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About me


My name is Claudius Gräbner and I am an economist working as a research associate at the Institute of Socio-Economics of the University of Duisburg-Essen (Germany) and the Institute of Comprehensive Analysis of the Economy (ICAE) of the Johannes Kepler University Linz (Austria). I am also a research fellow of the Institute for future-fit economies (ZOE).


My research is mainly concerned with the socio-economic effects of globalization, the determinants for international competitiveness, economic complexity, institutions and socio-economic development. Besides, I am also interested in economic methodology, in particular how economic models can be helpful in understanding real economic systems.


On this homepage I provide some information and material about the research projects I am responsible for, my teaching and lecturing activites, my research, and myself.

Welcome to my academic homepage

Current research projects

I am currently working on the following third-party funded research projects. Additional information is provided on this page.

Here you can also find information about my research in general.

Country capabilities, product complexity and finance in the EU

(Project leader)

Funded by the National Institute of Economic and Social Research (UK)

Spatial Competition and Economic Policies

(Project co-leader)

Funded by the

Austrian Science Fund (FWF)

International Competitiveness - A Multi-Level Assessment

(Project leader)

Funded by the

Austrian National Bank (OeNB)

(comencing January 2020)

Ph.D. Economics

Recent news


Click here for a full list of news and announcements.


New Blogpost on pluralism in economics

Posted November 17 2020

I have written a blog post in German to summarize our recent paper Pluralism in economics: its critiques and their lessons and to explain why the topic of pluralism in economics deserves our attention. The piece is meant as a contructive contribution to the debate and I am very much looking forward to receive comments (e.g. via this contact form). The blog has been published on Oekonomenstimme.


New Paper on pluralism in economics

Posted September 25 2020

The paper Pluralism in economics: its critiques and their lessons has now been published (open access) in the Journal of Economic Methodology. In the paper, Birte Strunk and myself discuss a number of common critiques of pluralism - the claim that the discipline is already pluralist, that if there were a need for pluralism, it would emerge on its own and that pluralism means ‘anything goes’, and is thus unscientific - and provide responses to these claims. The paper is, however, not only meant as a mere refutation of critiques, but as a constructive engagement. And we indeed find some good reasons to take serious the claim that pluralism comes with challenges of communication across scholars and the control of quality. We trace these challenges to an epistemological trade-off between diversity and consensus and sketch some potential reactions to this trade-off, including a transformation of scientific institutions. We would be very happy about feedback on this article and hope that it helps advancing the important debate about pluralism in economics.


EAEPE Kapp Prize for the best published paper in 2019

Posted September 5 2020

I am very proud for having received the EAEPE Kapp prize for the best published paper in 2019. Me and my co-authors won the award for our paper Structural change in times of increasing openness: assessing path dependency in European economic integration, in which we studied the effect of economic openness on development trajectories in the European Union. We found that because of the unequal distribution of technological capabilities and the different growth models followed by the member states, increasing economic integration has led to a divergence in several important socio-economic dimensions.


New paper on measures of economic openness

Posted September 2 2020

When working on topics related to globalization and economic openness, one is quickly confronted with a considerable number of different measures for economic openness. Thus, 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 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. We also developed an R package that facilitates the gathering of the measures for researchers who want to work with them. I hope you find this useful!


New paper on the asymmetric impact of the Corona crisis on macroeconomic development paths in the Eurozone

Posted July 13 2020

The paper Pandemic pushes polarisation: The Corona crisis and macroeconomic divergence in the Eurozone has now been published online in the Journal of Industrial and Business Economics. In the paper we show that the macroeconomic impact of the Corona crisis is likely to be more severe in Southern Eurozone countries than in Northern Eurozone countries and that the underlying polarisation process can be traced back to existing differences in production structures and uneven vulnerabilities of the underlying growth models (see also our related papers here and here). We make some policy suggestions that are actually concretisations of our broader policy proposal elaborated in the study Economic Polarisation in Europe: Cause an Options for-Action (German original: Wirtschaftliche Polarisierung n Europa).


New paper on the role of trust and social control in informal value transfer systems

Posted July 4 2020

The paper Trust and Social Control: Sources of Cooperation, Performance, and Stability in Informal Value Transfer Systems has been published in the journal Computational Economics. Based on game theoretic reasoning we introduce the first agent-based model of informal value transfer systems and not only propose a rigorous definition of the central institutionalist concepts of 'trust' and 'social control', but also study their relevance for the stability and the success of informal value transfer systems such as Hawala.


New working paper on the asymmetric impact of the Corona crisis on macroeconomic development paths in the Eurozone

Posted May 29 2020

In the paper Pandemic pushes polarisation: The Corona crisis and macroeconomic divergence in the Eurozone we discuss how the macroeconomic fallout from the coronavirus reinforces polarization trends in the Eurozone. We show that the macroeconomic impact of the Corona crisis is likely to be more severe in Southern Eurozone countries than in Northern Eurozone countries and that the underlying polarisation process can be traced back to existing differences in production structures and uneven vulnerabilities of the underlying growth models (see also our related papers here and here). We make some policy suggestions that are actually concretisations of our broader policy proposal elaborated in the study Economic Polarisation in Europe: Cause an Options for-Action (German original: Wirtschaftliche Polarisierung n Europa).


New working papers on the topic of capability accumulation

Posted March 23 2020

One important avenue for socio-economic development is collective learning. That the collective knowledge in a society is an important determinant of the standard of living (and probably also of their level of inequality) has been demonstrated by numerous empirical studies. However, the mechanisms through which individuals learn collectively are still poorly understood. To pave the way for further work in this area we wrote a literature review entitled Theory and Empirics of Capability Accumulation: Implications for Macroeconomic Modelling, in which we cover work from organization studies, economics, sociology, and management sciences. Our aim is to distill results that can help us to consider processes of collective learning more adequately in macroeconomic modeling. The motivation for this comes, inter alia, from our previous research on the role of collective knowledge accumulation for polarization processes in the European Union (see here, here and here). In another working paper, Capability accumulation and product innovation: an agent-based perspective, we take a first step towards the integration of the corresponding innovation studies in macroeconomic agent-based models by developing a module of product innovation. Later, this module should be part of a larger model that captures the processes of capability accumulation in more detail and that could be used to develop policy measures that foster convergence in Europa, and, later, on a global scale. All this work is part of my project funded by Rebuilding Macroeconomics.


Material of the course "Agent Based Modeling and Economic Methodology"

Posted January 25 2020

This semester I taught a course on agent-based modeling and economic methodology at the Cusanus Hochschule in Germany. The idea of the course was to combine learning the techniques necessary to build ABM in the programming language Python and acquiring the philosophical tools and language to discuss the adequacy of models and their alternatives. The course material, which exists only in German, is available here.


New paper on macroeconomic divergence in the Eurozone

Posted January 15 2020

The paper Is the Eurozone disintegrating? Macroeconomic divergence, structural polarisation, trade and fragility, which is joint work with Jakob Kapeller, Philipp Heimberger and Bernhard Schütz, has been published in the Cambridge Journal of Economics It is openly available and investigates the mechanisms underlying structural divergence among European countries.


New paper on the long-term relationship between income inequality and growth

Posted November 15 2019

The paper The heterogeneous relationship between income and inequality: a panel co-integration approach, which has been joint work with Svenja Flechtner, is now published open access in the journal Economics Bulletin. In the paper we quantify the long-term relationship between income inequality and GDP per capita using panel co-integration techniques. We provide some new empirical insights, the most important of which are: first, the relationship depends on whether market-based or disposable-income-based measures for inequality are used, and, second, the relationship is not uniform around the world: some countries experience a positive, others a negative relationship. The take-away is that using panel estimators that average across countries can be highly misleading and shallow the heterogeneous development trajectories.


New paper on the effect of economic openness on structural publication

Posted November 9 2019

The paper Structural change in times of increasing openness: assessing path dependency in European economic integration, which is joint work with Jakob Kapeller, Philipp Heimberger and Bernhard Schütz, has been published in the Journal of Evolutionary Economics. It is openly available and studies how an increase in economic openness in Europe has impacted on convergence and divergence dynamics among European countries.


New study on socio-economic polarization in Europe

Posted July 9 2019

We just completed a research project for the Friedrich-Ebert Foundation, in which we study polarization patterns in Europe, and provide some suggestions for adequate policy responses. The study alongside additional material can be found here. An English translation is available here.


Herbert Simon Best-Paper Award

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 EAEPE conference in Nice. I really enjoyed the conference and will certainly attent the conference next year in Warsaw as well.


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 aims to teach people without previous experience in programming both the basics in the programming language Python as well as 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.


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 one can learn from this process - in the positive as well as in the negative sense. The slides are available here (some pictures were removed to avoid 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.

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