Homepage of Stefan Bergheim

List of publications


Media coverage:


Bild Stefan Welcome to my homepage! Thirteen years of work as an economist at four different banks on many different topics are summarized here. From mid-2002 to end-2008 I worked for Deutsche Bank Research in Frankfurt.

At the beginning of 2009 I founded a new think-tank, realizing a dream I had since a 2005 visit to Washington D.C. The work is mostly in German and about Germany. The new website is Zentrum fuer gesellschaftlichen Fortschritt. This old personal site has last been updated in early 2009.

I have a Diploma in economics from Saarbrücken University (1992) and spent three years in the Ph.D. program at the University of Oregon in the USA (1992-95). In late 2007 I completed my dissertation on "Long-Run Growth Forecasting" at WHU in Vallendar with summa cum laude. The book has appeared with Springer in April 2008. A spin-off on pair-wise cointegration was published in early 2007.

Latest commentary

My late July comment in Die Welt on Hurra, wir arbeiten laenger! and my mid-August comment in Frankfurter Rundschau on Was wirklich zaehlt, also in English.

Recent public presentations

On March 18th, 2009 I spoke at the Humanomics conference in Frankfurt, on 26th at Travelindustry in Cologne, on March 27th at IfG Alumni in Muenster and on April 16th at the StraX Seminar in Helsinki. All on happiness and societal progress.

Late 2008 talks were at BBJ conference Deutschland 2020 on November 25th, at LMU in Munich on happiness on November 13, at CAWM of University Muenster on happiness research on October 30th at the 3rd CSR Conference in Berlin on societal progress and CSR on October 9, and on Social Capital and the Progress of Nations at the conference organised by The Social Capital Foundation on September 21.

Happiness and societal progress

My last note for Deutsche Bank Research was on the Broad basis of societal progress (German as Die breite Basis gesellschaftlichen Fortschritts). Die Welt ran a fine story about it, as did WAZ and NZZ.

This note includes a lot of theory and recommendations for action. It builds on the Happy Variety of Capitalism (German: Die glückliche Variante des Kapitalismus). That study was featured in WamS and in an interview on Bloomberg TV. I presented it in Berlin in April 2007 at an event with the Australian Ambassador (reports in Tagesspiegel, in Sueddeutsche and in FTD) and at the conference on Policies for Happiness in Siena, in Berlin in 2007 and at the ZEW/Eucken conference in Freiburg in April 2008. Blogs like New Economist, Flybottle and the Naumann Foundation found it useful.

My first note in the happiness area is from late 2006 on Measures of well-being (German: BIP allein macht nicht glücklich), highlighting that income does not equal happiness.

There is also an application of the "Happy Variety" to 97 regions of Germany: Well-being in Germany (German: Deutschland zum Wohlfuehlen) and was featured in many regional newspapers across Germany (e.g. Frankenpost or Neuruppin).

Global Growth Centres

My main project over the years 2004-06 has been Global Growth Centres, where my colleagues and I looked at 34 economies out until the year 2020. The latest work on Spain 2020 (in German) already uses some of the insights from my dissertation. Another recent use was in a special page in Die Welt in March 2007. The Introductory Study was published in February 2005 in German. The main ideas are summarized in the December 2005 issue of the Journal of Financial Transformation.

In June 2005 I presented Formel-G at the IMF and at AICGS (see also Issue Brief) in Washington. In 2006 I presented it for example in Seoul at Korea Industry Vision 2020 and in Helsinki. Here is my presentation on implications for Europe at the European Futurist Conference (audio) in November 2006 (me in action). The model is also presented in a chapter in Mika Aaltonen's book The Third Lens (honored to be on the Strax board).

The follow-up on human capital (Humankapital) analyses the most important driver of growth. I presented the ideas with a focus on Germany at the DBR symposium with the Spanish education ministry in Berlin in March 2006 and at the Liberales Wirtschaftsforum in Mainz in October. The March 7, 2007 presentation at FOM in Berlin.

In late 2006 a brief note looked at what we can say about productivity developments, labour input and monetary policy (in German).

German growth

The global analysis builds on earlier work on the German growth weakness: Bottleneck Labour (with Macro Neuhaus, Engpassfaktor Arbeit) of 2002 showed that declining labour input was the root cause of Germany's weak growth - and that the resulting decline in the productivity of capital led to lower investment in the second round. I still love the piece.

Attention quickly turned to the reasons for poor work incentives. Reformstau - causes and remedies (with Marco Neuhaus and Stefan Schneider, Reformstau - Ursachen und Lösungen) looked at the 10 most important obstacles.


My 2006 note on the long-term outlook for Japan built on the global growth centres project: Japan 2020 (presentation), also out in German. My 20 minute interview on Bloomberg TV is publicly available (please search that site). An interview in a DB Magazine.

In late 2003 I had the opportunity to visit Tokyo and gain fascinating insights into the workings of the second largest economy. Japan - pain postponed (Japan - Anpassung verschoben) was the result, influenced by the work of Aoki Mikuni, author of "Japan's Policy Trap". In spring 2005, I presented at the Kiel Institute's Business Cycle Conference.


My work on demographics started in 2000 while at Merrill Lynch: German Pensions (with Jan Mantel) looked at the 2000 pension reform and at additional steps necessary. I also organised a conference with Prof. Börsch-Supan and MdB Storm.

My early 2006 study looked at the link between life expectancy, health and growth, one of the trend clusters in the growth centres project: "Live long and prosper!" (German: Hurra, wir leben länger!). It includes my favorite chart showing increasing life expectancy and the stagnating retirement age in Germany.

Earlier, Migration in Germany (deutsch) of 2003 showed that the redistribution of the population in space has a more significant impact on a region's population numbers than declining birth rates. An interdisciplinary project for the Quandt Foundation on Accepting the Demographic Challenge (Herausforderung annehmen) was one of my highlights of 2004.

Business cycle

When I started in the financial industry in 1995, my focus was initially on business cycle analysis and Bundesbank/ECB watching at Dresdner Kleinwort. At Merrill we had European Weeklies and Monthlies and I did a German Quarterly. At JP Morgan I continued my ECB-watching. While most of the business cycle work at DBR is internal only, some like on Deflation or on ECB objectives and task (with Bernhard Speyer) gets published after a delay.

My book:

Other great books:

Reviews in "Die Welt"

My book reviews: