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Research at the Department of Economics

Research Profile

The Department of Economics of the University of Bonn is one of the leading insitutions for economic research in Europe and enjoys an excellent reputation worldwide. This is confirmed by international rankings, the success in attracting renowned third-party research funds as well as numerous high-ranking prizes and awards for Bonn economists - notably the Nobel Prize for Economics to Reinhard Selten in 1994.

The department is equally strong in economic theory and in applied research in empirical economics.

The research focuses on the areas of

  • microeconomics,
  • monetary and international macroeconomics,
  • behavioral economics,
  • financial market economics,
  • and experimental and empirical economic research.

Central research topics include, for example, the economic causes and consequences of social inequality and the transformation of markets in the context of internationalization and digitalization.

The aim of the research is to better understand how markets, incentives and mechanisms of policy-making work, what impact they have and how they could be designed better. Bonn's economists influence the public debate on economic policy issues in a variety of ways, and research results are fed into policy making through sound analysis and recommendations.

The department is traditionally strong in collaborative research, where long-term structures for top-class economic research are developed and forward-looking research fields with high social relevance are developed. These include the Cluster of Excellence "ECONtribute: Markets and Public Policy" with the University of Cologne and the DFG-funded CRC / TR 224 "Economic Perspectives on Societal Challenges: Equality of Opportunity, Market Regulation, and Financial Stability" with the University of Mannheim. Furthermore, the faculty participates in the Cluster of Excellence "Mathematics - Fundamentals, Models, Applications" at the Hausdorff Center for Mathematics of the University of Bonn.

The research strength of Bonn's economics department is also reflected in individual research. Members of the department are successful in all three funding lines of the ERC Grants. Ongoing projects include the ERC Consolidator Grants of Christian Bayer and Moritz Schularick. In the "LiquidHouseCycle" project, Christian Bayer analyzes how investment decisions of individual households interact with the economy as a whole. In the project "SafeHouse", Moritz Schularick examines the long-term development of real estate prices, the distribution of real estate assets and the combination of real estate bubbles and financial crises.

The promotion of young scientists within our internationally recognized doctoral program at the Bonn Graduate School of Economics (BGSE) is of central importance to our research strategy. Considering the increasing importance of competetive international job markets for highly-qualified young academics, the department aims to empower young scientists to undertake early research focused on publications in international journals. In particular, the large number of former doctoral students and postdoctoral researchers of the department who hold professorships at renowned German and foreign universities is an expression of the success of this encouragement.

Finally, networking with international and local partners is a crucial basis for the research strength of the department. In Bonn, these include, above all, the Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA), the Max Planck Institute for the Research of Collective Goods and the Institute on Behavior and Inequality (briq).

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