Sonja Vogt

Senior Research Officer at CESS and Research Fellow at Nuffield College

Degree: PhD from Utrecht University

College: Nuffield

Research Areas: Health and Well-Being.

Email: Sonja Vogt

Tel.: +44 1865 288697

Website: Personal Website

I am a senior research associate at the Centre for Experimental Social Sciences and research fellow at Nuffield College, University of Oxford. I conduct both basic and applied research on how social influence and social information affect changes in behavior, with a special focus on health, gender, and child well-being in developing countries. My recent work has been published in Social Science Medicine: Population Health, Science, and Nature.

I am also affiliated with the Center for Child Well-Being and Development at the University of Zurich and the Centre for the Study of African Economies at the University of Oxford. Prior to becoming a member of the Nuffield CESS team, I was at the Department of Economics at the University of Zurich. I received my Ph.D. from Utrecht University.

Current research projects include:

Motives underlying prenatal sex-selection
Due to sex-selective abortions, Armenia and Georgia have highly skewed sex ratios at birth. This study aims at understanding the social motives supporting son preferences within nuclear families and across different regions. The project is funded by UNICEF, Switzerland.

The persistence and abandonment of female genital cutting
This project aims to understand the decision-making mechanisms that support female genital cutting within and across communities. In addition, the project develops and evaluates interventions designed to improve attitudes towards uncut girls. The project is funded by UNICEF, Switzerland.

Conditional cash transfer programs and parental investments
Brazil has for more than a decade implemented the world’s largest conditional cash transfer program. We examine whether participation in the program feeds back to influence the aspirations parents have for their children. The study will be implemented via mobile phones.

Social mechanisms to reduce corrupt behaviour
The projects tests if piece-rate payments versus institutions promoting social accountability reduce bribery in higher education. Laboratory experiments will take place in Columbia.

Sonja has taught a variety of university courses at both the undergraduate and postgraduate level, with topics that include experimental economics, social network theory, statistics and organizational sociology.

Recent publications include:

(with C. Efferson and E. Fehr), “The risk of female genital cutting in Europe: Comparing immigrant attitudes toward uncut girls with attitudes in a practicing country” Social Science Medicine – Population Health (2017), 3: 283-93.

(with N.A.M. Zaid, H.E.F. Ahmed, E. Fehr, and C. Efferson), “Changing cultural attitudes on female genital cutting”, Nature (2016), 538(7726): 506-9. (Shared first authorship with Efferson)

(with C. Bozoyan), “The impact of third-party information on trust: valence, source, and reliability”, PLoS ONE (2016), 11(2): e0149542. (Shared first authorship)

(with C. Efferson, C. Roca, and D. Helbing), “Sustained cooperation by running away from bad behavior”, Evolution and Human Behavior (2016), 37(1): 1-9.

(with C. Efferson, A. Elhadi, H.E.F. Ahmed, and E. Fehr), “Female genital cutting is not a social coordination norm”, Science (2015), 349: 1446-7. (Shared first authorship with Efferson)