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apl. Prof. Dr. Tobias Thomas

Economics, in particular Public Finance and Political Economy

Short CV

Prof. Dr. Tobias Thomas is Director General of Statistics Austria. In addition, he is adjunct Professor of Economics at the Düsseldorf Institute for Competition Economics (DICE) at Heinrich Heine University Düsseldorf as well as CMDS Fellow at the Central European University (CEU) in Budapest. Furthermore, Thomas is vice president of the Austrian Statistical Society (ÖSG) and member of the standing field committee for Economic Systems and Institutional Economics of the German Economic Association, one of the largest professional economics associations in Europe. In addition, Thomas is scientific expert at the Austrian Pension Commission which analyses the financial sustainability of the national pension system. From 2017 to June 2020, he was director of the economic research institute EcoAustria. Thomas is the 5th most influential economist in Austria according to the Economist-Ranking 2019 of Die Presse, F.A.Z., and the Neue Zürcher Zeitung.

Thomas studied economics at the Friedrich-Wilhelms-University Bonn and Technical University Berlin before earning his doctorate summa cum laude at Helmut-Schmidt-University Hamburg, where he later also gained his habilitation. In 2019, he was appointed as adjunct professor at Heinrich Heine University Düsseldorf. Thomas was a visiting scholar at, among others, Columbia University in New York at the invitation of Nobel Prize Laureate Joseph E. Stiglitz and Anya Schiffrin and at the Max-Planck Institute for Tax Law and Public Finance in Munich at the invitation of Kai A. Konrad. In his research at the interface between economics and psychology, Thomas analyses decision processes and behaviour in economic and political contexts. His research interest includes public finance, labor market, migration, social security, environmental economics and competitiveness, as well as the impact of the media on perception and behaviour. Thomas regularly presents his research at conferences.  Furthermore, he appears regularly in national and international media.

Representative Publications

  • “Does the 4th Estate Deliver? The Political Coverage Index and its Application to Media Capture”. In: Constitutional Political Economy, 31 (2020), 292-328 (with R. Dewenter & U. Dulleck).
  • „Dekarbonisierung bis zum Jahr 2050? Klimapolitische Maßnahmen und Energieprognosen für Deutschland, Österreich und die Schweiz“. Zeitschrift für Energiewirtschaft, 44 (2020), 195-221 (with Manuel Frondel).
  • “Media Coverage and Immigration Worries: Econometric Evidence”, Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, 160 (2019), 52-67 (with C. Benesch, S. Loretz, S. & D. Stadelmann).
  • “Can media drive the electorate? The impact of media coverage on voting intentions”, European Journal of Political Economy, 58 (2019), 245-261, (with R. Dewenter, R. & M. Linder).
  • “The Distance Bias in Natural Disaster Reporting”, Applied Economics Letters, 16 (2019), 1026-1032 (with M. Berlemann).
  • “Ökonomische Folgen der Reformzurückhaltung bei der Beendigung des Solidaritätszuschlags“, Perspektiven der Wirtschaftspolitik, 19 (2018), 313-330 (with L. Strohner & J. Berger).
  • “Reluctant to Reform? A Note on Risk Loving of Politicians and Bureaucrats”, Review of Economics, 68 (2017), 167-179 (with M. Heß & G. G. Wagner).
  • “Do media data help to predict German industrial production?”, Journal of Forecasting, 36 (2017), 483-496 (with D. Ulbricht & K. Kholodilin).
  • “Can news draw blood? The impact of media coverage on the number and severity of terror attacks”, Peace Economics, Peace Science and Public Policy, 23 (2017), 1-16 (with K. Beckmann & R. Dewenter).
  • “Media Coverage and Car Manufacturers’ Sales”, Economics Bulletin, 36 (2016), 976-982 (with R. Dewenter & U. Heimeshoff).
  • „What price makes a good a status good? Results from a mating game“, European Journal of Law and Economics, 36 (2013), 35-55.
  • “Consumption behavior and the aspiration for conformity and consistency”, Journal of Neuroscience, Psychology, and Economics, 3 (2010), 83-94 (with M. Göbel & A. Schneider).
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