Anja Prummer

Johannes Kepler University Linz, Queen Mary University of London

Project Name Social Structure
Field of research Economics
Keywords Political Economy | Organisational Economics | Gender | Networks

Social Structures and Economic Outcomes

My project focuses on the interplay between organisational structures and social interactions at the workplace and in society at large.

Social structures are social arrangements that arise through the interactions of individuals and simultaneously determine them. The organisation of firms, communities and society at large constitute social structures that shape individual behaviour. In turn, individual actors, such as managers, politicians or community leaders, can impact social structures. We investigate under what circumstances these interventions are beneficial to society.

I am a University Assistant at Johannes Kepler University Linz, a Senior Lecturer at Queen Mary University of London (on leave), a Research Affiliate at CEPR, and an Associate Editor at the Economic Journal.

Previously, I was a Postdoctoral Fellow at the Cambridge-INET Institute, University of Cambridge. I received my Ph.D. from the European University Institute, Florence.

How did I come up with my research topic?


My research revolves around determinants of social structures, how they constrain economic decisions and how they can be amended. My work is predominantly theoretical with applications to Culture, Gender, and Political Economy.

Economics places individuals at the core of the analysis. However, individual decision processes are shaped by environmental factors, such as peers, culture, politics, and the economic and legal framework these individuals operate within. Considering an individual’s environment can help understand economic decisions and outcomes, but also which environmental factors are a crucial determinant of individual behaviour. This then naturally leads to the question of how these environments can be affected and if they necessarily maximise social welfare.

What is the best advice I have ever received?

I have received a lot of unsolicited advice over the years and what has stuck with me is that it is better to regret your own decisions than the decisions of others. Therefore, I don’t listen to advice anymore. It is very freeing.