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4th RGS Doctoral Conference


The fourth edition of the RGS Doctoral Conference in Economics returned to its point of origin. After the universities of Duisburg-Essen and Bochum, the Technical University of Dortmund was the conference venue for more than 100 national and international young scientists from February, 21 to 23. With nearly 200 submissions from 24 countries, the RGS conference has become a well-known conference for PhD students and young researchers.

Prof. Hamermesh (University of Texas) opened the conference with a public speech: “How to Publish a Good Paper: I Wish that I Knew”. In an informative and entertaining fashion he shared with the audience his long-term experience in writing and publishing scientific work. Subsequently Prof. Leininger, director of the RGS, noted that “every single person could have learnt a lot”.

Over the course of the following two days, over 60 participants presented and discussed their research ideas and results, in 21 structured sessions. The spectrum covered many topics of modern economic research including new Keynesian macroeconomics, fiscal policy, international trade, experimental economics, life satisfaction, labor economics and health economics. Following the RGS tradition, each session was chaired by one of the RGS professors. In addition to Prof. Hammermesh’s presentation, the program was enriched by a talk by Jeroen Loos from the publishing company Elsevier who provided the doctoral students with helpful information on the publication process from a publisher’s point of view.

The highlight of the social program was a guided tour through the “Dortmunder U“. The former brewery building has become a center for arts and creativity, also hosting temporary exhibitions. During the conference dinner, at the recently opened panoramic restaurant on the top floor, students expereienced a more relaxed atmostphere for conversations while enjoying the sunset and a bird's-eye view of Dortmund.

On the last conference day Jörg Spenkuch of the University of Chicago received this year’s “best paper award” for his research on the relation between protestant ethnic and labor market success in Germany. As identification strategy Spenkuch links data of the Peace of Augsburg in 1555 with current labor market data. During the award ceremony the work of the organising committee, under the direction of RGS managing director Dr. Vivien Procher, was acknowledged. Moreover, Dr. Stefan Rumpf, RGS managing director from 2005 to 2010, was praised for his engagement and successful management of the RGS in recent years.

The concluding public speech was given by the president of the Leibniz Association, Prof. Mayer, on the myth of increasing flexibility in occupational careers. Prof. Mayer espoused the belief that professional careers have become more flexible over the last decades, by showing how modern research can be used to separate fact and fiction by means of adequate methods and appropriate data. Following the intense discussion which reflected the large public interest in this topic, RGS director Prof. Schmidt concluded that this final talk made the conference a “complete success”.

Photo gallery of the 4th RGS Doctoral Conference