1016/j.evolhumbehav.2015.02.005)
(41)2014Salk, Carl F.,
Frey, Ulrich,
Rusch, Hannes
Comparing Forests Across Climates and Biomes: Qualitative Assessments, Reference Forests, and Regional Inter-ComparisonsPLOS ONE 9(4):e94800. (doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0094800)
(40)2014Rusch, HannesThe Two Sides of Warfare: An Extended Model of Altruistic Behavior in Ancestral Human Intergroup ConflictHuman Nature 25(3):359-377. (doi: 10.1007/s12110‑014‑9199‑y)
(39)2014Frey, Ulrich,
Rusch, Hannes
Modeling Ecological Success of Common Pool Resource Systems Using Large DatasetsWorld Development 59:93-103. (doi: 10.1016/j.worlddev.2014.01.034)
(38)2014Rusch, HannesThe Evolutionary Interplay of Intergroup Conflict and Altruism in Humans: A Review of Parochial Altruism Theory and Prospects for its ExtensionProceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences 281(1794):20141539. (doi: 10.1098/rspb.2014.1539)
(37)2013Rusch, HannesAsymmetries in Altruistic Behavior During Violent Intergroup ConflictEvolutionary Psychology 11(5):973-993. (doi: 10.1177/147470491301100504)
(36)2013Rusch, Hannes,
Voland, Eckart
Evolutionary Aesthetics: An Introduction to Key Concepts and Current IssuesAisthesis 6(2):113-133. (doi: 10.13128/Aisthesis-13773)
(35)2013Rusch, HannesWhat Niche Did Human Cooperativeness Evolve In?Ethics and Politics: A Review of Philosophy 15(2):82-100.
(34)2013Frey, Ulrich,
Rusch, Hannes
Using Artificial Neural Networks for the Analysis of Social-Ecological SystemsEcology and Society 18(2). (doi: 10.5751/ES‑05202‑180240)
(33)2012Frey, Ulrich,
Rusch, Hannes
An Evolutionary Perspective on the Long-Term Efficiency of Costly PunishmentBiology and Philosophy 27(6):811-831. (doi: 10.1007/s10539-012-9327-1)
(32)2024Rusch, HannesPolice for PeaceBehavioral and Brain Sciences 47(e26). (doi: 10.1017/S0140525X23002571)
(31)2019Rusch, Hannes,
Böhm, Robert
A Note on the Endogeneity of Attacker and Defender Roles in Asymmetric ConflictsBehavioral and Brain Sciences, 42(e139):39-40. (doi: 10.1017/S0140525X19000748)
(30)2016Rusch, Hannes,
Voland, Eckart
Human Agricultural Economy Is, and Likely Always Was, Largely Based on Kinship – Why?Behavioral and Brain Sciences 39:34-35. (doi: 10.1017/S0140525X15001168)
(29)2013Lütge, Christoph,
Rusch, Hannes
The Systematic Place of Morals in Markets [Letter]Science 341 (6147):714. (doi: 10.1126/science.341.6147.714-a)
(28)2016Rusch, HannesStudies on Documented Historical Cases of Civil and War Heroism: A Mini-ReviewHeroism Science, 1(1):1-7. (doi: 10.26736/hs.2016.01.04)
(27)2015Rusch, Hannes,
Störmer, Charlotte
An Evolutionary Perspective on War HeroismMilitaire Spectator 184(3):140-150.
(26)2014Rusch, HannesNaturalistische ZumutungenAufklärung und Kritik 1/2014:103-122.
(25)2014Buschlinger, Wolfgang,
Rusch, Hannes
Erkenntnis als Ergebnis biologischer Entwicklung: Die Grundzüge der Evolutionären Erkenntnistheorie im ÜberblickEthik und Unterricht 2/2014:10-14.
(24)2018Alfano, Mark,
Rusch, Hannes,
Uhl, Matthias
Ethics, Morality, and Game TheoryGames, 9(2):20. (doi: 10.3390/g9020020)
(23)2016Böhm, Robert,
Rusch, Hannes,
Herrmann, Benedikt
Parochial Altruism: Pitfalls and ProspectsResearch Topic in Frontiers in Psychology & Neuroscience, (Editorial: 10.3389/fpsyg.2016.01004)
(22)2014Lütge, Christoph,
Rusch, Hannes,
Uhl, Matthias
Experimental Ethics: Toward an Empirical Moral PhilosophyBasingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan (ISBN: 978-1137409799; doi: 10.1057/9781137409805)
(21)forthc.Voland, Eckart,
Rusch, Hannes
Im Lichte der Evolution: KulturIn: Helmut Fink & Rüdiger Vaas (eds.), Emporgeirrt! – Evolutionäre Erkenntnisse in Natur und Kultur, Hirzel. (In press.)
(20)2024Rusch, HannesKrieg der Gene? Gewaltsame Gruppenkonflikte aus evolutionärer PerspektiveIn: Manfred Hammerl, Sascha Schwarz & Kai P. Willführ (eds.), Evolutionäre Sozialwissenschaften, Springer VS: 283-301. (doi:&nsbp;10.1007/978-3-658-43624-7_16)
(19)2023Rusch, HannesInterdisciplinarity of HeroismIn: Scott T. Allison (ed.), Encyclopedia of Heroism Science, Springer. (doi: 10.1007/978-3-031-17125-3_306-1)
(18)2023Rusch, HannesThe Way Out Is ThroughPeace and Conflict: Journal of Peace Psychology 29(4): 461-462. (doi: 10.1037/pac0000696)
(17)2020Antweiler, Christoph,
Rusch, Hannes,
Voland, Eckart
Ein evolutionär-anthropologischer Blick auf soziale KohäsionIn: Cathleen Bochmann & Helge Döring (eds.), Gesellschaftlichen Zusammenhalt gestalten, Springer VS: 27-52.
(16)2017Rusch, Hannes,
van Vugt, Mark
Male Adaptations That Facilitate Success In WarIn: Todd K. Shackelford & Viviana A. Weekes-Shackelford (eds.), Encyclopedia of Evolutionary Psychological Science, Springer. (doi: 10.1007/978-3-319-16999-6_950-1)
(15)2016Rusch, HannesHigh-Cost Altruistic HelpingIn: Todd K. Shackelford & Viviana A. Weekes-Shackelford (eds.), Encyclopedia of Evolutionary Psychological Science, Springer. (doi: 10.1007/978-3-319-16999-6_1556-1)
(14)2016Böhm, Robert,
Rusch, Hannes
Evolved Psychology of WarfareIn: Todd K. Shackelford & Viviana A. Weekes-Shackelford (eds.), Encyclopedia of Evolutionary Psychological Science, Springer. (doi: 10.1007/978-3-319-16999-6_2964-1)
(13)2016Rusch, HannesDarwins dunkles Erbe – Gewaltsame Zwischengruppenkonflikte in der menschlichen EvolutionIn: Rainer Rosenzweig & Helmut Fink (eds.), Gehirne zwischen Liebe und Krieg, mentis: 139-161. (doi: 10.30965/9783957438058_011)
(12)2016Rusch, Hannes,
Uhl, Matthias
Order Ethics: An Experimental PerspectiveIn: Christoph Luetge & Nikil Mukerji (eds.), Order Ethics – An Ethical Framework for the Social Market Economy, Springer: 67-78. (doi: 10.1007/978-3-319-33151-5_5)
(11)2014Rusch, Hannes,
Lütge, Christoph,
Voland, Eckart
Experimentelle und Evolutionäre Ethik: Eine neue Synthese in der Moralphilosophie?In: Matthias Maring (ed.), Bereichsethiken im interdisziplinären Dialog, KIT Scientific Publishing: 163-179.
(10)2014Rusch, HannesPhilosophy as the Behaviorist Views It?In: Christoph Lütge, Hannes Rusch & Matthias Uhl (eds.), Experimental Ethics, Palgrave Macmillan: 264-282. (doi: 10.1057/9781137409805_17)
(9)2014Dworazik, Niklas,
Rusch, Hannes
A Brief History of Experimental EthicsIn: Christoph Lütge, Hannes Rusch & Matthias Uhl (eds.), Experimental Ethics, Palgrave Macmillan: 38-56. (doi: 10.1057/9781137409805_4)
(8)2013Rusch, Hannes,
Frey, Ulrich
Biological and Experimental Perspectives on Self-Interest: Reciprocal Altruism and Genetic Egoism In: Christoph Lütge (ed.), Handbook of the Philosophical Foundations of Business Ethics, Springer: 313-335. (doi: 10.1007/978-94-007-1494-6_28)
(7)2010Rusch, HannesNaturalistic ImpositionsIn: Ulrich Frey (ed.), The Nature of God ––– Evolution and Religion, Tectum: 129-157.
(6)2024Liu, Kaiqi,
Rusch, Hannes,
Seel, Christian,
Terstiege, Stefan
Competition in Higher Education: Sorting, Ranking and FeesGSBE Research Memoranda 5/2024. (doi: 10.26481/umagsb.2024005)
(5)2024Glowacki, Luke,
Morath, Florian,
Rusch, Hannes
High Minority Power Facilitates Democratization across Ethnic Fault LinesUniversität Innsbruck, Faculty of Economics and Statistics, Working Papers 2023-18.
(4)2023Rusch, HannesThe Logic of Human Intergroup Conflict: Knowns and Known UnknownsGSBE Research Memoranda 14/2023. (doi: 10.26481/umagsb.2023014)
(3)2020Doğan, Gönül,
Glowacki, Luke,
Rusch, Hannes
Ingroup Love Drives Ingroup Bias within Natural GroupsWorking Paper Series in Economics 101, University of Cologne, Department of Economics. (RePEc:kls:series:0101)
(2)2013Albert, Max,
Rusch, Hannes
Indirect Reciprocity, Golden Opportunities for Defection, and Inclusive ReputationMAGKS Joint Discussion Paper Series in Economics 29-2013.
(1)2009Buschlinger, Wolfgang,
Conradi, Bettina,
Rusch, Hannes
Philomat / Apparat für weltanschauliche DiagnostikStuttgart: Hirzel (ISBN: 978-3777616339)



Max Planck Institute for the Study of Crime, Security and Law
Günterstalstraße 73, 79100 Freiburg im Breisgau, Germany
Main building, office 326
h.rusch @ csl . […] . de
@HannesRusch . bsky . social
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