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Professor Dr. Michael Kirk

Personalfoto Kirk
Foto: Felix Wesch

E-Mail: michael.kirk[at]

Michael Kirk was professor of Development and Cooperative Economics at the School of Business & Economics until 2021. His research interests are focused on understanding institutional change in the process of development of “poor” societies and the potentials and limitations of economic cooperation and collective action in (small and medium) enterprises and resource governance at different levels. Incomplete labor, credit, insurance and – in particular – land related contracts, their dynamics and options between market and hierarchy in developing countries and countries in transition are empirically analyzed. Results support policy analysis, in particular, in relation to land (reform) policies, contracting direct (foreign) investment in land, biodiversity protection and anti-desertification approaches. As economic cooperation re-gains importance for market access, product traceability and quality standards, as well as sustainable natural resource management, Michael Kirk applies experimental economics for field experiments on common pool resource management, measuring the performance of cooperative organizations and even multi-layer, transnational resource governance with a regional focus on Africa and South-East Asia. Applying the Social-Ecological Framework (SES) (Ostrom) the inter- and transdisciplinary research program with natural and cultural sciences is deepend.