The RTG brings together 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.


Prof. Dr. Thomas K. Bauer (RUB)​

Thomas Bauer is Professor of Economics at the Faculty of Management and Economics at the Ruhr-University Bochum (RUB). He earned his PhD at LMU Munich. After a one-year post-doc research visit at the Rutgers University, he joined the IZA in Bonn and received his habilitation from the University of Bonn. Since February 2004 he is member of the Executive Board of the RWI in Essen, since 2009 he is Vice-President. Since 2011 he is member of the Expert Council of German Foundations on Integration and Migration, since September 2016 he is chairman of the Council.

His research interests are economics of migration, labor and population economics, health economics and applied microeconometrics. His work comprises theoretical and empirical work. Research topics include, among others, the labor market integration of migrants, the effect of immigration on native workers, the determinants of migration as well as the evaluation of active and passive labor market policy.

Prof. Dr. Christiane Hellmanzik (TUD)

Christiane Hellmanzik is Professor of Urban, Regional and International Economics at the TU Dortmund University, Germany. She received her PhD from Trinity College Dublin, Ireland, her M.A. from University College Dublin, Ireland, and her B.Sc. in Economics from the University of Maastricht, the Netherlands, and has been a Postdoc at the Economics Department of Heidelberg before she was appointed Assistant Professor in the Department of Economics at the University of Hamburg, Germany. She is a labor and trade economist with a particular interest in creative production. Her research has covered a range of topics from agglomeration of economic activity to migration, peer effects, auctions and art markets, economic history as well as international trade of goods and services.

Most of her research employs large, novel datasets based on which certain aspects of creative production can be quantified and thereby understood better. Her most recent research projects concern the role of the internet for international trade in services as well as the production by historic writers. She will be on the Board of the Association of Cultural Economics from 2018 to 2020.


Prof. Dr. Philip Jung (TUD)

Philip Jung is Professor of Economics at the TU Dortmund. He started his Ph.D. in Freiburg and the study center in Gerzensee (Switzerland), moved to Philadelphia at the Penn university (USA) and earned his PhD finally at Goethe university in Frankfurt under the supervision of Dirk Krueger. He has spent two post-doc years in Amsterdam with Wouter den Haan. He moved as a Junior-professor to Mannheim university and accepted afterwards an associate professorship (W2) at Bonn university. Finally, he has worked as full professor (W3) at TU Dortmund since 2014.

His research interests are macroeconomics and business cycle theory, labor economics, regional economics, economic history and computational economics. His work comprises theoretical and empirical work, with a clear emphasize on structural estimation. Research topics include the design of an optimal unemployment insurance system in heterogeneous regions, earnings losses after job losses, mismatch in regional and occupational skills, optimal governmental debt and default decisions and expectation formation during the great depression and the road to Hitler. His current research focuses on structural estimation of heterogeneous agent models with regional mismatch.

Prof. Dr. Martin Karlsson (UDE)

Martin Karlsson is Professor of Economics of the University of Duisburg-Essen since 2012. Before taking up his current position at the Chair of Health Economics in Essen, Martin has been working at the Technische Universität Darmstadt (2009-12), at the University of Oslo (2009-16) at the University of Oxford (2006-09) and at Cass Business School in London (2005-06). Martin received his doctoral degree from the European University Institute in 2007. Beside his work at the Chair of Health Economics, Martin is a Research Fellow of IZA, a Guest Professor at Lund University and Director of CINCH, a national centre for research on health economics. Martin regularly organises international academic conferences on different current topics within health economics, and he participates in various international research collaborations.

Martin’s research agenda spans a wide range of topics within health economics. His previous work has been devoted to economic aspects of long-term care, to the effect of sick pay on worker absenteeism, and to the relationship between economic inequality and health. In addition, his current work focuses on the analysis of information asymmetries in markets for private health insurance; ageing and long-term care; and the impact of labor market fluctuations on health. Martin has published in leading journals such as the Journal of the European Economic Association, Journal of Health Economics, The Economic Journal, the Journal of Public Economics, and the Journal of Applied Econometrics.

Jun.-Prof. Dr. Sanne Kruse-Becher (RUB)

Sanne Kruse-Becher is a Juniorprofessor of Macroeconomics at Ruhr-Universität Bochum. She holds a Ph.D. degree in Economics from Aarhus University, Denmark. Before her Assistant Professorship, she was working as a Postdoc at Leuphana University Lüneburg and held a temporary professorship at Carl-von-Ossietzky University Oldenburg.

Her research interests are international trade, migration and applied microeconometrics. Her current research focuses on (i) local consequences of wars on labor market and health outcomes through global linkages, (ii) consequences and countermeasures in response to firms’ tax evasion through transfer pricing and (iii) firms’ inventory management.

Prof. Dr. Marie Paul (UDE)

Marie Paul is Professor for Quantitative Methods in Economics at the Mercator School of Management (MSM) of the University of Duisburg-Essen. She earned her PhD at Mannheim University, visited the University of Wisconsin, and did a Post-Doc at the University of Freiburg before she started in 2011 as a Juniorprofessor in Duisburg.

Her research interests are in labor economics (active labor market policies, vouchers, family policies, and female labor market careers) and in applied microeconometrics (evaluation methods, Markov Chain Monte Carlo simulation, administrative data). She is currently a principal investigator in the DFG priority program 1764 “The German Labor Market in a Globalized World”.

Prof. Dr. Nadine Riedel (Münster)

Nadine Riedel is Professor for economic policy and regional economics at Westfälische-Wilhelms-Universität Münster. She studied Economics and German Language & Literature at the University of Regensburg and the Trinity College Dublin. In 2008, she received a Ph.D. in Economics from the University of Munich. Prior to joining the University of Bochum in 2014, she held teaching and research positions at the University of Oxford and the University of Munich. From 2010 to 2014, she was a Professor of Public Economics at the University of Hohenheim. Her current research interests comprise questions related to the impact of taxation and local public goods and service provision on firm behavior. Methodologically, her work draws on state-of-the-art micro-econometric estimation approaches. She is a member of the scientific advisory boards of the German Federal Ministry of Finance, the ZEW Mannheim, the RWI Essen and the IAW Tübingen.

Prof. Dr. Tobias Seidel (UDE), Spokesperson

Tobias Seidel is Professor of Economics at the Mercator School of Management (MSM) of the University of Duisburg-Essen. He earned his PhD at LMU Munich where he also spent one post-doc year. After his second post-doc year at the University of Colorado at Boulder, he moved to ETH Zurich before joining the MSM in 2012.

His research interests are international economics, regional economics, public economics, and development economics. His work comprises theoretical and empirical work, both reduced-form and structural. Research topics include labor market rigidities in the global economy, credit frictions, place-based policies and regional migration. His current research focuses on structural estimation of spatial models. He is a member of the CESifo Research Network and CRED.

JProf. Dr. Jens Wrona (UDE)

​Jens Wrona is Professor for New Economic Geography and East Asia at the Mercator School of Management and the Institute for East Asian Studies of the University of Duisburg-Essen. Before joining the University of Duisburg-Essen he held a position as a Junior-Professor for International Economics at the Heinrich-Heine University Düsseldorf. Jens Wrona studied Economics and Japanese Studies at the Eberhard Karls University Tübingen and at the Dôshisha University in Kyôto. He is doing theoretical and empirical research in international, regional, and labour economics. Jens Wrona is an external reserach affiliate at the Düsseldorf Institute for Competition Economics (DICE) and a CESifo Research Network affiliate.  ​

Prof. Galina Zudenkova, PhD (TUD)

Galina Zudenkova is Professor of Public Finance at the Faculty of Business and Economics at the Technische Universität Dortmund (TU Dortmund University), Germany. She received her Ph.D. from University Carlos III Madrid, Spain. While earning the degree she was a visiting fellow at New York University, United States. Before she was appointed Assistant Professor in the Department of Economics at the University of Mannheim, Germany, she worked as Assistant Professor at the University Rovira i Virgili, Spain.

Her research interests lie in the areas of Applied Microeconomics, Public Economics, Political Economy, Law and Economics, and Institutional Economics. Within these fields, she focuses on the game theoretical analysis of the interactions between agents in economic and political environments and test empirically the derived hypotheses. In her previous and current research, she studies theoretically and empirically the questions of policy choice and policy implementation with the focus on principal-agent relationships, redistribution, public good provision, politician selection and institutional regime change.

Mercator Fellow

Prof. Arnaud Chevalier, PhD (Royal Holloway)

Arnaud Chevalier is Professor of Economics at Royal Holloway, University of London. He obtained his PhD at the University of Birmingham and joined the London School of Economics for a post-doc. This was followed by a Marie Currie post-doc at University College Dublin. He then worked at UCD and University of Kent, before joining Royal Holloway in 2006, where he became a full professor in 2016.

Arnaud’s research interest is broadly in applied labour economics. Research topics among others include fertility decisions, education decision, discrimination and crime. From 2007 to 2014, he was the associate editor and then editor of the Journal of the Royal statistical society, and since 2014 is an editor for the IZA World of Labor. Since 2017, he is a member of the European Association of Labour Economists executive committee. From 2017 to 2020, he was head of the economics department at Royal Holloway.


Dr. Sebastian Kunert (UDE)

Sebastian Kunert is the general manager of the RTG and supports the spokesperson in administrative and budgetary topics. He received his PhD in economics from the Mercator School of Management (MSM), University of Duisburg-Essen, in 2019. Prior to joining the MSM, he studied economics at the University of Bonn, where he obtained his Bachelors and Masters degree. He interned at asset management and research departments of private banks and spent an exchange semester at the University of Siena, Italy.

Sebastian’s research interests are international, regional and public economics. Research topics include financial frictions in the global economy and the effects of globalization at the local level.


Cohort 2020

Lu Wei (UDE)

Lu Wei joined the second RTG cohort as a PhD student in 2020 at the
chair of Prof. Dr. Tobias Seidel at the Mercator School of Management
(MSM), University of Duisburg-Essen. She studied International Banking
and Finance at the Shanghai University of Finance and Economics, where
she obtained her Bachelor’s degree. After serving as a mutual fund
researcher and an investment manager, Lu has developed a keen on
Economics. In 2018, she came to Germany and pursued her Master’s degree in Economics at the Eberhard Karls University of Tübingen, where shegained theoretical and empirical expertise in international trade.

Lu has strong interests in international economics, regional economics
and econometrics.


Anna Temel (RUB)

Anna Temel joined the RTG in 2020. She is a PhD student at the chair of Thomas Bauer at the Ruhr-University Bochum, where she also obtained her Bachelors and Masters degree in Management and Economics (BSc.) and Economic Policy Consulting (MSc.). Before she commenced her Phd studies, she gained work experience as an analyst in a policy consulting firm and during internships in different research institutions and in the energy sector.

Anna is interested in environmental economics, the analysis of regional disparities and applied microeconometrics



Malte Borghorst (UDE)

Malte Borghorst started a Ph.D. at the chair of Tobias Seidel at the University of Duisburg-Essen (UDE) in 2020. He holds a Msc. in Economics from the University of Copenhagen and a Bsc. in Economics from the Freie Universität Berlin.

Prior to joining the RTG, he worked as a Research Assistant at the Transport Economics Group of the Technical University of Denmark and the BUILT Department of the Aalborg University.

Malte is interested in labor economics, urban economics and applied microeconometrics.

Current projects include workers commuting decisions and their contribution to the gender wage gap, and the gender specific urban wage premium for experience.



Siegfried To (UDE)

Siegfried To joined the chair of Tobias Seidel at the Mercator School of Management (MSM) in 2020.

Siegfried did his B.Sc. in Economics with a Political and Computer Science minor as well as a Master’s in Economics at the University of Heidelberg and Mannheim respectively. He spent one semester abroad at the Keio University in Tokyo.

His Bachelor’s thesis was concerned with the network analysis of international trade flows while his Master’s thesis was concerned with the prediction of economic time series using Machine Learning algorithms.

Siegfried’s research interests are the application of Machine Learning methods in Economics as well as regional heterogeneity.



Eyayaw Teka Beze (UDE))

Eyayaw Teka Beze joined the Ruhr Graduate School in Economics in October 2019. He received a bachelor’s degree in economics from Bahir Dar University in Ethiopia, and a master’s degree in development policy from KDI School in South Korea. He worked as a graduate assistant (from June 2012-August 2014) and later as a lecturer of economics (from December 2015-August 2017) at Jimma University. He subsequently earned a second master’s degree in Comparative Local Development from a consortium of four European universities (the Corvinus University of Budapest, University of Regensburg, University of Trento, and the University of Ljubljana) and worked as an intern at the Leibniz Institute for East and Southeast European Studies in Regensburg, Germany. In his first master’s thesis, he decomposed economic growth in selected African countries. His second thesis analyzed the causal relationship between energy consumption and economic growth in east African countries.

Research interests: Regional and Urban Economics, Development Economics,International Economics, Data Science.



Knarik Poghosyan (TUD)

Knarik Poghosyan joined the RTG in 2020. She is a PhD student at the chair of Philip Jung at the Technical University Dortmund. Knarik holds Bachelor’s and Master’s Degrees in Management from the Armenian State University of Economics. Further, she obtained Master’s degree in Economics from the Friedrich Schiller University of Jena. Moreover, she interned at the Ministry of Economic Development and Investments (Armenia), Carl Zeiss Microscopy (Germany) and completed an Erasmus Traineeship program in Spain.

In her Master’s thesis she empirically analysed the impact of cluster policy on the structure of inventors’ collaboration network.

Her research interests are innovation and regional economics as well as social network analysis.



Cohort 2019

Avtandil Abashishvili (TUD)

Born in Georgia and after obtaining bachelor’s degree from Tbilisi State University, Avtandil came to Germany and received MSc degree in international economics at the University of Mainz. After finishing the master studies, as part of the first cohort, he joined RTG team at the chair of Prof. Dr. Philip Jung (TUD).

Avtandil is an alumnus of US State department financed Future Leaders Exchange Program and DAAD ERP study scholarship. He has more than three years of professional working experience at private and public institutions, including Tbilisi Municipality City Hall. Besides, he is an active film photographer and mountaineer.

His research interests are international trade, labor and regional economics.


Nina Furbach (TUD)

Nina Furbach started her PhD in 2018 at the Ruhr Graduate School in Economics. She is working at the chair of Philip Jung (TUD) and joined the first cohort of the RTG in 2019. She holds a bachelor’s degree from the University of Heidelberg and a master’s degree from the University of Bonn, both in economics. She further interned at the German Central Bank and completed the ECB’s traineeship program.

Nina is interested in macroeconomics, monetary and public economics as well as inequality.


Johannes Gallé (RUB)

Johannes Gallé is a PhD student at the chair of Thomas Bauer at the Ruhr-University Bochum (RUB) and is part of the first cohort of the RTG. He studied economics at the University of Freiburg, where he obtained his Bachelors and Masters degree. In his thesis, he empirically analyzed the contemporary nexus of local institutions and civil conflict in India. Furthermore, Johannes spent one semester abroad at the University of Auckland and completed several internships, e.g. at the Indo-German Chamber of Commerce in Pune and a voluntary service in a residential care home in Auckland.

His research interests are international and development economics, political economy and applied microeconometrics.


Maren Kaliske (TUD)

Maren Kaliske is holding a Bachelor in Politics and Economics from the University Münster, Germany and a Master in Economics from Trinity College Dublin, Ireland. She is now a PhD student at the chair of Christiane Hellmanzik at the Technical University Dortmund, Germany.

In her Master thesis she empirically examined the effect of globalization measured by changes in the regional exposure to trade on the electoral success of the AfD in German federal elections.

Her Research interests are regional and urban development, digitization, international trade and political economy.


Philipp Markus (UDE)

Philipp Markus started his PhD in 2018 at the Ruhr Graduate School in Economics. In 2019, he joined the RTG at the chair of Tobias Seidel (UDE). Philipp studied economics in Bonn and Cologne where he obtained his Bachelors and Masters degrees. Moreover, he gained work experience at a research and consulting company and did an internship at the Tanzanian Trade Development Authority (TanTrade).

Philipp is interested in the general topic of inequality including regional and urban economics as well as public economics and political economy. Currently, he works on the measurement of local amenities in the context of regional disparities.


Lea Nassal (UDE)

Lea Nassal is a PhD student at the chair of Marie Paul at the University of Duisburg-Essen (UDE). Prior to joining the RTG, she studied economics at the University of Bonn where she received her Bachelor’s and Master’s degree.

Lea’s research interests are labor economics (especially female labor market decisions), health economics and development economics


Diem Hoang Xuan (UDE)

Diem was working as a junior researcher at the Central Institute for Economic Management (CIEM), Vietnam before she commenced her PhD study at the Graduate School “Regional Disparities and Economic Policies” since October, 2019. Diem obtained her Bachelor Degree in International Economics from the Vietnam National University, Hanoi and her Master Degree in International and Development Economics from the Australian National University.

Diem’s research interests include development economics, labor economics, health economics and developing economies.