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May 2023: Visit of project school on Zanzibar and research on seaweed value chain

Prof. Kopp visited our project partners at Haile Selassie School on Unguja Island in Tanzania's Zanzibar Archipelago to hand over the learning games developed in the project "International School Partnership". The games were also demonstrated at five other schools, as well as to the Ministry of Education.

The visit further allowed for sharpening research questions on the seaweed value chain, an important contributor to household incomes in rural Zanzibar.


Zanzibar_school 2023-05-18 Zanzibar_seaweed_2023-05-21

April 2023: Visit of chair members to INRAE in Paris

PhD student Markus Nabernegg and Prof. Kopp visited the French National Research Institute for Agriculture, Nutrition, and Environment (INRAE) in Paris, France. On the first day, Mr. Nabernegg presented his work on inter-household emission inequality within the institute's research seminar, followed by a lively discussion. Other highlights of the visit included bi- and trilateral meetings with local PhD researchers to discuss their projects and a tour of the research campus. The remainder of the time was used for the planning of current and future collaborative projects. 


INRAE - Paris 1 INRAE - Paris 2 

March 2023: KAUZ Multiplier event at the University of Vienna

On Friday, March 17th, a one-day networking event on political education took place at the University of Vienna. The event aimed to bring together practitioners from the field of political education and provide a collegial space for learning and exchange, as well as to discuss the potential of different approaches to critical, non-formal education. Over 50 people from various organizations connected and exchanged ideas on approaches and methodologies. During the lunch break, participants enjoyed Indian food together, and in the evening, they were treated to a fantastic performance of "Who cares?" by the Theater of the Oppressed Vienna.

The event was organized by KAUZ, a lab for climate justice that develops educational materials for socio-ecological transformation. KAUZ targets adult educators who can use the materials directly in their contexts. The KAUZ activities and materials include:

· Workshop concepts that are available to multipliers in German, English, Croatian, and Italian

· The KauzPod podcast, which is available in multiple languages, featuring good practice examples and expert interviews related to their topics

· Explanatory videos

· Microlearnings that provide brief learning opportunities and can be shared via social media

KAUZ has four partner organizations in Germany (the University of Siegen and Common Future eV), Austria (Kollektiv Periskop), Italy (Free University Bolzano), and Croatia (Skola Dante). KAUZ is funded by the European Union's Erasmus+ program in a three-year project (September 2020 – August 2023).

Learn more about KAUZ on the project's website: www.kauz-project.org


 KAUZ Vienna event

January 2023: EU Funding received for GREEN-PATHS project

Prof. Dr. Thomas Kopp has recently received funding for a new project titled “GREEN-PATHS: European Knowledge Hub on Just Transition Pathways” within the European Union's Horizon funding framework. The project is scheduled to begin in mid 2023. 


GREEN-PATHS addresses the complex and multi-dimensional nature of the planned, ecological transition. Based on an enhanced understanding of key issues and challenges influencing the transitions and an in-depth review and synthesis of the latest and most relevant research, GREEN-PATHS will enable the development and adoption of coherent and effective policy strategies and instruments, furthering the positive outcomes and reducing the negative impacts on environmental sustainability and social well-being. To improve the design, governance and implementation of transition strategies, GREEN-PATHS pays particular attention to the European Green Deal, the Fit for 55 package, and the actions funded by the Just Transition Fund and the European Social Fund+.

December 2022: Team meeting

The Chair of Jun.-Professorship Economics and Didactics had a team meeting on 1st and 2nd December. Members presented their current research projects and enjoyed a city tour together.

 chair meeting 2023

November 2022: New LANTERN Project

  • In the new project "University within the Anthropocene: Lighthouse-Adaption and Transfer for Sustainable Development (LANTERN)", the universities of Münster, Osnabrück, and Siegen have joined forces to identify the success factors of projects for sustainability transformation and the transfer of these factors. With the help of the Whole Institution Approach, new knowledge about the role of flagship projects will be generated. Based on the knowledge gained, sustainability workshops will then be held at all three locations with the aim of initiating new flagships projects. In this way LANTERN aims to establish the concerns for sustainability and global justice within universities. 

October 2022: Award

Jun.-Prof. Dr. Thomas Kopp was selected as the winner of this year's Dr. Lange Science Award, awarded by the Association for the Promotion of the Scool of Economic Disciplines at the University of Siegen e.V.

The prize was awarded to recognize the scientific quality of the publication:
Kopp, Thomas and Sexton, Richard J. 2021: Farmers, Traders, and Processors: Buyer Market Power and Double Marginalization in Indonesia. American Journal of Agricultural Economics, 103(2): pp. 543-568.

The ceremony took place on 27.10.2022. 


October 2022: New discussion paper 

Kopp, T. (2022): "Welfare and Distributional Consequences from Market Power in Markets for Digital Services and Interlinked Food Retail Markets: A Conceptual Note".

The article can be found under the following  link .


Retailers of food and other consumption goods use households’ private data to exercise market power through personalised advertisement and price discrimination. These data are obtained in interlinked markets for digital services, such as social media platforms and search engines. Consumers incur no financial costs when using digital services but are required to reveal private information to use them. Those markets for digital services are characterised by market power, based on network effects and spiral effects, that can result in natural monopolies. Digital service providers can exploit this market power to extract more private information from their users than in a competitive setting. This increased amount of revealed private information then may result in financial disadvantages for households in the interlinked markets for food and other consumption goods.
Little conceptual or empirical work has been done so far to quantify the effects of this subtle yet drastic reshaping of many markets. No micro-economic model to date conceptualises the direct exchange of private information for digital services, and empirical work quantifying the welfare effects of market power exercised in digital service markets remains rare. This conceptional note lies the foundations for quantifying the welfare and distributional consequences of market power in food retail and interlinked markets for digital services.
While the literature provides some evidence on digital service providers’ market power and on market power exercised in agricultural value chains based on data, no work has been carried out combining the two spheres. Therefore, the objective of this note is to develop a micro-economic model to allow for suitable representation of key characteristics of the market environment and capture the dynamics of food retailers’ market power based on private household information.

October 2022: New publication

Prof. Dr. Thomas Kopp and PhD candidate, Markus Nabernegg, have recently published a research paper on the topic of "Inequality and Environmental Impact – Can the Two Be Reduced Jointly?" The article can be found under the following link .


Deterioration of the natural environment and economic inequality are profound concerns in many societies. To avoid adverse environmental side effects when implementing policies to reduce inequality, an understanding of potential conflicts of objectives is required.

Different theoretical considerations suggest reducing effects of inequality on environmental impact, but also increasing ones. This paper provides empirical evidence on the environmental impact of inequality through a panel data set of 116 countries over 55 years. The multidimensionality of environmental impact is accounted for by relying on the six subindices of the Ecological Footprint.

Results are discussed based on an innovative, graphical approach that allows for the assessment of effects of inequality on environmental impact based on a country's initial location within the entire observed inequality and income range. They suggest that reducing inequality levels increases carbon footprints. For surface sealing and the use of forest land, a conflict of objectives exists only in relatively rich and egalitarian countries, while there is room for jointly reducing environmental impacts and inequality in relatively poor and initially unequal countries. All results are highly robust to the estimation procedure.

We conclude that, especially in richer countries, policy measures to reduce inequality need to be accompanied by policies that limit harmful environmental impacts of income redistribution in order to reduce inequality and environmental impact jointly.

July 2022: We are hiring!

PhD Researcher needed for Project LANTERN

The Project "University in the Anthropocene: Lighthouse Adaptation and TransfER for Sustainable Development" (LANTERN) targets to identify success criteria for transformational projects at universities and develop and implement new initiatives based on them. Collaborating with the universities of Osnabrück and Münster, the project will start in November.

As part of this project, the position of a PhD researcher will be filled on November 1st, 2022.

The job holder will deal with the identification of determinants of successful projects that contribute to a socio-ecological transformation in the sphere of influence of universities.

Further information on the call for applications and application documents and procedures can be found here: https://jobs.uni-siegen.de/job/Wissenständiger-Employee-Project-LATERNE-57072/830769901. The application period ends on August 16, 2022. The place of work is Siegen.

July, 2022: We are hiring!

Student assistant needed for Project LANTERN

The Project "University in the Anthropocene: Lighthouse Adaptation and TransfER for Sustainable Development" (LANTERN) targets to identify success criteria for transformational projects at universities and develop and implement new initiatives based on them. Collaborating with the universities of Osnabrück and Münster, the project will start in November.

As part of this project, the position of a student assistant will be filled on November 1st, 2022 (13.5 hours per week). The position is limited to one year, with the possibility to extend to three years.

The student assistant will support the project with coordinating of deadlines and meetings, literature search, homepage supervision, and general support activities.

Further information on the call for applications and application documents and procedures can be found here:


The application period ends on August 25, 2022. The place of work is preferably in Siegen.

June, 2022: Visit of project partner in Siegen

From June 9th to June 29th the coordinator from the Zanzibari Haile Selassie School, Saleh Suleiman Ali, visited Germany as part of the project "Participatory Development of Learning Materials". He joined the UNESCO head teacher conference in Berlin, visited the German project school in Berlin and met with Jun.-Prof. Dr. Thomas Kopp and project coordinator Claudius Engeling at University of Siegen to discuss the upcoming project activities.


January, 2022: New publication

Prof. Dr. Thomas Kopp has recently published a research paper on the topic of "When switching costs cause market power: Rubber processing in Indonesia". The article can be found under the following link


Suppliers of agricultural output incur switching costs (SCs) when choosing new buyers, allowing buyers to exercise oligopsonistic market power, as SCs help buyers to mark down prices for incumbent suppliers. This article conceptualizes the idea of SCs and suggests an empirical strategy for quantifying them through an estimation of farm supply to specific buyers. The model incorporates price differences between buyers, revealing buyers' anticipations of suppliers' SCs. The approach is applied to the Indonesian rubber market, employing a data set of daily purchasing prices and less frequent quantities of individual sales instances. Results indicate that SCs exist and are at about 3% of the farm gate price, leading to substantial redistribution from suppliers to buyers of agricultural output. 

January, 2022: We are hiring

The Chair for Economics and their Didactics is looking for a project assistant with didactics expertise for its third-party funded international education project "Participatory development of learning materials and educational opportunities on social-ecological challenges of the SDGs".

The advertisement can be found under the following link.

In case of question, please get back to thomas.kopp@uni-siegen.de

November, 2021: New international education project

Our working group is going to initiate a two-years project in December 2021 to develop a global school partnership between one high school in Germany and one in Tanzania. We are happy to collaborate with the civil society organizations Common Future e. V. (Germany), the Institute for Political Ecology (Croatia), and the Institut za ekologijo (Slovenia).

Project summary

The project partners will jointly develop and apply teaching materials for high school students and youth on the "Imperical Mode of living" and the "Good Life for All". The project will illustrate global interlinkages between Germany, Croatia, Slovenia, and Tanzania on dimensions of economic inequalities, colonial heritages, and environmental justice. It will make these topics relatable by following a participatory approach in developing the educational materials and by incorporating perspectives and expertise from all project regions. 

November, 2021: New publication

Recently Prof. Dr. Thomas Kopp and Prof. Ashok K. Mishra (Arizona State University) published their research paper, "Perishability and market power in Nepalese food crop production", on the Journal of Agricultural Economics. The full paper is available here. 


This study provides empirical evidence for the relation between perishability in vertically coordinated supply chains and the market power exercised over smallholders in Nepal. Using survey data from small-scale farms of tomatoes, ginger, high-yielding variety paddy seeds, and lentils, we demonstrate how varying levels of perishability affect the degree of market power exercised by contractors and in cooperative farming. We show how much value-added is diverted from farmers, compared to the benchmark set by the least perishable good. Results indicate that more perishable crops are subject to a greater degree of market power. A subsequent scenario analysis reveals that the redistributive effects of market power based on crop perishability are substantial: smallholders’ farm profitability increase by 18% as crop perishability is reduced by 50%. We conclude by discussing policy measures to reduce power imbalances due to crop perishability.

October, 2021: We are hiring

Advertisement Student Assistant position.

The Chair for Economics and their Didactics is looking for a student assistant to support in various tasks in research, administration, and research.

One key priority will be the English language proofreading of manuscripts.

The advertisement can be found under this link.

(Required is the enrolement in a German university, but not necessarily in Siegen.)

In case of question, please get back to thomas.kopp@uni-siegen.de.

March, 2021: New project initiated

"Workshop Sustainability": For a culture of sustainability at the University of Siegen.

People who initiate change in their social and professional environment play a key role in transformation processes. The Workshop Sustainability enables employees of all status groups at the University of Siegen and students to get involved in sustainable development in their work context. The Workshop Sustainability creates a space in which the participants can jointly develop sustainability projects and give the the tools they need to implement them. More information is provided on the "Projects" section.

December 2, 2020: New publication

Recently, Prof. Dr. Kopp and Prof. Dr. Lauren Chenarides (Arizona State University) published their research paper, "Don't Bite the Hand That Feeds You: Food Pantries and Food Retailer Profitability" on SSRN. Here is the link


This paper examines the extent to which the presence of food pantries diverts food sales from retail grocers. Hunger-relief programs, such as food services provided through food banks, serve as emergency assistance to meet households' temporary food needs, yet a growing population in the United States regularly relies on these services.

There is little empirical research that examines just how individuals factor hunger-relief programs into their planning horizons, whether the presence of these organizations diverts sales from grocers, and how that affects food retailer's revenues and profits.

Further, the presence of multiple grocers in one market constitutes a common good problem, given that the savings in food waste disposal fees occur for each retailer privately, while a potential reduction of total demand affects all retailer's sales.

Using data on the location of food pantries and annual sales volume from retail grocers in Arizona, we measure the statistical relationships between food pantry density and retail grocers' annual sales volume. Preliminary results show that food pantry presence does not statistically significantly affect retailers' revenues, suggesting that food pantries and food retailers do not directly compete for market share.

October, 2020: Award 

Jung. Prof. Dr. Thomas Kopp was selected as a winner of this year's Promotional Award for Young Academics , awarded by the Association for the Promotion of the Scool of Economic Disciplines at the University of Siegen e.V.
The ceremony took place on 19.10.2020. The recording of the live stream can be found 

October 20, 2020: New Project Initiated 

Our working group has recently started work on "KAUZ - Klima, Arbeit und Zukunft" - an international, joint project with the University of Bolzano (Italy) and the NGOs Common Future e.V. (Germany), Periskop (Austria) and Dante (Croatia), funded through the European Union's Erasmus PLUS programme.

Project Summary

A network between three different institutions in Italy, Austria and Germany (the Free University of Bozen-Bolzano, Periskop and Common Future) will be established, all having experience working with the concept of imperial mode of living. The team is comprised of experienced project-managers as well as young scientists and activists from these countries with plenty of experience in education and NGO work.

The project will produce and disseminate reusable learning material for blended learning with workshops, podcast-series, short videos, and microlearning, as described in the following paragraphs. 

A profound education will be offered through three workshop programs focused on intensive training in cooperation with various organizations of civil society. The first workshop will introduce participants to the concepts of the imperial and solidary mode of living, the second one will discuss global value chains and the topic of the third one will be later decided with participants of the first workshop. By bringing people together in workshops we aim to develop alternatives and incite active citizenship.

October 05, 2020: New Publication 

Recently, Prof. Dr. Kopp and Richard J. Sexton (UC Davis) published their research paper, “Farmers, Traders, and Processors: Buyer Market Power and Double Marginalization in Indonesia”, on Early View in the American Journal of Agricultural Economics. Here is the link to the website


Buyer market power can significantly reduce farm prices and incomes, making curtailment of such power a key strategy to improve rural livelihoods in emerging economies. A “double marginalization problem” occurs when market power is exercised at multiple stages in a supply chain. Although double marginalization has been studied extensively from a seller‐power perspective, the corresponding problem on the buyer‐power side has received scant attention. This paper addresses that lacuna through developing a vertical market model that allows buyer power to be exercised in local farmer–trader markets and also downstream at the trader–processor stage. We derive equilibrium results for output, prices, and economic welfare under alternative competition scenarios. The model is applied to the Indonesian rubber value chain by estimating the magnitude of buyer market power in farmer–trader and trader–processor interactions and quantifying the extent of welfare loss and redistribution of income among market participants due to double marginalization. Standard theory for seller double marginalization posits that it should be eliminated through vertical coordination within the supply chain. We conclude by discussing why such coordination may not occur within emerging‐economy supply chains and considering policy innovations to facilitate better coordination.

Suggested citation:

Kopp, Thomas and Richard Sexton, 2020: Farmers, Traders, and Processors: Buyer Market Power and Double Marginalization in Indonesia. American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Early View, p. 1-26. 

September 01, 2020: Conference participation 

At this year's GeWiSoLa (German association of agricultural economists) conference, two papers of our group will be presented;

- 23.09.2020, 09:00 - 12:15: Pre-conference Workshop: Don't bite the hand that feeds you: The Cannibalization of Food Pantries on Grocery Retailers (by  Prof. Dr.Thomas Kopp);

- 25.09.2020, 08:30 - 10:00: Don't bite the hand that feeds you: The Cannibalization of Food Pantries on Grocery Retailers (by  Prof. Dr.Thomas Kopp).

Participation in this conference is free and open to all. To register, please visit the website

August 15, 2020: New team member 

Mrs. Nurmukhanmatova joins our team as a student assistant. Her responsibilities include data collection and cleaning, homepage maintenance, literature review and proofreading. 

August 01, 20202: New publication 

The Journal for Economic Dynamics and Control published the following paper:
Kopp and Salecker: How traders influence their neighbours: Modelling social evolutionary processes and peer effects in agricultural trade networks.


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