Just as almost all mathematics is nonlinear, almost all economic phenomena are complex. (Doyne Farmer)

Claudius Gräbner’s Academic Homepage

Welcome to my academic homepage


I am currently a research associate at the Institute for Comprehensive Analysis of the Economy (ICAE) at the Johannes Kepler University Linz (Austria) and a researcher at the Institute for Inclusive and Sustainable Economies (ZOE).

My research is mainly concerned with the effects of globalization, the determinants for international competitiveness of countries, economic complexity, institutions and development. Besides, I am also interested in economic methodology, in particular how economic models help us to understand reality.

At the moment, I am responsible for two major research projects. One is funded by the Austrian science fund (FWF) and is concerned with the socio-economic implications of international competition on various scales, as well as the historical origins of the economic concept of ‘competitition’. Soon you can read more about the project here.

The second research project is funded by Rethinking Macroeconomics and is concerned with the question of how countries in the European Union acquire new technological capabilities and to what extent these mechanisms can explain the polarization patterns we currently observe in Europe. More information about the project is available here soon.

I give presentations and workshops on topics related to my research rather regularly. The material of my invited talks and keynotes can be found in the section presentations. I taught courses on microeconomics, in particular game theory, information and institutional economics, but also on macroeconomics and economic complexity. I also taught seminars in computational economics and econometrics. You can have a look on the corresponding material in the teaching section.

You may also check out the news section, read some more or less interesting stuff about myself, and get my public PGP key.

Latest news

Herbert Simon Award for the best paper by a young scholar

Posted September 12 2018

I am happy to receive the Herbert Simon Award for the best paper by a young scholar, awarded by the European Association for Evolutionary Political Economy (EAEPE) for my working paper Pluralism in Economics: Its critiques and their lessons, which I have co-authored with Birte Strunk and for which any feedback is still very welcome.

Here is also a nice note in the Heterodox Economics newsletter, along with additional information on the great EAEPE conference in Nice. Thanks a lot!

New working paper on measures of economic openness

Posted August 18 2018

While working on a project that studies the socio-economic effects of the openness of economies, we figured out that there are a vast number of different measures for openness. Therefore, we wrote a review entitled Measuring Economic Openness: A review of existing measures and empirical practices in which we present, discuss and compare various measures for openness. We also provide for a taxonomy of such measures and show with a practical example that the choice of the measure is very important for the outcome of any quantitative analysis of economic openness.

New article on complexity and pluralism

Posted July 31 2018

My paper The Complexity of Economies and Pluralism in Economics has now been published in the Journal of Contextual Economics.

In the paper I argue that - for ontological and epistemological reasons - pluralism with regard to economic research programs is a more viable position to hold than monism. Also, I discuss channels through which power accumulation of research programs under the current institutions takes place, and that this accumulation process is self-reinforcing. Thus, without critical intervention, the scientific system self-organizes itself towards an (epistemologically inferior) state of unity.

For a non-barrier version of the paper see the accepted manuscript.

New working paper on pluralism in economics

Posted August 6 2018

Together with Birte Strunk I published a new working paper entitled ‘’Pluralism in Economics: Its critiques and their lessons’‘. We discuss five common argument against pluralism and try to provide adequate responses. We also try to identify the ‘lessons to be learned’ by pluralists and argue that the most important challenges for pluralists is to think about strategies that ensure communicatino across paradigms, and about the development of cross-paradigmatic quality indicators.

Launch of a video-based introduction ABM in Python

Posted July 19 2018

I have launched this video-based introduction to ABM in Python. It consists of scripts, and videos explaining hands-on the content of the scripts. The course is addressing people who want to learn agent-based modelling, but do not want to use a specialized platform such as Netlogo.

Thus, the course aims to teach people without previous experience in programming both the basics in the programming language Python, and the basics of agent-based modelling using Python.

For now, the videos are only available in German, but the scripts are also available in English (see the English course homepage).

For any video block there is a feedback form, and I greatly value your feedback on this course.

This feedback will not only help me to improve the course in the future, but also build a good English version of the course.

I hope you find the information helpful and become as fascinated by programming and ABM as I do!

New presentation on theory development in economics and lessons for ABM scholars

Posted July 9 2018

I was invited to give talk during this great symposium on theory development with agent-based models.

My presentation is about how economists construct theory, and what lessons we can learn from this process - in the positive as well as in the negative sense. The slides are available here (some pictures removed for potential copyright issues).

Who is interested in these kind of questions might also have a look at my new paper on model validation and verification in JASSS.

As always, any feedback is highly appreciated.

New paper on ABM and institutional analysis

Posted July 1 2018

My paper To Trust or to Control: Informal Value Transfer Systems and Computational Analysis in Institutional Economics has now been published in the Journal of Economic Issues.

The paper , which is joint work work with Wolfram Elsner and Alex Lascaux, introduces an agent-based model to study the role of trust and control for the functioning of informal money transfer systems such as Hawala.

We place in the application into a broader discussion on how agent-based models can be used for institutional analysis and how they can improve communication among different research programs.

New paper on the epistemology of model verification and model validation

Posted July 1 2018

How do we relate models with reality? What is meant by model verification and validation? When and why are these activities important? These are some of the questions that I explore in my paper How to Relate Models to Reality? An Epistemological Framework for the Validation and Verification of Computational Models , which has now been published (open access) in JASSS.

Not only deals the paper with some important epistemological questions underlying the use of computational models, it also serves as a non-technical introduction of epistemological concepts to non-philosophers and applied modellers.

Keynote lecture on measures of economic complexity and development

Posted June 28 2018

I was invited to give a half-day introduction to measures of economic complexity and how they can be used in the context of development studies. I introduce three measures: the measure of invention complicatedness of Lee Fleming and Olav Sorensen, the measure of structural complexity by Tom Broekel, and the economic complexity index of Cesar Hidalgo and Ricardo Hausmann. The latter is discussed in more detail.

The material is available here