Welcome to the homepage of the doctoral research training group (RTG) 2484 – “Regional Disparities and Economic Policy”, funded by the German Research Foundation (DFG) and jointly instituted in 2019 by the Technical University Dortmund, the University of Duisburg-Essen, and the Ruhr Universität Bochum.

The overarching goal of the RTG “Regional Disparities and Economic Policy” is to provide an outstanding education for doctoral students while at the same time contributing to frontier research in an exciting and dynamic field. Combining the expertise of scholars from distinct economic backgrounds (e.g. labor, public, macro) and thus different methodological skills, institutional knowledge, and data access, we establish a graduate program that promises internationally visible scientific output and an excellent academic training environment for PhD candidates.

Regional disparities – for example with respect to income, housing costs, labor market, education and health outcomes – are pronounced, persistent, and at times divergent, but the debate about their origins, consequences, and appropriate policy responses is still largely unresolved. The RTG “Regional Disparities and Economic Policy” aims to improve our knowledge of underlying economic mechanisms and hence lay the groundwork for well-founded policy recommendations by applying and further developing recent methodological advances in regional economics as well as utilizing unique data sets. To this end, the Research Data Center at RWI – Leibniz-Institute for Economic Research, specialized on regional data, constitutes an important partner of the RTG.

The RTG “Regional Disparities and Economic Policy” provides doctoral students with an excellent environment for a completion of high-quality dissertations in its research area. The comprehensive qualification program combines a short, concentrated course program with structured research guidance and ample opportunities for feedback and discussion, allowing for dissertation completion within three years and promoting careers in academia, research institutes, the private economy and the public sector, including international organizations. 

The RTG brings together eight internationally visible professors from different sub-disciplines within economics (e.g. public economics, macroeconomics, labor economics, regional economics or health economics) who share a genuine interest in regional aspects of the economy and access to and expertise in handling highly relevant data sets. Together with about seven incoming doctoral students each year they form the RTG group. An extensive personal and institutional research network and RTG activities geared to outgoing and incoming (guest) researchers place its research and qualification program in the center of the international research environment in the field. The combination of methodological and topical knowledge from different sub-fields makes this RTG unique.​

The RTG “Regional Disparities and Economic Policy” admits approximately seven doctoral students every year. For details about the application process, please see here.