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University of Exeter Business School

Dr Helena Fornwagner

Dr Helena Fornwagner

Senior Lecturer in Economics


 Streatham Court 1.50


Streatham Court, University of Exeter, Rennes Drive, Exeter, EX4 4PU, UK


Helena Fornwagner is a behavioural- and experimental economist. She completed her PhD in Economics at the University of Innsbruck in 2017. After working as a Post-Doc (Assistant-Professor) at the University of Innsbruck for almost four years, Helena started in autumn 2020 to work in a similar position at the University of Regensburg. After gaining further experience and qualification at Regensburg, Helena joined the Economics Department of the University of Exeter in autumn 2022.

Over the past years, Helena served in several committees (e.g., hiring committees, faculty board), coordinated big groups, led research projects, coordinated teaching staff, supervised students, and gained substantial know-how in different university processes and organizational aspects. Additionally, she gained experience in teaching, successfully conducted several research projects, attracted external funding, grants, and awards, and contributed to various other activities. Sharing the research results with the scientific community and a more general audience was and is integral to her professional mission.


BSc (Management and Economics, Major in Economics; University of Innsbruck)

MSc (Applied Economics; University of Innsbruck)

PhD (Economics; University of Innsbruck)


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Research interests

  • Biological determinants of economic behaviour
  • Economics of Gender
  • Sports economics
  • Competitive behaviour
  • Voluntary climate actions
  • Incentives and (un)ethical behaviour

Research projects

Helena’s research aims to understand how different incentives and biological determinants drive individual behaviour. As a behavioural economist, she applies a mix of diversity and detail: She is always keen to familiarise herself with various research fields. At the same time, she recognises the need for an in-depth study of a particular topic and for “getting work done”.

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External Engagement and Impact

Awards and Honours

Selection (more details can be found on my website)

  • Euregio Young Researcher Award 2021
  • Prof of the Year 2020 for Innovative Teaching, awarded by the SOWI students of the University of Innsbruck
  • Clemens August Andreae Prize 2019
  • Financial Grant ``Tiroler Wisssenschaftsförderung'' by the Tyrolean provincial government 2018
  • “Award of Excellence” by the Austrian Federal Ministry of Science, Research, and Economy

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Teaching is an activity that has accompanied Helena’s academic career since the second semester of her bachelor studies (when she was first employed as a teaching tutor). Since 2017, Helena has lectured several courses and acquired considerable teaching experience at the bachelor and master levels.

At the undergraduate level, she gave the lecture Introduction to Econometrics at the University of Regensburg. Moreover, she has taught seminars in Basic Microeconomics, Public Economics, and Intermediate Microeconomics at the University of Innsbruck. Additionally, Helena taught a Master's course on Experimental Economics, which she especially enjoyed.

Even though her expertise and most of her teaching experience so far lie mainly in the areas described above, she also gave seminars on Regional Economics (at the Bachelor and the Master program). Besides, her teaching portfolio includes a lecture on International Economics at the Master's level, given at the Management Center Innsbruck. Over the last years, teaching also included the theses supervision of several bachelor, master, and diploma students.

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