11) University of Klagenfurt

Scientific Staff

Prof. Reinhard Neck
Prof. Franz Rendl
Prof. Jürgen Pilz
Dr. Doris A. Behrens
Dr. Gottfried Haber
Dr. Christian Richter

Reinhard Neck studied statistics and economics at the University of Vienna, where he received a PhD in social and economic sciences with special distinctions. He was professor of economics at the Universities of Bielefeld and Osnabrueck, research fellow at Harvard University and visiting professor at Stanford University and the University of Ljubljana. Since 1997, he is professor of economics at the University of Klagenfurt.

Expertise of the Team

the Department of Mathematics (Rendl, Pilz). Their expertise is in the fields of applied econometrics (Neck, Haber, Richter), of statistics (Pilz) and of operations research and applied mathematics (Rendl, Behrens). They share a common interest in optimization and applications of mathematics and statistics to economic problems. The University of Klagenfurt closely collaborates with private software firms situated at the Lakeside Science and Technology Park adjacent to the university campus. This will enable multi-disciplinary research, involving expertise on econometric modelling and applied econometrics, quantitative economic policy, optimization algorithms, and applied game theory.

Previous work on applied optimization includes the development of algorithms for the dynamic optimization of econometric models and their application for policy purpose as well as of algorithms for calculating solutions to dynamic economic policy games. Neck and co-authors published research on the optimum control algorithm OPTCON and its applications to a variety of macroeconometric models of European Union member countries (e.g., Haber, Neck and Weyerstrass 2002) as well as on the dynamic game algorithms OPTGAME and DYNGAME and their applications (Hager, Neck and Behrens 2001; Haber, Neck and McKibbin 2002; Behrens and Neck, 2003; Neck and Behrens, 2004). Recently, they started research towards using heuristic optimization and genetic algorithms for dynamic optimization and game problems and the development of corresponding software. Another line of recent research deals with applications of optimizing agent-based models in economics.


  • D. A. Behrens and R. Neck: “Optimal Decision Rules in a Monetary Union”. In: U. Leopold-Wildburger, F. Rendl, G. Wäscher (eds.), Operations Research Proceedings 2002, Berlin 2003.
  • M. Hager, R. Neck and D. A. Behrens: “Solving Dynamic Macroeconomic Policy Games Using the Algorithm OPTGAME 1.0”. Optimal Control Applications and Methods, 2001.
  • G. Haber, R. Neck and K. Weyerstrass: “Optimal Fiscal and Monetary Policies for Slovenia under Different Exchange Rate Regimes and Targets”. In: W. Welfe (ed.), MACROMODELS 2001, Lodz 2002.
  • G. Haber, R. Neck and W. J. McKibbin: “Global Implications of Monetary and Fiscal Policy Rules in the EMU”. Open Economies Review, 2002.
  • R. Neck and D. A. Behrens: “Macroeconomic Policies in a Monetary Union: A Dynamic Game”. Central European Journal of Operations Research, 2004.

Expertise in Training Young Scientists

Since 2001, the team members supervised successfully more than 10 Ph.D. dissertations and 5 “habilitations”. Among other activities, Neck taught post-graduate courses in advanced microeconomics and macroeconomics at the University of Ljubljana (Slovenia), and Pilz organised the 6th Alpe-Adria-Meeting of Young Statisticians, a Joint PhD-Course „Modern Geostatistics“ with UNESCO in Banska Stiavnica, Slovak Republic, and is member of the International Advisory Board for organising the PhD study programme in statistics in Croatia.

Links within the Network

From 1999 to 2005, Neck was Chair of the IFAC Technical Committee on Economic and Business Systems. As such, he had close connections to several other members of the overall team. For instance, Gilli and Kontoghiorghes were members of the program committee of the IFAC Symposium organised by Neck in Klagenfurt. In addition, they were members of several research teams that presented papers at this congress and at various sessions at other IFAC conferences also organised by Neck. These papers were published in a number of IFAC refereed volumes, including the 2005 IFAC World Congress. Winker will be a member of the habilitation committee for Haber.

Role of the Research Team

Research of the Klagenfurt team will be primarily devoted to developing algorithms for the dynamic optimization of stochastic economic models, including optimum stochastic control and dynamic game models. In particular, existing algorithms will be extended to allow for the numerical calculation of solutions to economic policy problems at the microeconomic and the macroeconomic level with the respective economic system being represented by an econometric model. To this end, heuristic optimization approaches will be integrated. The resulting methods will also be useful in other areas of application (such as computational statistics). The research team will also engage in the training and transfer of knowledge activities as described in Section 2. The main focus will be on application-oriented research and on multi-disciplinarity.