|I am an Assistant Professor (Akademischer Rat) at Leibniz University Hannover’s Institute of Macroeconomics. I am also affiliated with SoDa Labs at Monash University, Maastricht University and UNU-MERIT, and the AidData Research Consortium. Since October 2019, I am visiting the University of California San Diego (UCSD) as a Humboldt fellow. In June 2022, I will join the University of Stuttgart as a Tenure-Track-Professor of Macroeconomics.
My research is at the intersection of macroeconomics, development/ political economics, and urban/ regional economics. Within those broad fields, I am particularly interested in i) the spatial distribution of people and economic activity, ii) the political economy of ethnicity and,
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. The emergence of geospatial data in economics makes it possible to bridge the gap between macro questions and credible causal designs at the regional, city, or sub-city level. 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 www.lightinequality.com.