I am a Tenure-Track-Professor of Macroeconomics and Digital Transformation at the University of Stuttgart. I am also affiliated with SoDa Labs at Monash University, the AidData Research Consortium, and Maastricht University/UNU-MERIT. For the last three years, I was visiting the University of California San Diego (UCSD) as a Humboldt fellow.

My research is at the intersection of macroeconomics, development/ political economics, and urban/ regional economics. Some of the larger questions I try to answer in my research are: Why is economic activity more concentrated in some places than in others? Do politics and international linkages influence the growth of cities? How do ethnic politics and the geography of ethnic groups interact with economic growth? Which political factors influence the dominance of some ethnic groups over others and how do these factors shape regional development?

To tackle these questions, I usually combine manually collected data, remotely-sensed data, state-of-the-art methods, geospatial analysis, and—where suitable—formal theory.  I am often interested in aggregate implications but often rely on microeconometric methods to identify the relevant effects.

From 2017 to 2021, the German Science Foundation (DFG) funded part of my research through a project called “Shining (New) Light on Regional Inequality, Convergence and Development.” You can learn more about the project, our partners and output at

Click here to download my full CV (PDF).