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Welcome to the Chair of Macroeconomics

  • News

    Important note: Due to the current coronavirus situation, all members of the staff are working from home.

    For any enquiries, please contact the respective staff member by e-mail. For matters concerning the secretariat, please contact sekretariat-langenmayr(at)
    Astrid Hess 0841 937 - 23138
    Mette Schaufler 0841 937 - 21887

    Prof. Dr. Simon Wiederhold will be on sabbatical in the summer semester 2020. Therefore, please contact the other members of the chair with any concerns regarding teaching at the chair.

    Teaching Award Goes to Katharina Hartinger

    For the second year in a row, WFI’s teaching award goes to the Chair of Macroeconomics! Katharina Hartinger received the prize for outstanding teaching based on her two most recent evaluations. The students’ council presents this award to the best teaching staff once per year. In courses like “Economics of Innovation”, “Economics of Education” or “Introductory Economics”, Ms Hartinger teaches valuable methods and brand-new research insights – often combined with stories about her own work as a researcher.

    Last year, Prof. Wiederhold was the recipient of the professorial teaching award.

    While current circumstances require a whole lot of creativity, the Chair of Macroeconomics continues to treat high-quality, relevant, and exciting teaching as a top priority.

    Prof. Dr. Simon Wiederhold and his team receive ifo Prize for Exceptional Achievement in Third-party Funded Research

    In recent years, third-party-funded research projects have steadily gained in importance at the KU. In these projects, (interdisciplinary) research groups investigate socially relevant issues in cooperation with an external sponsor – with a focus on knowledge transfer into society. Simon Wiederhold (together with Franziska Hampf, Marc Piopiunik and Ludger Woessmann from the ifo institute) have now been awarded the ifo Prize for Exceptional Achievement in Third-party Funded Research at ifo’s annual meeting. In the project "Acquisition and Utilisation of Adult Skills – A Network for Analysing, Developing and Disseminating PIAAC", the research team showed that cognitive skills are substantially rewarded on the labor market. However, there are significant differences between countries in these so-called returns to skills, as a widely-cited research article in the renowned European Economic Review illustrates. These results are more relevant than ever in the current political discussion due to the COVID-19-related global lockdown of education institutions and its dramatic consequences on skill development.

    Call for education policy measures during the COVID-19 pandemic 

    The call was initiated by Prof. Simon Wiederhold and Prof. Alexander M. Danzer (KU Eichstätt-Ingolstadt) together with four other professors from DIW Berlin, FU Berlin, ifo Institute Munich and JMU Würzburg. The call was co-signed by more than 90 renowned economists who work on educational issues in Germany.  

    The call describes the urgent need for resuming teaching and care of all children and adolescents in a structured way. The call proposes measures in the short, medium and long term to prevent the loss of skills and counteract a rise in educational inequality. In addition, the call points out the serious long-term economic consequences of school closures.  

    Press release (with quotations from Prof. Wiederhold and Prof. Danzer)
    Full text call and list of supporters
    Spiegel online already covered the call, the article can be found here.

    Paper by Simon Wiederhold investigating returns to skills on the labor market is one of the best studies in 50 years of European Economic Review

    The paper "Returns to Skills around the World: Evidence from PIAAC" is one of only two studies to be included in the "Editor's Choice" of the best studies to mark the 50th anniversary of the renowned European Economic Review. The paper also received the Best Paper Award for the best publication in the European Economic Review in 2015. It is also the most cited article published since 2013 in the journal. In this paper, Simon Wiederhold and his co-authors Eric Hanushek (Stanford University), Guido Schwerdt (University of Konstanz), and Ludger Woessmann (ifo Institute) show that not only the economy at large, but also individuals benefit from improved educational achievement. To examine this more closely, the authors use data from the PIAAC adult achievement test. They show that higher skills pay off on the labor market of all 23 participating countries: an increase by one (out of five) skill levels is associated with 18 percent higher earnings on average. Countries with the highest returns to skills are the United States, Ireland, and Germany. 

    Top Teaching at the Chair of Macroeconomics

    This year’s faculty award for excellent teaching goes to Prof. Wiederhold! Based on evaluation results from the previous two semesters, the students’ council presents this award to the top performing WFI professor once a year. Prof. Wiederhold’s teaching in a broad spectrum of courses – such as “Introductory Economics”, “Economics of Innovation”, and “Behavioral Finance” – has thus been rewarded. Encouraging students to become interested in the diverse and highly relevant topics of economics as well as equipping them with a valuable methodological toolkit has always been a major aim of the chair of macroeconomics. Seeing that our students acknowledge this work is an honor and a source of further motivation for Prof. Wiederhold and his team.

    Research award goes to study on teacher skills

    What is the role of teachers’ cognitive skills in explaining tragically low student performance in  Sub- Saharan Africa? Simon Wiederhold, jointly with Jan Bietenbeck and Marc Piopiunik, address this question in their recent paper "Africa’s Skill Tragedy: Does Teachers’ Lack of Knowledge Lead to Low Student Performance?".


    Co-author Marc Piopiunik has now been awarded the ifo institute’s prestigious award for excellent research for his collaboration in this study. Once per year, the ifo research prize honors ifo researchers who were involved in outstanding research projects. This award underlines once more the quality of the study, which has already been published in the highly renowned Journal of Human Resources.

    Macro chair supports innovative student competition

    Are students slowly getting „chalkbored“? How can we improve meaningful digitization in German classrooms? Soon a group of students will try to solve these big questions in cooperation with the chair of macroeconomics. KU is the first university to support „YES! – Young Economic Summit“, a nationwide student competition in economics. YES! encourages students to tackle real-world socioeconomic problems and develop their own solutions. Prof. Wiederhold and Katharina Hartinger will support a group of students and share research-based insights into the topic of digitization. We are extremely curious to see how students want to improve digitization in schools and what flaws of the current process they will expose!

    For more information on WFI’s role in the competition (including a statement from president Gien), click here (in German).

    Simon Wiederhold appointed as professor

    Since May 2017, Prof. Simon Wiederhold holds the Chair for Economics, especially Macroeconomics at Ingolstadt School of Management. In summer term 2016 and winter term 2016/2017, Prof. Wiederhold was already interim professor at the chair for Macroeconomics. For more information about Mr. Wiederhold, click here.

  • Teaching

    Exams Summer Term 2020

    Decision Theory
    23.07.2020, 10:00-12.00h (GH) - may be subject to change

    Behavioral Finance
    Portfolio, more information ILIAS

    Economics of Education
    Portfolio, more information ILIAS

    Exams Winter Term 2019/2020

    Foundations of Economics
    2nd date: postponed

    Economics of Innovation
    2nd date: more Information here

    Courses offered in summer term 2020

    For bachelor students, the chair offers the English lectures Behavioral Finance and Decision Theory. The lecture Economics of Education is also offered. The lecture Behavioral Finance is open to Master students as well. Our courses will likely be taught online – thus, please register for the courses on KU.Campus as soon as possible.

    Courses offered in winter term 2019/2020

    For bachelor students, the chair offers the lecture Foundation of Economics. For master students, the chair offers the English lecture Economics of Innovation, the Seminar on Entrepreneurship/ Innovation and the Seminar on the Effects of New Technologies on the Labor Market.

    Courses offered in summer term 2019

    For bachelor students, the chair offers the English lectures Behavioral Finance, Decision Theory and The Role of Education and Innovation in Economic Development. The lecture Economics of Education is also offered. The lecture Behavioral Finance is open to Master students as well. 

    Important note: Temporary regulation „Makroökonomie II“

    From summer term 2018 onwards, the course “Makroökonomie II” will not be offered anymore. It will be replaced by the course “Makroökonomie”. Students in the sixth semester or higher, who have not yet passed the exam in “Makroökonomie II”, are offered temporary regulations and alternatives, respectively. Details can be found here.

    Past Courses:

    Case Study along with PwC

    In summer term 2019, students attending the lecture “Behavioral Finance” had the opportunity to pariticpate in a case study with PwC Munich. Together with experts from PwC, students will develop strategies to rescue firms that are bankrupt or close to bankruptcy and sell these strategies to banks and other stakeholders.




  • Research

    Bad economic conditions at the end of high school have positive long-term effects on skill formation and labor-market success

    A new study by Simon Wiederhold, together with Marc Piopiunik und Franziska Hampf (both ifo Institute), investigates the effects of economic conditions at high-school graduation on further educational decisions and labor-market outcomes. The analysis is based on international data for 28 OECD countries. The authors find that bad economic conditions at high-school graduation increase college enrollment and graduation, which has a long-term positive impact on individuals’ cognitive skills and labor-market success. Outcomes are affected only by the economic conditions at high-school graduation, but not by those during earlier or later years. This finding suggests that there is a considerable number of academically marginal students who do not plan their educational careers well in advance, but react to short-term economic conditions. Moreover, recessions at high-school graduation narrow the long-run gender gaps in numeracy skills and labor-market success, as women's educational and labor-market decisions are particularly responsive to the economic situation at the end of formal schooling.

    An interview by National Public Radio with Marc Piopiunik is available here.

    Do Ditigal Skills Pay off on the Labor Market?

    Despite the general conviction that skills in the mastery of information and communication technologies (ICT) pay off in the workplace, there is little robust evidence to support this. In a new study, Simon Wiederhold, together with Oliver Falck (ifo Institute) and Alexandra Heimisch-Röcker (acatech), shows that higher ICT skills as measured in the “Adult PISA” do indeed lead to higher wages in the labor market. For the analysis, they use the fact that, regardless of their other skills, people in some areas of Germany have more ICT skills due to the increased availability of broadband Internet. The study was just accepted in Research Policy, the leading journal in the field of innovation economics.

    Migrants' Occupational Skills    

    How do migrants differ from the population that remains in their country of origin? A new paper by Simon Wiederhold, together with Alexander Patt (formerly KU Eichstätt-Ingolstadt), Jens Ruhose (University of Kiel) and Miguel Flores (ITESM), addresses this question for the case of Mexicans migrating to the US. They find that the migrant Mexicans have better manual skills but lower cognitive skills than those who remain in Mexico. These results can be explained by the fact that the economic returns to manual skills for Mexicans are higher in the US than in Mexico; the opposite holds for cognitive skills. The selection of migrants is much better described by their occupational skills than by their formal education level or income. The paper was recently accepted for publication in the renowned Journal of the European Economic Association. The paper was also awarded the prestigious CESifo Young Affiliate Award.

    Skilled Teachers Important for Student Performance

    The cognitive skills of teachers are an important determinant of international differences in student performance. This is the conclusion reached by Simon Wiederhold together with Eric A. Hanushek (Stanford University) and Marc Piopiunik (ifo Institute Munich) in a recent study in which they combine math and reading skills of teachers in more than 30 countries from the PIAAC study with individual student data from the PISA test. The paper has just been published in the Journal of Human Resources, the leading journal in education economics.

    The Cognitive Skills of Teachers and the Tragedy of African Education

    Despite attending school for years, most pupils in Sub-Sahara are still learning remarkably little in school. Are there any possibilities to change this? Together with his co-authors Marc Piopiunik (ifo Institute Munich) and Jan Bietenbeck (University Lund), Simon Wiederhold shows in a recent study that better knowledge of teachers improves the performance of students, especially if textbooks are available in class. The paper has been published in the prestigious Journal of Human Resources.

    Public Procurement Influences Innovativeness of the Economy

    Governments purchase everything from airplanes to zucchini. Does the technological content of government procurement play a role for innovation in the private sector? In a recent study, Simon Wiederhold and Viktor Slavtchev (IWH Halle) show that governments buying more high-tech products induce higher research and development spending in the private sector. This effect appears even without an increase in total procurement spending. To reach this conclusion, they make use of microeconometric methods on extensive data of US states.The paper has been published in the American Economic Journal: Macroeconomics, one of the leading journals in macroeconomics.