I am a senior researcher in economics at the University of Zurich, funded by a 4-year "Ambizione Grant" of the Swiss National Science Foundation (SNSF). I am also an affiliate member of CESifo, an associate member of the European Development Network (EUDN) , the Research Group on Development Economics in the German Economic Association and the Research Training Group "Globalization and Development" (GlaD).
My main research interests are in political economy, public economics, and economic development. My motivation comes from my deep interest to better understand which formal and informal institutions and political systems are most likely to make societies function well. The SNF project investigates the distribution of resources and group identities, and how they affect political stability and conflict. I apply modern econometric methods and theories, as well as concepts from related discplines like political science, psychology, history and ethnology, and use often novel administrative, geographical or historical data sets for my empirical studies.
In my view, the role of an economist in society is (based on Frederic Bastiat) to consider "the seen and the unseen" consequences of policies, and not fall prey to common sense and make-believe. My credo is not to trust simplistic explanations and remember that the world is full of trade-offs, and unfortunately no free lunches. My hope is that through my work I can contribute my small share to provide a reliable scientific assessment that helps citizens and politicians to realize and account for the trade-offs and effects of important policy-decisions.
In a current project we collect information on governments in Africa. You can find the project site "here" .
In another project we analyze the integration of immigrants to the USA. You can find the project site "here" .
- Public Economics/ Political Economy/ Public Choice:
- Fiscal federalism, the size of nations and separatism
- Identity economics
- The political economy of International Organizations (EU, IMF, World Bank,…)
- Financial markets, in particular credit rating agencies
- Economic Development:
- Development finance: Aid effectiveness, aid allocation, political economy of aid
- Comparative/ long term economic development
- The political economy of conflict
- Since 2/2018:
Ambizione senior lecturer funded by the Swiss National Science Foundation at the University of Zurich
Research stay at the Economics Department and the Institute for New Economic Thinking at the University of Cambridge, UK
- Since 9/2015:
Oberassistent (PostDoc) at the Chair of Political Economy (Katharina Michaelowa) at the University of Zurich
Ph.D. Dissertation in Economics at the University of Göttingen and Heidelberg University.
Supervisor Axel Dreher and Stephan Klasen.
Final grade: Summa cum laude
Guest researcher at the Weatherhead Center for International Affairs at Harvard University in Boston, Massachusetts.
Participation in Ph.D courses in the fall semester 2014 at MIT and Harvard.
Overall 2-year Ph.D. course program at the University of Mannheim as well as at the Universities of Göttingen and Hannover (joint program)
Diplom (M.Sc equivalent) in Business Administration w. electives in Economics at the University of Mannheim
Studies in Business and Economics at the University of Canterbury in Christchurch, New Zealand
Abitur H.v.Z. Gymnasium Murrhardt