Home

Christian Düben

Doctoral Candidate

Chair of Macroeconomics

Economics Department

Hamburg University

I am an economist conducting research in economic geography, urban economics, economic history, development economics, and related fields. The covered topics range from the shape of city size distributions to the origins of the Chinese urban landscape, seasonal iceberg drift, and transatlantic cotton trade. All of these papers evolve around geo-spatial data and often bring me in touch with the literature of other, non-economic disciplines. I venture into remote sensing, geography, machine learning, and sometimes spend weeks reading history books. My research feels like an adventure to me that allows me to explore whatever I am interested in, gather knowledge, come up with new questions, and contribute to the literature.

After obtaining a master's degree in International Economics and Public Policy from the Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz and acquiring a strong background in applied microeconometrics, I joined the Chair of Macroeconomics at Hamburg University in September 2017. Since then I have been working in close cooperation with my supervisor and coauthor Melanie Krause. My employment was tied to and funded by a research project called Shining (New) Light on Regional Inequality, Convergence and Development - a joint initiative of development economists from Brunswick, Hamburg, and Hanover. Apart from the internal exchange among collaborators, our project organized an annual Workshop on GeoData in Economics. As our project's external funding ran out, I took up another position at the Chair of Political Economy and Empirical Economics at Helmut Schmidt University in May 2021. In April 2022, I joined the Hamburg Institute of International Economics as deputy head of the methods center, which granted both better funding and access to a larger research infrastructure.

My programming activities regularly lead to the publication of tools beyond the scripts of my papers.

In connection with upcoming research projects, I developed two RePEc-based web applications: CollEc and GraphEc. The former is an extension and a replacement of Thomas Krichel's CollEc RePEc service. The latter is a graphical interface to multiple RePEc services and yet to be publicly released. Following my involvement with RePEc, I was elected into RePEc's board of directors in January 2021.

Working on a revision of a paper of mine, I wrote some code on Conley standard errors and published it as the conleyreg R package on Github in April and on CRAN in May 2021. My second R package, spaths, is also the result of a paper. I developed it to compute shortest paths in my research on North Atlantic iceberg drift, after earlier packages had proved to be a poor fit since the project started in 2018. I first published it on GitHub in August 2022.

At Helmut Schmidt University, I developed a teaching platform at which students answer tutorial questions. A book on how to set up such a service at your own institution is currently work in progress.

Over the next years, I intend to launch further programming projects within and beyond the statistical applications common in empirical economics. Feel free to send me a message, if you would like to collaborate.