Hans-Werner Sinn

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Person.png Hans-Werner Sinn  Rdf-entity.pngRdf-icon.png
Hans Werner Sinn.png
Born7 March 1948
North Rhine-Westphalia
Alma materUniversity of Mannheim, University of Münster
Neoliberal German economist with gushing praise in media and politics

Hans-Werner Sinn is a German economist who was President of the Ifo Institute for Economic Research from 1999 to 2016. He also serves on the German economy ministry’s advisory council. He is Professor Emeritus of Economics and Public Finance at the University of Munich.[1]

His neoliberal prescriptions have received gushing praise in corporate media and politics for decades.

Education and career

After studying economics at the University of Münster from 1967 to 1972 and received his doctorate from the University of Mannheim in 1978.

Since 1984 Sinn has been full professor in the faculty of economics at the University of Munich (LMU), first holding the chair for economics and insurance, and from 1994 the chair for economics and public finance. During leaves of absence from Mannheim and Munich he held visiting professorships (1978/79 and 1984/85) at the University of Western Ontario in Canada. During sabbaticals he was also visiting researcher at the London School of Economics, as well as at Bergen, Stanford, Princeton and Jerusalem Universities.

From 1 February 1999 to 31 March 2016, Sinn was president of the Ifo Institute for Economic Research. In 2006 he became president of the International Institute of Public Finance, a position he held until 2009. From 1997 to 2000 Sinn headed the Verein für Socialpolitik, the association of German-speaking economists. He reformed the Verein für Socialpolitik and actively promoted the internationalization of economic science in the German-speaking countries. During his presidency he founded two journals – the German Economic Review and the Perspektiven der Wirtschaftspolitik.

Sinn is fellow of the National Bureau of Economic Research in Cambridge, Massachusetts, and was the first German-speaking economist to deliver the Yrjö Jahnsson Lectures[2] in Helsinki (1999) and the Tinbergen Lectures in Amsterdam (2004).[3]

Gushing praise in corporate media

Sinn topped a ranking of German economist provided by the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung (FAZ) in 2013, 2014 and 2015. The FAZ's ranking named him "Germany's most influential economist of 2014", arguing that "no other economics researcher in Germany has such a high profile in the media and politics and is also active in research."[4]. In the RePEc database he is the German economist most frequently quoted in academic works.[5] In a survey conducted by the Financial Times Deutschland among more than 550 German economic experts, Sinn was one of the two professors in Germany (the other was Herbert Giersch) to attract a large following of academic pupils, and in terms of political influence he ranked only behind Bert Rürup at the top of the list of German professors.[6] The British newspaper The Independent nominated him as one of the "ten people who changed the world" in 2011.[7] In its latest evaluation of the Ifo Institute, the Leibniz Association praised Sinn as one of "Germany’s most renowned economists, who constantly succeeds in bringing the most varied economic issues to public debate".[8]


The University of Magdeburg, the University of Helsinki, the HHL Leipzig Graduate School of Management and the University of Economics in Prague[9] have all awarded him honorary doctorates. Since 1988 he has been honorary professor of the University of Vienna, where he has given many lectures and since 2017 he has been "permanent guest professor" at the University of Lucerne, Switzerland. In 2008 he was knighted with the Bavarian Maximilian Order for Science and Art, and in 2013 he was awarded the Ludwig Erhard Prize by the Ludwig-Erhard Foundation.

Since 1989 Sinn was on the Advisory Council of the German Ministry of Economics, and represented the Free State of Bavaria on the Board of Supervisors of HypoVereinsbank for ten years.[10]

Sinn lives with his wife near Munich. They have three adult children.


Event Participated in

Bilderberg/20169 June 201612 June 2016Germany
The 2016 Bilderberg meeting took place in Dresden, Germany.