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Department of Business and Economics

Research Projects

Here you can find information about our current projects as well as a selection of projects we have already completed. The projects range from the dissertations of doctoral students to those with cooperation partners from science and industry.

Political Preferences and International Trade

Policy preferences and resulting regulations influence economic activity - especially political activity across borders. This project studies the impact of policy preferences on trade relations in the European Union. To measure policy preferences and convergence processes we use roll-call votes of the European Parliament. The aim of the project is to identify the influence of different policy preferences on trade flows and emissions included in these trade flows.

Team: Christiane Hellmanzik, Maren Kaliske

Political Convergence and the EU Single Market Christiane Hellmanzik, Maren Kaliske, Jens Wrona work in progress


Agglomeration and regional disparities in the digital economy

With the rise of the Internet and the rapid growth of the ICT sector, as well as the shift to a more service-based economy, cities seem to be increasingly shaped by their innovation capacities and the presence of a highly skilled workforce. This project examines the impact of the digital economy on the shape and structure of cities and the factors that are conducive to the development of a city's digital economy. The project uses a firm-level dataset based on legal publications of German companies (announcements in the commercial register), as well as novel indicators of local knowledge infrastructure, such as connections and collaborations between universities and research institutions. Thus, this project aims to shed more light on frictions that can amplify spatial disparities not only between regions but also within cities.

Team: Christiane Hellmanzik, Vanessa Hellwig

Agglomeration economies and the internet: Mapping the digital economy in German Cities Vanessa Hellwig work in progress


Beruflicher Erfolg in der Wissenschaftlichen Forschung

Dieses Forschungsprojekt untersucht das Leben von modernen und historischen Wissenschaftlern, um die Kontexte zu verstehen, die wissenschaftliche Produktion und Innovation fördern. In den letzten 30 Jahren ist die Zahl der Co-Autoren in Wirtschaftszeitschriftenartikeln deutlich gestiegen und die Zahl der "einsamen Sterne" gesunken. Dieses Projekt zielt darauf ab, die Entwicklung der Ökonomie als Disziplin zu verstehen, indem es die Laufbahn und den Erfolg moderner und historischer Ökonomen untersucht, sowie den Einfluss der zunehmenden Spezialisierung und Arbeitsteilung, sinkende Kommunikations- und Reisekosten, sich entwickelnde Anreize durch die Forschungsgemeinschaft, persönliche und thematische Nähe und Heimvorurteile bei der Verbreitung von Artikeln der Wirtschaftsforschung. Dieses Projekt zielt auch darauf ab, den Erfolg von historischen Wissenschaftlern und Erfindern zu verstehen, indem es die wissenschaftliche Produktion über den Lebenszyklus, den Einfluss von wissenschaftlichen Netzwerken und den Einfluss von Standort/Agglomeration bewertet. Darüber hinaus versucht dieses Forschungsprojekt, die Auswirkungen wissenschaftlicher und innovativer Aktivitäten auf die lokale und regionale Entwicklung zu verstehen.

Team: Christiane Hellmanzik, Lukas Kuld

No place like home - home bias in the dissemination of economic research articles Christiane Hellmanzik and Lukas Kuld work in progress
A local idea space: the value of personal and thematic proximity in academic research Christiane Hellmanzik and Lukas Kuld work in progress
Peer effects in Economics Lukas Kuld work in progress
The gravity of economics – migration and citation flows in Economics Christiane Hellmanzik and Lukas Kuld work in progress

Rise of mulit-authored papers in economics: Demise of the 'lone star' and why?  (RePeC,, LSE Impact Blog)

Lukas Kuld and John O'Hagan Scientometrics , 114(3), 1207-1225, 2018.


Literary History

For most industries, creative production is highly influenced by the availability, quality, and quantity of colleagues and infrastructure in a given location. However, their role in literary production is less clear. This project aims to identify the circumstances and contexts that foster literary production, including whether location, peer effects, and infrastructure are relevant to an industry in which the most influential producers are often referred to as lone geniuses.

Team: Christiane Hellmanzik, Lukas Kuld

A New York State of Mind Christiane Hellmanzik and Lukas Kuld work in progress
The Goethe Effect Christiane Hellmanzik, Lukas Kuld, and John O'Hagan work in progress

Virtual Proximity and International Trade

International finance literature has shown – both empirically and theoretically – that distance and proxies for informational asymmetries between countries, such as common language, colonial ties, and currency unions, are crucial in explaining bilateral asset holdings and flows. However, over the past two decades, the ICT revolution has changed the meaning of distance. Therefore, this project seeks to understand the impact of the internet on economic activity such as international transactions by studying "virtual proximity" - i.e., the volume of bilateral, inter-domain hyperlinks that connect webpages across countries.

Team: Chrstiane Hellmanzik

Trade in services and its determinants – a disaggregated approach Christiane Hellmanzik and Martin Schmitz work in progress
Taking gravity online: the role of virtual proximity in international finance ( Christiane Hellmanzik and Martin Schmitz ECB Working Paper No. 1879
Virtual proximity and audiovisual services trade Christiane Hellmanzik and Martin Schmitz European Economic Review, Vol. 77, pp. 82-101, July 2015
Taking gravity online: the role of virtual proximity in international finance Christiane Hellmanzik and Martin Schmitz Journal of International Money and Finance, forthcoming

Digitalisation of cultural goods and services

Over the past decade, the consumption and trade of audiovisual services such as music and movies in digital formats has increased significantly. In response, several countries have adopted policies to curb inflows of foreign cultural services, making this one of the sectors with the lowest number of commitments among WTO members. Therefore, this project focuses on the digitization of cultural goods and services, the increase in trade restrictions on these services, the impact of these restrictions on bilateral trade, and how virtual proximity can affect both trade policy and trade in cultural goods and services in digital form.

Team: Christiane Hellmanzik

The impact of the internet on the international art market Christiane Hellmanzik work in progress
The impact of cultural exceptions: audiovisual services trade and trade policy Christiane Hellmanzik and Martin Schmitz Applied Economics Letters, forthcoming

Visual Artists and Arts Markets

This project focuses on the careers of prominent modern visual artists and the factors influencing their creativity. This research included analyses of the quality of production over the life cycle, the importance of location and colleagues to creative production, the role of an artist's stylistic affiliation, the institutional context in which creativity takes place, the importance of travel as a source of inspiration, the importance of living and working in major art clusters (such as Paris and New York), and how these factors affect the market valuation of the artists' works.

Team: Christiane Hellmanzik

Relationships between artistic movements and careers of modern artists: evidence from hedonic regressions with auction data Christiane Hellmanzik and Douglas Hodgson Journal of Cultural Economics
Demography and the Art Market Christiane Hellmanzik and James Goodwin submitted
Creative production and peer effects: evidence from the exodus of superstar painters from Paris Christiane Hellmanzik submitted
Prominent modern artists: determinants of creativity Christiane Hellmanzik In The Wiley Handbook of Genius (Ed. D. K. Simonton), June 2014.
Clustering and migration of important visual artists: Broad historical evidence Christiane Hellmanzik and John O'Hagan Historical Methods, 40(3):121-136, 2008
Artistic Styles: revisiting the analysis of modern artists’ careers Christiane Hellmanzik Journal of Cultural Economics, 33(3):201-32, August 2009
Location matters: Estimating cluster premiums for prominent modern artists Christiane Hellmanzik Economic Review, 54(2):199-218, February 2010
Democracy and economic outcomes: evidence from the superstars of modern art (The Boston Globe) Christiane Hellmanzik European Journal of Political Economy, 30: 58-69, June 2013
Does travel inspire? Evidence from the superstars of modern art (The Boston Globe) Christiane Hellmanzik Empirical Economics, 45(1):281-303. August 2013
Historic art exhibitions and modern day auction results Christiane Hellmanzik Research in Economics, 70 (3) 2016
On the estimation of age-valuation profiles Christiane Hellmanzik, Douglas Hodgson, and John Galbraith work in progress