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Freie Universität Berlin
John F. Kennedy Institute for North American Studies
Department of Economics
Lansstraße 7-9
14195 Berlin

Kerstin Brunke
Telephone +49 30 838 53603
Fax+49 30 838 457879




Department Chair
Prof. Dr. Max Steinhardt 


The political economy of US immigration policy

In this project, we focus on the 1965 Immigration Act which represents a radical shift in U.S. policy dramatically expanding the volume and changing the composition of immigration. Its demise has frequently been characterized as an outcome of political maneuvering orchestrated within Congress, irrespective of public sentiment. Instead, our analysis demonstrates that congressional voting aligned with public opinion on eliminating country-of-origin quotas but not with the desire to limit the volume of immigration.

Overcrowding in Germany

In the last decade, the housing issue has become one of the central questions of our time in Germany. In the public perception, this is expressed in particular by the rise in prices and rents in relation to incomes as well as the shortage of housing in places where employees work and their children go to school. One aspect of today's housing issue that has received less attention is the question of housing supply, its distribution across various population groups and possible effects in other areas of society. Not only the price increases of the last decade, but also the COVID-19 shock with home office, quarantines and curfews have once again made the supply of housing a central issue. The aim of the project is to work out the social and economic factors and consequences of overcrowding. It also aims to investigate the extent to which the objective availability of living space corresponds to the subjective assessment of it.

School Closures during the Covid-19 Pandemic

This project explores the relationship between the representation of women in political power and school closures during the COVID-19 pandemic. Drawing on a cross-national dataset across Europe, it documents a strikingly negative relationship between the proportion of women in national governments and school closures.

The long run impact of interracial contact on residential segregation in the US

In this project, we utilize quasi-random fluctuations in the proportion of Black students within different cohorts in US schools to explore the potential influence of interracial interactions during childhood on the residential decisions of White individuals in adulthood. We find that, 20 years after exposure, that White individuals who had a greater number of Black peers of the same gender in their grade tend to reside in census tracts with a higher concentration of Black residents.

Office Hours

Front Desk 

Monday to Thursday, 9:00 a.m  to 2:00 p.m

The office is often open beyond the official opening hours.  

Prof. Dr. Max Steinhardt

Tuesdays, 1:00 p.m - 2:00 p.m after registration

Please register by noon the previous Thursday at economics@jfki.fu-berlin.de

Prof. Dr. Julia Püschel

Please register at: j.pueschel@fu-berlin.de

Christopher Prömel

Please register at christopher.proemel@fu-berlin.de