A Joint Programme of Friedrich Schiller University and the Max Planck Institute of Economics, Jena

The DFG Research Training Group 1411 "The Economics of Innovative Change" is a distinguished PhD programme in Economics and has been jointly offered by the Department of Economics of the Friedrich Schiller University and the former Max Planck Institute of Economics, both in Jena, Germany. We offer a comprehensive PhD-level training to 40 outstanding young graduates. The programme is international and highly committed to quality in teaching and research. All academic activities of the PhD programme are conducted in English.

The programme

The PhD group hosts doctoral candidates from the Max Planck Institute of Economics and from the Friedrich Schiller University. Additionally, highly competitive scholarships sponsored by the German Research Foundation (DFG) are awarded to 12 selected PhD candidates. The PhD students are expected to complete their PhD projects within 3 years. The first year is devoted to improving the theoretical knowledge and competences, while the second and the third year concentrate on the dissertation-related research. The programme offers a 2-week summer school each year, and for the second or third year a research-stay at a partner university abroad for about three months. The programme serves as a platform for collaboration, as a facilitator of joint scientific activities, and as a forum for knowledge exchange. It also provides senior expertise for junior research training in all necessary areas of competence: thematic, methodological, and transferable skills such as networking, scientific management, time management, and career planning.

Research Topics

Allowing for a broad concept of "innovation" we address a wide range of topics: industrial dynamics; entrepreneurship; innovation decisions and behaviour; competition, cooperation and strategic interaction in innovation; innovation in the development of consumption and consumer behaviour; human capital, skills and employment; innovation and regional development; innovation and economic dynamics of developing countries; energy, environment and innovation; innovation policy, and innovation management. The analytical approaches we pursue range from theoretical and empirical modeling, game theory, simulation analysis to experimental economics.


Through methodological and theoretical courses the programme deepens the capabilities of our PhD students to conduct a world-class research in economics. The courses are proposed both by the faculty and by the PhD students. Here you find an overview of our current and past courses.


Wednesdays are seminar days. Our PhD students are welcome to invite distinguished scholars from all over the world to present their current work and discuss it with the group. At least once a year the PhD students present their own dissertation progress. Their work is then discussed and refereed by peers and senior researchers. Please visit our calender with external-guest seminars and PhD-student seminars.

Research environment

The PhD group shares the capabilities, the resources, and the facilities of the University in Jena and the Max Planck Institute of Economics. Additionally it is integrated in an environment of related graduate programmes in social sciences. The Graduate Academy is further dedicated to supporting PhD students with additional advice, courses, and financial aid.


You are not the first historically important person who decided for the educational excellence of the 450-year old University of Jena. Philosophers such as Shelling, Hegel, Schopenhauer, and Friedrich Schiller, mathematicians such as Leibniz and Frege, and physicists such as Ernst Abbe studied and worked in Jena.

Today Jena is a lively city with a strong presence of students and researchers. Besides the University, Jena hosts 3 Max Planck Institutes, a Fraunhofer Institute for Applied Optics and Precision Engineering, a Leibniz Institute for Age Research, and a University of Applied Sciences. The historical presence of companies such as Carl Zeiß and SCHOTT make Jena a world center of optics research. Check what Jena can offer for you today.


10th Jena Summer Academy on Innovation and Uncertainty

More information and application:

Entrepreneurial Self-Identity: Predictors and Effects Within the Theory of Planned Behavior Framework

In their new paper Martin Obschonka, Rainer K. Silbereisen, Uwe Cantner and Maximilian Goethner find that self-identity predicted founding intentions, above and beyond the effect of the theory of planned behavior (TPB) variables. Moreover, self-identity showed a characteristic moderating effect with TPB-intention predictors. Their effect was weaker or even zero at low levels of self-identity. In addition, self-identity forecasted behavior, but had no unique main or moderating effect on behavior in the TPB framework. Self-identity was predictable by past behavior, personality structure, recalled adolescent competencies, and early parental role models. Moreover, an engagement in entrepreneurial activity led to an increase in self-identity over time. Read more

What does location choice reveal about knowledge-seeking strategies of emerging market multinationals in the EU? (Björn Jindra, Sohaib S. Hassan and Uwe Cantner)

The European Union is one of the largest recipients of outward foreign direct investment from emerging economies. We apply different discrete choice models to analyze the location choice of 4555 emerging market firms in 93 sub-national regions of the European Union. In particular, we test to what extent these firms’ location choices are related to agglomeration economies and knowledge externalities, because these have been suggested as potential sources to propel learning and technological catching-up. Our results indicate that emerging market firms’ location choices are positively affected by agglomeration economies and knowledge externalities. In addition, we can identify differences in the valuation of various sub-national location factors as well as differences in the substitution pattern between alternative regions for firms originating from emerging markets. The evidence supports the argument that emerging market firms use outward foreign direct investment to augment ownership specific assets. Read more

European Integration and Outward FDI from Central and Eastern Europe – Is There Any Evidence of Knowledge-seeking?

The European Union (EU) Member States in central and eastern Europe (CEE) witnessed a surge in outward foreign direct investment (OFDI) between 2000 and the start of the global financial crisis. Björn Jindra, Sohaib S. Hassan, Jutta Günther and Uwe Cantner, investigate whether the European integration process altered the relative importance of host country location factors. In particular, they investigate to what extent knowledge-seeking is a relevant investment motive, which has been documented as a key determinant for OFDI from other emerging economies. They apply a discrete choice approach to model foreign location choice of firms from CEE countries (CEECs) within the EU 27 (1996–2010) and find that the EU integration process is related with increasing importance of market access and less emphasis on labour cost advantages. Also they find heterogeneity in the valuation of foreign knowledge-related assets. The location probability within the EU15 is positively associated with knowledge-seeking. It also plays a role for technology-intensive industries and larger firms. Read more

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