Evaluating public policies

Public Economics

What are the research topics in this area?

The public economics group focuses on topics in Policy Evaluation, Political Economy, Economics of the Arts, Economics of Science, Health Economics, Pension Economics, Economics of Education, Labor Economics. Current research deals with the efficiency and equity of governance of education, Education and individual outcomes in relation to labor markets and skills, rent-seeking, lobbying, election contests, art price formation, intergenerational mobility and education reforms. The public economics group also runs a seminar series, with seminars typically taking place on Monday afternoons.

Why is the University of Konstanz particularly strong in this area?

The strengths of the research group lie in its close ties to other leading research groups within and outside the university. Its researchers are actively involved in policy consulting, e.g. in scientific advisory councils and regularly contribute to ongoing policy debates – also in non-academic publications such as newspaper coverage.

To what extent are the topics socially relevant?

Much of the applied research in this field aims to evaluate the impact of public policies. Therefore, it is directly policy-relevant as it seeks to answer such questions as: What are the long-run consequences of retaining students in school? Does school tracking by ability reduce the equity in education? Does more accountability lead to better schools? Is the German social insurance system sustainable in view of population ageing? Can efficiency in the provision of health services be improved? Which kind of political institutions give rise to a workable, advantageous, and sustainable democratic political process?

How well is the group connected with the research community?

Within the university, the group is closely connected to our Graduate School of Decision Sciences. Collaboration also flourishes with other social science departments, particularly Prof. Dr. Marius Busemeyer and Prof. Dr. Christian Breunig at the Department of Politics and Public Administration as well as with Prof. Dr. Britta Renner at the Department of Psychology. The group also maintains close ties to several renowned institutions and networks, e.g.:

  • Ifo Center for the Economics of Education
  • Harvard’s Program on Education Policy and Governance (PEPG)
  • Swiss Leading House Economics of Education
  • Firm Behaviour and Training Policies
  • Ifo Center for Public Finance and Political Economy
  • Research Monitoring Group KOF
  • DICE
  • Dondena Centre for Research on Social Dynamics and Public Policy

Members of the Public Economics group


Doctoral students: