Ludger Woessmann

University of Munich, ifo Institute, CESifo, and IZA, Germany

IZA World of Labor role


Current position

Director, ifo Center for the Economics of Education; Professor of Economics, University of Munich

Research interest

Economics of education, economic growth, economic history, economics of religion, labor economics

Positions/functions as a policy advisor

Coordinator, European Expert Network on the Economics of Education (EENEE); Member, Academic Advisory Council, German Federal Ministry of Economics; Member, German National Academy of Sciences Leopoldina; Member, German Academy of Science and Engineering (acatech); Fellow, International Academy of Education

Past positions

Visiting Scholar, Stanford University, 2010, 2014–2015; Visiting Faculty, Harvard University, Kennedy School of Government, 2007


PhD Economics, University of Kiel, 2001

Selected publications

  • "Social cohesion, religious beliefs, and the effect of Protestantism on suicide." Review of Economics and Statistics (Forthcoming) (with S. O. Becker).

  • "Knowledge capital and aggregate income differences: Development accounting for US states." American Economic Journal: Macroeconomics 9:4 (2017): 184–224 (with E. A. Hanushek and J. Ruhose).

  • "The importance of school systems: Evidence from international differences in student achievement." Journal of Economic Perspectives 30:3 (2016): 3–31.

  • "Was Weber wrong? A human capital theory of Protestant economic history." Quarterly Journal of Economics 124:2 (2009): 531–596 (with S. O. Becker).

  • "The role of cognitive skills in economic development." Journal of Economic Literature 46:3 (2008): 607–668 (with E. A. Hanushek).