Welcome to my personal website.
I am a Professor of Economic History at the University of Cologne, a Member in the Cluster of Excellence ECONtribute: Markets & Public Policy, a CESifo Research Fellow, a CEPR Research Affiliate, a CAGE Research Fellow, an Associate Editor at The Journal of Economic History, and an Associate Editor at The Economic Journal.
My research focuses on economic history and long-run development. In my studies, I analyze historically important events and factors that determine differences in development over time and across space. Specifically, I am interested in the consequences of institutional reforms such as the implementation of mandatory health insurance, the abolition of labor coercion, or the extension of political franchise. Additionally, I am interested in patterns of knowledge and technology diffusion in physical and social networks. A large part of my work focuses on the economic development of the German state of Prussia during the 18th and 19th centuries - a period of fundamental changes in the transition of sustained growth. Using Prussia as a laboratory, I can typically draw on rich administrative data, digitized from Prussian censuses originally collected by the statistical office. Such detailed data allow the application of econometric methods aimed understanding more about the direction of causality in the relationships under analysis.