Philipp Lieberknecht, Deutsche Bundesbank

"The insights about structural modelling form the basis for my current job"

Philipp Lieberknecht joined the Chair of Monetary Economics at the IMFS in April 2016 and graduated with a Ph.D. from the Graduate School of Economics, Finance and Management at Goethe University in September 2019. In February 2019, he took up a position as economist at Deutsche Bundesbank where he works as an economist in the Directorate General Economics, focusing on the balance of payments, exchange rates and capital markets analysis. He completed his undergraduate studies in economics in Muenster and holds a M.Sc. in economics from the University of Cologne. His research interests are in the area of monetary, macroprudential and fiscal policy, with a special focus on the effect of financial frictions in structural models. 

How would you describe your job to other people?

My job as a central bank economist is a mixture of economic analysis and research, with a focus on monetary policy. I am working in the Capital Markets Analysis team. As such, the main task is to analyze financial market developments, in particular prices and quantities on capital markets in the Euro Area. The main goal is to inform the policymakers within the Bundesbank such that they can take informed monetary policy decisions. This involves for example briefing the president for the ECB council meetings and the decisions about the ECB’s interest rates and asset purchases.

What do you like most about your job?

Central banks currently face a lot big questions about the economy and the optimal conduct of monetary policy. For example, there is a heated debate whether the relationship between inflation and economic activity, the so-called Phillips curve, is still intact. My job allows me to investigate such questions from the applied policy perspective using the tools of academic research, and thereby combines the best of both worlds.

What was the main focus of your research at the IMFS?

During my time at the IMFS, I investigated macroeconomic policies in the presence of financial frictions. The overarching question was whether such policies should be different in times of financial market distress. As an example, if financial frictions change how firms set their prices, this has important implications for the optimal conduct of monetary policy.

How is your job at the Bundesbank related to your work at the IMFS?

In my team, I am the expert for structural macroeconomic modelling and responsible for handling the division’s DSGE (Dynamic Stochastic General Equilibrium) model. My work at the IMFS and in particular for the Macroeconomic Model Database (MMB) provided me with a broad overview of these models and strengthened my knowledge about their features and solution methods. Therefore, the insights about structural modelling form the basis for my current job.

What did you enjoy most regarding your time at the IMFS?

The IMFS granted manifold opportunities for a young researcher. I had the opportunity to develop my own research agenda, and work closely with Prof. Wieland at the same time. I had the chance for research visits at the ECB and the IMF in Washington. In addition, I could combine research with teaching and applied work for the MMB. All of these factors contributed to a unique experience that shaped my first steps as an academic researcher.