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Alexander von Humboldt Professorship 2022

Matthias Doepke

With Matthias Doepke as a Humboldt Professor, the University of Mannheim plans to establish a competence centre for research into family and gender issues that could turn Mannheim into a top global location for family economics.

  • Nominating University: University of Mannheim
Potrait of Matthias Doepke
Saturn-ähnliches Dekortationsbild


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Economic theory

Everything is interrelated: macroeconomist Matthias Doepke thinks big. His research on classic economic topics like economic growth and development, the political economy and currency economics always embraces relationships within society as a whole. He is particularly interested in topics relating to family and gender which he has showcased as an important subject for macroeconomic research – because supposedly personal family decisions, such as how many children a couple should have, impact on the economy. And vice versa: family decisions are clearly subject to economic forces.

In the field of family economics, Matthias Doepke is considered a pioneer and world-leading researcher. The economic analysis of families is relevant both for equality issues and role analysis in our society as well as for development in emerging economies and developing countries where, for example, aspects like the economic and social consequences of child labour are explored. Doepke has demonstrated a new theoretical connection between inequality and economic growth in a society, and the role of families’ fertility and educational decisions in this context. In another important study, he investigated the incentives men have to share their power with women and substantiated his findings historically, tracing the expansion of women’s rights in England and the United States. He also discovered that different educational styles are influenced by the socioeconomic environment and, in turn, affect the wellbeing and economic success of children. Most recently, he explored the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the educational opportunities of children and gender equality.

The University of Mannheim already enjoys a very high reputation in economics; by recruiting Matthias Doepke it is looking to become the global hub of expertise for fundamental research into families. In his role as a Humboldt Professor, Doepke is set to become the director of a new Center for Families and Policy Research, an interdisciplinary research institute which is supposed to be active in and beyond academia and deliver, for example, political consultancy to underpin legislative debates with scientific positions.

Matthias Doepke at Northwestern University 

Brief bio

Professor Dr Matthias Doepke was born in Germany where he initially studied economics, completing his doctorate at the University of Chicago, United States, in 2000. He subsequently became an assistant professor and then an associate professor at the University of California, Los Angeles. From 2005 to 2007, he held a Sloan Research Fellowship which is awarded exclusively to young researchers who have demonstrated the potential to revolutionise their particular field. In 2008, he relocated to Northwestern University in Evanston, US, as an associate professor, being appointed to a full professorship in 2012. From 2008 to 2011, he was also an associate professor at LMU Munich. As a visiting researcher, Doepke is sought after worldwide. He is, amongst others, a fellow of the US Econometric Society and the co-editor of various academic journals.