Main Content

Ifo Institute

Prof. Dr. Dr. h.c. mult. Hans-Werner Sinn

President, Ifo Institute

Hans-Werner Sinn

Ifo Institute
Executive Board
Poschingerstraße 5
81679 München

Phone: +49(0)89/9224-1279
Fax: +49(0)89/9224-1901

Ludwig-Maximilians-University Munich
Center for Economic Studies (CES)
Schackstraße 4
80539 Munich (Germany)

Phone +49(89)2180-2747
Fax +49(89)397303

Ad personam

Hans-Werner Sinn (* 7 March 1948) is President of the Ifo Institute, Professor for Economics and Public Finance at the Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich, Director of the Center for Economic Studies (CES) and Managing Director of CESifo GmbH. Sinn is known to the general public for his books on economic policy, which include: Jumpstart, Can Germany Be Saved?, Die Basarökonomie, The Green Paradox, Casino Capitalism und Die Target-Falle. His main research interests are taxation, the environment, growth and exhaustible resources, risk theory, climate and energy, banking, demography and social security, macroeconomics and systemic competition.

Sinn gained his doctorate in 1978 at the University of Mannheim and his habilitation in 1983 from the same university. Both works were awarded first prize by the University of Mannheim. The University of Magdeburg, the University of Helsinki and the HHL Leipzig Graduate School of Management have each awarded him honorary doctorates. He is also an honorary professor of the University of Vienna.

Sinn has been awarded several prizes including the Europe Prize by the University of Maastricht (2008), the Bavarian Maximilian Order for Science and Art (2008), the Gustav Stolper Prize of the Verein für Socialpolitik (2008), the State Medal for Special Services to the Bavarian Economy (2012) and the Ludwig Erhard Prize of the Ludwig Erhard Foundation. He is also holder of the Cross of the Order of Merit of the Federal Republic of Germany and of the 1st Class Cross of the Federal Republic of Germany.

In 1984 Sinn was appointed Professor of Economics and Public Finance at the Ludwig Maximilian University in Munich. He was previously Professor at the University of Western Ontario (Canada) for two years. He accepted guest professorships at the London School of Economics, the Universities of Bergen, Stanford, Princeton and Jerusalem. He is the only German to date to have given the Yrjö Jahnsson Lectures in Helsinki and the Tinbergen Lectures in Amsterdam. Since 1988 Sinn has been a Fellow of the National Bureau of Economic Research, Cambridge (USA). From 1997 to 2000 Sinn was Chairman of the German Economic Association (Verein für Socialpolitik) and from 2006 to 2009 he was President of the International Institute of Public Finance, the world association of public finance experts.

Since 1989 Sinn has been a member of the Scientific Council of the German Ministry of the Economy. He is also a member of the Bavarian Academy of Sciences (historical-philosophical category) and of the European Academy of Sciences, of Leopoldina (the German Academy of Natural Scientists). He is corresponding member of the North-Rhine Westphalian Academy of Sciences and the Austrian Academy of Science (philosophical-historical category).

Research Areas

Sinn’s main areas of research cover the topics of taxes, regulation, the labour market, the environment, growth and exhaustible resources, foreign trade, banks, insurance and risk, climate and energy, demography and social insurance, macro-economics, system competition and system transformation. His research results have been published in the American Economic Review, the Journal of Public Economics and Quarterly Journal of Economics. More

Research Output

Hans-Werner Sinn has one of the highest research outputs among German-speaking economists. According to a study of citations by other scientists conducted by Ursprung and Zimmer in 2007, Sinn occupied place 2 (all publications with proportionate weighting according to the number of authors) and directly followed Nobel prize winner Reinhard Selten. In the ranking of research economists in Germany whose work features in the RePEc research database - a ranking that is mainly based on citations by other scientists - Sinn topped the ranking in spring 2012. In the Handelsblatt Ranking of Economists for 2013, which is only based on output in journals and does not include citations and books, Sinn ranked 8th.

Public Influence

For the British newspaper The Independent, Sinn’s research into the European payment system made him one of the top ten most important people who changed the world in 2011. He ranked top of the WirtschaftsWoche’s list of “Most Important Economists” and was the only German to feature in Bloomberg’s ranking of the top 50 personalities in business worldwide in 2012. According to a survey conducted by the magazine Cicero ("Die Liste der 500", January 2013, p. 20) which listed the top 500 German intellectuals, Sinn ranked 14th. In a survey of German Bundestag members and federal ministry staff published by the FAZ in 2013, Sinn ranked top in Germany as a response to the question “Which economist’s advice or publications do you find most valuable to your work?” In the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung's ranking of economists he was named "Germany's most influential economist of 2014" since "no other economics researcher in Germany has such a high profile in the media and politics and is also active in research." He features in the worldwide list of the Top 100 Thought Leaders for his work on the bazaar economy.