Prof. Dr. Tobias Thomas

Prof. Dr. Tobias Thomas
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Prof. Dr. Tobias Thomas is the Director of the economic research institute EcoAustria. In addition, he is adjunct Professor of Economics, in particular Political Economy and Media Impact Analysis, at the Düsseldorf Institute for Competition Economics (DICE) at Heinrich Heine University Düsseldorf as well as CMDS Fellow at the Central European University (CEU) in Budapest. Furthermore, Thomas is member of the standing field committee for Economic Systems and Institutional Economics of the German Economic Association, one of the largest professional economics associations in Europe. Thomas is scientific expert at the Austrian Pension Commission which advices the Federal government regarding the sustainability of the national pension system. Thomas is the 5th most influential economist in Austria according to the Economist-Ranking 2019 of Die Presse, F.A.Z., and the Neue Zürcher Zeitung.

Thomas studied economics at the Friedrich-Wilhelms-University Bonn and Technical University Berlin before earning his doctorate summa cum laude at Helmut-Schmidt-University Hamburg in 2006. Thomas was a visiting scholar at, among others, Columbia University in New York at the invitation of Anya Schiffrin and Nobel Prize Laureate Joseph E. Stiglitz. Thomas is Founding Member of ECONWATCH – Society for Policy Analysis in Berlin and was its Chairman from 2003 to 2019. In his research at the interface between economics and psychology, he analyses decision processes and behaviour in economic and political contexts. His research interest includes the economics of policy reforms and the impact of media on perception and behaviour.

In addition to publications in scientific journals, such as the European Journal of Political Economy; European Journal of Law and Economics; Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization; Journal of Forecasting; and the Journal of Neuroscience, Psychology, and Economics, Thomas regularly presents his research at conferences, including the European Public Choice Society, the International Institute of Public Finance, and the German Economic Association. Furthermore, Thomas appears regularly in national and international media.

Research areas

  • Public Choice
  • Economics of Political Reforms
  • Public Finance
  • Environmental Economics
  • Competitiveness
  • Institutional Economics
  • Media Impact Analysis

Selected Publications

Dewenter, R., Dulleck, U. & Thomas, T. (forthcoming), Does the 4th Estate Deliver? The Political Coverage Index and its Application to Media Capture. Constitutional Political Economy.

Benesch, C., Loretz, S., Stadelmann, D. & T. Thomas (2019), Media Coverage and Immigration Worries: Econometric Evidence. Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, 160, 52-67.

Berlemann, M. & T. Thomas (2019), The Distance Bias in Natural Disaster Reporting. Applied Economics Letters, 16 (12), 1026-1032. 

Dewenter, R., Linder, M. & T. Thomas (2018), Can media drive the electorate? The impact of media coverage on voting intentions. Forthcoming in: European Journal of Political Economy, published online first 24 Dec 2018

Thomas, T., Heß, M. & G. G. Wagner (2017), Reluctant to Reform? A Note on Risk Loving of Politicians and Bureaucrats. Review of Economics, 68, 167-179.

Ulbricht, D., Kholodilin, K. & T. Thomas (2017), Do media data help to predict German industrial production? Journal of Forecasting, 36, 483-496.

Beckmann, K., Dewenter, R. & T. Thomas (2017), Can news draw blood? The impact of media coverage on the number and severity of terror attacks. Peace Economics, Peace Science and Public Policy, 23, 1-16.

Dewenter, R., Heimeshoff U. & T. Thomas (2016), Media Coverage and Car Manufacturers’ Sales. Economics Bulletin, 36, 976-982.

T. Thomas (2013): „What price makes a good a status good? Results from a mating game“, in: European Journal of Law and Economics, 36, 35-55.

Göbel, M., Schneider, A., & Thomas, T. (2010). Consumption behavior and the aspiration for conformity and consistency. Journal of Neuroscience, Psychology, and Economics, 3(2), 83-94.