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Economist awarded prestigious ERC Starting Grant

Dr Fabian Waldinger Dr Fabian Waldinger has been awarded the prestigious European Research Council (ERC) Starting Grant worth €733,621 to investigate the effect of individual talent on the knowledge economy.

The four-year funded research will assess the impact of entrepreneurs on city growth, using data from the enforced ‘Aryanisation’ of Jewish businesses under Nazi rule, and investigate how the collapse of scientific collaboration after the end of the First World War affected a generation of scientific knowledge.

A further collaboration will look at how the construction of new schools affects the number of talented individuals, such as elite scientists, in a society.

The study will examine the outcome of the large school expansion in Germany that lowered the cost of attending high-quality schools for children in cities and rural areas.

The ERC Starting Grant aims to support up-and-coming research leaders just embarking upon independent research in Europe. The scheme targets promising researchers who have the proven potential of becoming independent research leaders, and supports the creation of excellent new research teams.

Abhinay Muthoo, Head of the Department said: “Receiving the ERC Starting Grant is an amazing achievement, especially as Fabian only received his PhD five years ago. Since he joined the department in 2009, Fabian has been publishing at the highest level and is on a steep upward trajectory. This award is thoroughly deserved and consistent with his exceptional record. We congratulate him on this achievement.”

Dr Waldinger is an Associate Professor in the Department of Economics. He received his Ph.D. from the London School of Economics in 2008. His research interests include labour economics, economics of science and innovation, and economic history.

His work has been published in leading academic journals such as the Journal of Political Economy, the Review of Economic Studies, and the Economic Journal.