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Why did you choose Germany as a research destination?
My specialty is market design—creating innovative markets in complex settings. Market design is very much a global endeavor. I look for places of opportunity, where good ideas can not only be developed but implemented. Germany is an ideal location for doing market design work in Europe. Germany is a critical market within Europe and is well-connected to all the countries in Europe. More broadly, Germany offers excellent access to Asia, Africa and North America.
What was your first impression of Germany, the German culture and its people?
My closest and best colleague is a German researcher. Through him, I have met many other German colleagues. These colleagues have framed my impression of Germany. I have found the German people warm and helpful. I very much appreciate Germans’ willingness and ability to converse in English.
Did you encounter any difficulties while settling in in Germany?
I have found it easy to settle into Germany. I had the benefit of a talented staff at the University of Cologne helping me navigate the bureaucracy. This was essential given that administration, both at the University and the government is done in German, which I do not speak. Google Translate has been a big help too.
Do you have tips for other international researchers who are thinking about coming to Germany?
I highly recommend living near the university or lab where you work. German cities have good housing infrastructure and renting is the norm. Find a place where you can walk, bike, or tram to the things you like to do. Enjoy the many parks. Don’t buy a car. You can easily get around with foot, bike, tram, train, and can rent a car on the rare occasions when you need one.
Short and crisp: What is your favourite...
- Word: “Wirtschaft”. It is my field (economics), but it reminds me of “witchcraft”.
- Dish: German bread.
- Piece of German culture: Italians have a lot of ridiculous rules but ignore them. Germans have a lot of rules and enforce them.
Find out more about Peter Cramton and his research project on the Latest Thinking website: www.lt.org.