Spotlight: Nina Czernich - The Pillar of Pillars

Nina recognized early on that broadband access had practically become a human right, one that was shaping nearly all aspects of our lives. So, when she went for a career in economics, she quickly focused her research in that direction. Fittingly, she got a grant from the Deutsche Telekom and her doctoral thesis, which she worked on as a doctoral student and junior researcher at the ifo Institute, dealt with the economics of digitalisation.

She published a paper with colleagues in the Economic Journal dealing with the effects of broadband infrastructure on economic growth, which quickly became one of the most, if not the most, cited paper in the field. One of the papers citing it was—well, we don’t want to brag about it, but actually we do—Joe Biden’s 2023 Economic Report of the President, prepared by the US President’s Council of Economic Advisors.

With the ink on her doctorate barely dry, she joined the Commission of Experts for Research and Innovation, which advises the German Federal Government and presents an annual report on research, innovation and technological performance in the country. There, as one of the Council’s economists, she worked primarily with Monika Schnitzer, today the chairwoman of the German Council of Economic Experts, a prestigious group of economists who evaluate economic policies of the German government.

She then returned to the ifo Institute, where she took over the scientific coordination of the institute’s research services, at the same time as serving as Deputy Director of the Ifo Centre for Industrial Organization and New Technologies, under Oliver Falck, where she focuses on digitalisation-related policy advice.

And oh, yes. She is the one who keeps Pillars shipshape. Somehow, she finds the time to make sure that all the research, event and outreach activities of Pillars keep growing and delivering. The pillar of Pillars.

Spotlight Nina Czernich