Economic Growth and Human Development

The working group focuses on the interplay of global commons for sustainable development and human well-being, particularly with respect to economic growth, migration and population growth.


Team members

Head: Prof. Dr. Matthias Kalkuhl

Dr. Thang Dao
Barbora Sedova
Andri Brenner 
Alkis Blanz 
Zeljana Ana Grulovic


Research topics

The research focuses on the role of climate change, land and environmental policies for economic growth and development. The group empirically assesses the impact of climate change on GDP and migration and advances economic theory by studying new channels of climate change influencing economic growth, e.g. via innovation, demographic change and structural change. The group aims to contribute to a better understanding about how global commons – and their proper management – affect economic and human development and vice versa. A second research strand focuses land taxes and their role to for achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) of the UN. Economic aspects of land taxes analyzed refer to growth effects, structural change, distributional aspects and land-use impacts to save primary forests.


Research projects

A finalized research project, funded by PBL Netherlands, has looked at the role of land taxes in developing countries. The study carried out a comprehensive analysis of the economic, ecological and social aspects of land taxes and quantified the amount and distribution of land taxes for four developing countries. The results were presented to decision-makers in several countries.


Information on writing Master theses



Current publications of the working group

Kalkuhl, M., Fernandez Milan, B., Schwerhoff, G., Jakob, M., Hahnen, M., Creutzig, F., 2018

Can land taxes foster sustainable development? An assessment of fiscal, distributional and implementation issues

Land Use Policy
Peer Review
Wissenschaftliche Arbeitsgruppe für weltkirchliche Aufgaben der Deutschen Bischofskonferenz (Hrsg), 2018

Raus aus der Wachstumsgesellschaft? Eine sozialethische Analyse und Bewertung von Postwachstumsstrategien

Kalkuhl, M., Edenhofer, O., Hagedorn, J., 2018

Steigende Bodenrenten, Vermögensungleichheiten und politische Handlungsmöglichkeiten

In: Emunds, B., C. Czingon and M. Wolff (Hrsg.) Stadtluft macht reich/arm. Stadtentwicklung, soziale Ungleichheit und Raumgerechtigkeit.

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