Initially founded as a Max Planck Institute that investigates the provision of collective goods, the Institute has developed into an international hub that focuses in its research mainly on applied economics and on behavioural law. The Institute hosts a number of research groups of which one is linked to Max Planck Law, namely ‘Research Group Christoph Engel’ focusing on ‘Behavioural Law and Economics’.
Whatever the law achieves, it must do so by affecting the behaviour of its subjects. This is why a behavioural perspective is fundamental to legal research. If the intervention targets behaviour, the social problem that calls for intervention must be defined in behavioural terms as well. Why do individuals or organizations fail to coordinate? When and why do individuals create harm for others, unless guided or hindered by law? Or, in other words: Which is a behaviourally plausible definition of a collective-goods problem? How are those who create new legal rules, or those obliged to apply them, affected by behavioural effects?