Dr Clemens Hetschko

Dr Clemens Hetschko


Prior to joining the University of Leeds, I worked as a post-doctoral researcher on a project funded by the German Science Foundation at Free University Berlin and the Institute for Employment Research in Nuremberg (2017-2019). From 2009 to 2017, I was employed in varying roles at Free University Berlin, where I also completed my PhD in 2014 as well as my economics diploma in 2009 (equivalent to a Master’s degree).

Research interests

Economists have been hesitant to use survey data for a long time. I address both opportunities offered by survey data and their methodological challenges, while examining the fundamental economic concepts of welfare and preferences. My research has mostly been applied to the labour market and, recently, to the political economy of globalisation.

Wellbeing and the labour market

The need to measure welfare empirically has made the study of subjective wellbeing an important field within economics. I have devoted a large part of my work to this area, including my PhD. For instance, I have examined to what extent social norms and identity contribute to the wellbeing effects of unemployment and social policy. Moreover, I have studied labour market flexibility and job mobility as determinants of job satisfaction. Aside from the aim to empirically measure welfare, a related piece of research examines the impact of unemployment on risk aversion.

The nature of welfare

It is highly debated how well subjective wellbeing measures the economic notion of welfare. Besides general concerns, it is unclear what indicators of wellbeing should be considered to that end (e.g. life satisfaction, affective wellbeing, health). By means of an externally funded project, my collaborators and I are currently collecting monthly panel data of job seekers using a smartphone app to compare the effect of unemployment on different indicators of wellbeing and health. We also relate the results to measures of job search behaviour. The data collection moreover allows us to gain survey-methodological insights based on experiments on how to best invite people to an app-based survey and on the impact of participating in an extensive survey on labour market outcomes.

Political economy of globalisation

Western societies have seen a rise in support of political parties opposing globalisation in the form of migration, free trade, or European integration. It is therefore crucial to understand the circumstances under which societies adopt efficiency-enhancing international economic integration. As part of a team of co-authors, I am currently examining the role of time preference in anti-globalist voting, from a theoretical angle as well as by using survey data from the United Kingdom and Germany. We show that highly impatient individuals are particularly likely to oppose globalisation as they are not prepared to await the long-term efficiency gains from globalisation but suffer in particular from short-run adjustment costs.


  • PhD (Free University Berlin, 2014)
  • Diploma in economics (Master-equivalent, Free University Berlin, 2009)

Professional memberships

  • CESifo Munich
  • Royal Economic Society
  • Verein für Socialpolitik
  • Berlin Network of Labor Market Research (BeNA)
  • Berlin Network for Research on Wellbeing

Research groups and institutes

  • Applied Institute for Research in Economics