Professor Martine Visser

Research fellow: Environmental-Economics Policy Research Unit
Behavioral and experimental research; social norms, environment and natural resource use; climate variability and risk; governance, poverty and wellbeing
Associate Professor Martine Visser


Martine Visser is a Professor in the School of Economics, University of Cape Town and holds a Ph.D. from Gothenburg University in Sweden. Martine is currently a Research Chair with the African Climate & Development Initiative (ACDI). She is also associated with various research units within the School of Economics, including the Environmental-Economics Policy Research Unit (EPRU), the Research Unit of Behavioral and Neuro-economics Research (RUBEN) and the South African Labour Development Research Unit (SALDRU).


Profile and research interests:

Martine specializes in behavioural economic applications to climate change, natural resource use, health and poverty alleviation. She is interested in how social norms and preferences such as trust, cooperation and risk aversion impact on decision making. Martine mainly uses experimental methods (in the lab and in the field) combined with survey analysis and randomized control trials. Recent experimental and empirical studies have focused on cooperation and risk related to climate change, risky sexual behavior and social norms. She is also involved in several projects investigating the role of local governance and social institutions in the provision of basic services to the poor and its effects on subjective wellbeing.

Selected Peer Reviewed Publications

1.      Kocher, M., P. Martinsson and Visser M. 2008. Does stake size matter for cooperation and punishment?Economics letters (99): 508-511.

2.      Hasson, R. Lofgren A. and Visser, M. 2010. Climate Change in  a Public Goods Game: Investment Decision in Mitigation versus Adaptation. Ecological Economics, 70(2):331-338  

3.      Brick, K., Visser M., and Burns. J, 2011. Risk Aversion: Experimental Evidence from South African Fishing Communities. American Journal of Agricultural Economics, 94(1):133-152 

4.      Kocher, M., Martinsson, P., and Visser. M. 2012. Social capital, cooperative behavior and norm-enforcement.Journal of Behavioral Economics and Organization81.2 (2012): 341-354.

5.      Dikgang, J. Leiman, A., and Visser,  M. 2012. Electricity Demand, Price and Time: Lessons from South Africa’s plastic-bag levy. Applied Economics, 44.26 (2012): 3339-3342.

6.      Brick, K., Visser, M., and Van der Hoven, Z. 2013. Cooperation and Climate Change: Can Communication facilitate the Provision of Public Goods in Heterogeneous Settings? – Recently Accepted, Environment and Resource Economics.

7.      Tibesigwa, B. and Visser, M. 2014. The Impact of Climate Change on Net Revenue and Food Adequacy of Subsistence Farmers in South Africa – Recently Accepted,  Environment and Development Economics.

8.      Brick, K and Visser, M. 2014.  What is Fair? An experimental Guide to Climate Negotiations. Provisionally accepted by European Economic Review.

9.      Visser, Martine & Burns, Justine, 2013. Inequality, Social Sanctions and Cooperation within South African Fishing Revise and Resubmit under Journal of Economic Behavior and Organization

10.  Brick and Visser – Risk preferences, Technology Adoption and Insurance Uptake, RFF Revise and Resubmit under Journal of Economic Behavior and Organization

Associate Professor Visser's full biography can be found here.


Tel: +27 (0)21 6505241
Fax: +27 (0)21 6502854

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