The Jean Monnet Chair of Macroeconomics is held by Prof. Ansgar Belke and conducts research on international macroeconomics with new econometric methods.

The content and nature of research strongly reflects Prof. Belke’s roles as Research Associate at the Centre for European Policy Studies (CEPS), Brussels, Research Fellow at the Institute of Labour Economics (IZA), Bonn, Senior Research Fellow at King’s College London, Financial Data Analysis (established by the Bank of England), and President of the European Economics and Finance Society (EEFS), an international research association.

In 2017, Prof. Belke was appointed to the Council of Experts to the NRW Minister for Federal, European and International Affairs (State Chancellery). On the subject of Brexit he was responsible for several special issues of international journals in 2018 and, in November of the same year, for a research-related Brexit event that was attended by more than 170 scholars, researchers and high-ranking politicians. He organised the event in his capacity as the editor of the scholarly journal “Economist’s Voice” (a role he took over from Nobel prize winner Joe Stiglitz).

Also in the reporting period, the Chair’s research findings in particular on global transmission of macroeconomic shocks were presented in high-ranking journals such as the “Journal of International Money and Finance” and “Eco­nomic Inquiry”. For his research work Ansgar Belke currently ranks 19 (top 1 %) in the Handelsblatt Ranking of around 3,600 German-language economists. He is also in the top 1 % of the European Repec/Ideas Ranking.

Finally, the Chair was once again successfully involved in projects funded by third parties including the Bundesbank, the EU’s Erasmus+ programme (Jean Monnet Research Projects) and the Sparkassen-Finanzgruppe e.V.

“Determinants and models for the prognosis of dropout phenomena” junior research group

“Determinants and models for the prognosis of dropout phenomena” (DMPS) is a junior research group funded by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research at the Chair of Statistics (Prof. Andreas Behr). It is led by Dr. Katja Theune and sets out to identify the reasons behind dropout phenomena with the aid of innovative data mining methods. With a growing number of new students and high dropout rates in Germany, higher education institutions are increasingly looking for ways to help prevent student dropout early on. The dropout phenomenon is in theory and research a very complex process, for which there is usually no single, isolated cause, but a set of mutually dependent influencing factors. The aim behind the research projects in the junior research group is to identify so-called risk groups. Their focus is on creating models to forecast student dropout with the aid of classification methods. They are also using typing and association analyses to identify sets of causes and deliver new and interesting insights into the process behind student dropout. It has emerged, for example, that a mismatch between students’ own expectations and the reality of studying encourages student dropout. The findings of this project are intended to serve higher education institutions as a basis on which to develop appropriate preventive measures for tackling the phenomenon. These might include orientation tests and more individually tailored information for prospective students, as well as more specific individual provisions for existing students.

Computer Science (ICB) and paluno

Digitalisation is gradually extending into every area of our lives. Its main driver is software. Software is integrated in an increasing number of technical devices and machines, and it opens up a range of different possibilities. At the same time, this megatrend presents us with new and conflicting challenges relating to complexity, security and usability. Through our research in the field of software technology and network engineering, we produce methodological and technological solutions to these fascinating challenges.

We are exploring in numerous ongoing research projects (with a funding volume of around 6 million euros) the opportunities and challenges of digitalisation in different areas of application. Among them are, for example,

“Cyber Security in the Age of Large-Scale Adversaries” Excellence Cluster (Jun. Prof. Davi’s group) on the development of secure digital systems;

Project “IGUA” (Prof. Gruhn’s group) on the development of short-term individual insurance that uses blockchain technology and therefore no intermediary;

DFG project “SoftwareDynamics” (Jun. Prof. Beck’s group) on methods of visual representation of the effects of program changes;

BLP project “Bildungsgerechtigkeit im Fokus” (Focus on educational justice) (Prof. Goedicke’s group) on software-assisted e-assessment of adaptive tasks from disciplines such as mathematics, economics, biology and chemistry;

EU Horizon 2020 project “Transforming Transport” (Prof. Pohl’s group) in 13 digitalisation pilot projects for new big data solutions for the transport sector; and

EU Horizon 2020 project “ENACT” (Prof. Pohl’s group) on new approaches to “trustworthy smart IoT Systems”.


The Computer Science working groups are also involved in numerous national and international consortiums on digitalisation, such as the European technology platform NESSI (Networked European Software and Services Initiative) and the European BDVA (Big Data Value Association).