+49 (0)6221 54-2958

University of Heidelberg
Alfred-Weber-Institute of Economics
Bergheimer Str. 58
D-69115 Heidelberg

Expectation formation in macroeconomics and its implications for Monetary and Fiscal Policy

A junior research group funded by the Hans Böckler Foundation at the Alfred-Weber-Institute for Economics at Heidelberg University.

Scientific management: Jprof. Dr. Joep Lustenhouwer

Application for PhD scholarships opening March 1st.

There is still one vacant position in the junior research group. The application deadline is May 31, 2023.

More information about the application process can be found on the home page.

Do not hesitate to contact us if you have any questions.

Mini-workshop on Macroeconomic Analysis with Imperfect Information. From Monday May 22th until Wednesday May 24th 2022, Alexandre N. Kohlhas ( University of Oxford ) will give a workshop on  Macroeconomic Analysis with Imperfect Information. The workshop takes place at Heidelberg University and consists of three 3-hour Lectures. Participation from external PhD students and postdocs is possible (but limited). To participate, please register by sending an email to joep.lustenhouwer@awi.uni-heidelberg.de. More information including the schedule of the workshop can be found here.

Research program


With the help of empirical methods, laboratory experiments and theoretical models, the junior research group aims to improve our understanding of macroeconomic expectations and investigate the effects of expectations on monetary and fiscal policy.

State of the literature

Expectations from households, firms and other economic actors play a crucial role in developments in the macro economy. However, empirically, the assumption of fully rational expectations used in most macroeconomic models does not sufficiently correspond to the actual expectations of households and firms.

Methodologies and findings

There will be a particular focus on the analysis of new data on expectations collected during the COVID-19 pandemic. From these data, valuable insights into the formation of expectations can be gained. The hypotheses that are formed based on the analysis of survey data can then be further tested and refined in laboratory experiments. Finally, the new insights into expectation formation can be implemented into macroeconomic models to help provide a more robust answer to key macroeconomic questions, such as how the central bank can anchor expectations to its target and keep inflation stable.

Find out more

Joep Lustenhouwer

Joep Lustenhouwer is an Assistant Professor (Jun.Prof.) in Macroeconomics at Heidelberg University and scientific leader of the junior research group.

Joep Lustenhouwer is an Assistant Professor (Jun.Prof.) in Macroeconomics at Heidelberg University and scientific leader of the junior research group. After obtaining his PhD degree at the University of Amsterdam, Joep was a postdoc at the University of Bamberg for two years. This position was partly funded by the Hans Böckler Foundation where he became a liaison professor directly after joining Heidelberg University. Joep’s research perfectly matches that of the junior research group by focusing on expectation formation in macroeconomics. His aim is to develop a better understanding of how expectations are actually formed and to derive new implications for monetary and fiscal policy from this. He uses complementary methodologies by empirically analyzing survey expectations, conducting controlled laboratory experiments, and incorporating bounded rationality into macroeconomic modelling. His research has been published in various peer-reviewed journals, including the Journal of Monetary Economics.