The winners of the 2018 Leibniz Prize have been announced this month – among them economist Nicola Fuchs-Schündeln. She is one of 11 scientists, among them 4 women, who receive this accolade for their "outstanding achievements in the field of research" in the coming year.
Fuchs-Schündeln is an economic scientist at the Goethe University Frankfurt where she researches the differences in economic values and preferences between Western Germans and people that were brought up in Eastern Germany before the fall of the wall. Furthermore, she is interested in saving, consumption and working behaviour of private households. Again, she regularly takes advantage of the particular situation in Germany, where the reunification caused a dramatic economic change in the East, but not so much in the West of the unified German Federation. In more recent works, Prof Fuchs-Schündeln also investigates why Europeans work fewer hours per year compared the US-Americans. Her research identifies the tax system as a major contributor to these differences.
The President of the Goethe University of Frankfurt, Professor Birgitta Wolff, congratulated her colleague with the following words: "This is a deserved acknowledgement of the extraordinarily successful scientific work from Nicola Fuchs-Schündeln. She plays an outstanding role in the economic sciences in Germany and she can already look back in an impressive international career. In her innovative research approach she combines macro- and microeconomy and delves into unexpected research topics. She is a real inspiration for many."
The funds from the Leibniz Prize – an amount of 2.5 Million Euros, paid over the course of five years – will allow Fuchs-Schündeln to continue her exceptional work and expand her research group in the Goethe University Frankfurt. The award money can be used flexibly by the laureates. The DFG states that the program "aims to improve the working conditions of outstanding scientists and academics, expand their research opportunities, relieve them of administrative tasks, and help them employ particularly qualified early career researchers."
The Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz Prize is the one of the most important research awards in Germany. It was established in 1985, and past awardees include a substantial number of high profile scientists, such as the biological scientists – and later Nobel Laureates - Hartmut Michel and Christiane Nüsslein-Volhard.