Research at the Institute of Macroeconomics

The Institute of Macroeconomics is currently conducting research in the field of “Behavioral and Complexity Macroeconomics”. This course offers an alternative to conventional macroeconomic research, which focuses on so-called DSGE models (dynamic stochastic general equilibrium models).

Complexity Economics sees the economy as a complex, adaptive system, in which the continuous interaction of many heterogeneous agents leads to the appearance of phenomena at the macro-level. Usually, such systems are non-linear and can exhibit complicated dynamics. Complexity Economics considers it problematic to conduct macroeconomic analyses based on models which assume representative agents and a stable, unique equilibrium. Simulations with agent-based models are an alternative to conventional equilibrium models.

The behavior of economic agents differs from the assumptions of the homo economicus model. Behavioral Economics has frequently shown that individuals are neither completely rational nor selfish. Bounded rational behavior is thus an important factor to consider when examining macroeconomic relationships. Here, decision makers are often confronted with economic uncertainty, which makes substantive rationality impossible. A realistic macroeconomic model must therefore analyze the economic decision-making process. Experiments and case studies can be used for this purpose.

Research topics at the Chair of Macroeconomics presently include societal and macroeconomic transformation processes. One important question we must ask ourselves here is how sustainable growth is possible in the long-run.

Furthermore, there are numerous individual projects on other specialist topics such as economic methodology, economic thinking, growth and climate change, diffusion processes, complex systems, monetary economics, segregation, financial decision making and labor economics.

The Chair is a member of German Network on New Economic Dynamics (GENED).

RUBex: Ruhr-Universität Bochum Laboratory for Experimental Economic Research.

The Chairs's experimental laboratory. Information about the experiments and the possibility of application: