I am an Assistant Professor at the University of St. Gallen’s SEPS-HSG and a member of the Swiss Institute for International Economics and Applied Economic Research (SIAW). Before joining the University of St. Gallen, I was a Visiting Researcher at the Berkman Klein Center for Internet & Society at Harvard University. Previously, I was a postdoctoral researcher and lecturer at the Faculty for Business and Economics, University of Basel and a postdoctoral guest researcher at the University of Oxford.
With my teaching activities I aim to enhance student’s understanding, technical skills, and empirical finesse regarding questions surrounding the Internet’s (and more broadly tech’s) role in society, politics, and the economy (and vice versa). Key aspects of this endeavor are (i) bridging the gap between the collection, preparation, and storage of digital (web-based) data and modern applied econometrics (and statistical methods in general), and (ii) a critical application of the economic approach to human behavior in the context of politico-economic structure (institutions), media, and technological change. This has involved/involves/will involve the teaching of methodological courses on using open source tools and programming languages such as R, and lecturing both in the area of political economic/public economics as well as in the area of quantitative methods and ‘data science’ for social scientists.
My primary research interests lie at the intersections of political economics, media economics, applied econometrics, and computational social science. My research can broadly be categorized in two areas. (i) I am interested in how to make use of large web-based data and new computational methods for politico-economic research. For example, I combine programmatic/automated web data collection to collect highly detailed data on political processes to study the lawmaking process in legislative assemblies. (ii) I study how politico-economic forces shape the Internet and the Internet is changing politico-economic systems. A common theme of my research is the question of how small and well-organized (and often well-financed) groups of individuals strive for (and succeed in) shaping and exploiting politico-economic structures for their own benefit – at the cost of society at large.
In addition to my more ‘traditional’ academic work, I develop a number of R packages that aim to make the methods and data used in my research more accessible to a broader audience and thereby facilitate the replicability of research.