Welcome to my website! I am an associate professor of economics at Duke University, a Faculty Research Fellow at the NBER and a Research Affiliate at the CEPR. My research interests lie in micro-founded macroeconomic questions and range from productivity, firm dynamics, the organization of production to the economics of uncertainty.
You can find my professional profiles here: Google Scholar, SSRN, IDEAS/RePEc .
Let's talk on Twitter: @MacroMatthias.
Department of Economics
Durham, NC 27708-0097
Office: 237 Social Sciences
Office Hours: Mondays at 10am
Who is the man above in that strange outfit?
It is Hermes, the god of messengers, economists, merchants, exchange and – pure coincidence, I suppose – gamblers, liars and thieves. Equipped with a winged helmet and winged shoes for faster air travel, he usually holds a caduceus (see left), the attribute of messengers.
What is he doing here?
In Greek mythology, Hermes is the closest Olympian god to economics and business, that's why the caduceus shows up on this website – and in many places related to commerce, for example:
Business Schools: Stockholm School of Economics or Columbia Business School (more stylized);
Buildings: Colonial Trade Company (Madrid), Market House (Krakow), Timber Market Fountain (Hanover), Blackburne House (mansion of salt trader John Blackburn in Liverpool), Hôtel Saint-Côme (seat of the Chamber of Commerce in Montpellier);
Flags of customs or antitrust agencies: Belarus, China, Finland, Singapore, Ukraine;
Portraits of merchants: Leonhard Beyersberger (a spice trader) or Karl Christoph Stiller (a trader and publisher in Rostock).
Is the caduceus not a symbol of medicine?
Only in the United States. It seems that the U.S. Surgeon General in the late 19th century confused it with the Rod of Asclepios when he picked the caduceus, long before used in the merchant marine, as the attribute for the U.S. Marine Hospital Service. When the Marine Hospital Service became the U.S. Public Health Service, the caduceus stuck and spread as a symbol of the medical system in general. Speak about path dependence.