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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)

    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.

    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 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

    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 (IAB Nürnberg), 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.