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Associate Professor of Economics: April 2017 - present

University of Southern Denmark, Department of Business and Economics


Research Affiliate, Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR), December 2018 - present


Visiting Associate Professor of Economics: January 2018 - June 2018

Harvard University, Department of Economics


Assistant Professor of Economics: August 2013 - March 2017

University of Southern Denmark, Department of Business and Economics




PhD in Economics, Universitat Pompeu Fabra, 2013 

MRes in Economics, Universitat Pompeu Fabra, 2009

Diplom in Economics, University of Mannheim, 2007


Research Interests


Economic History, Demography, and Labor Economics




"Structural Change and the Fertility Transition", (joint with Benedikt Herz and Markus Brueckner). Review of Economics and Statistics (accepted for publication).

"How the 1906 San Francisco Earthquake Shaped Economic Activity in the American West", (joint with Katherine Eriksson, Casper Worm Hansen, and Lars Lønstrup). Explorations in Economic History (accepted for publication)


"Agricultural Risk and the Spread of Religious Communities", (joint with Antonio Ciccone).  Journal of the European Economic Association, 2018, vol. 16 (4), pp. 1021-68.


"Fertility and early-life mortality: Evidence from smallpox vaccination in Sweden", (joint with Casper Worm Hansen and Peter Sandholt Jensen).  Journal of the European Economic Association, 2018, vol. 16 (2), pp. 487-521.


"Immigrants' Genes: Genetic Diversity and Economic Development in the US", (joint with Markus Brückner). Economic Inquiry, 2018, vol. 56 (April), pp. 1149-64. 


"The Boll Weevil Plague and its Effect on the Southern Agricultural Sector, 1889-1929", (joint with Markus Brückner and Benedikt Herz).

Explorations in Economic History, 2017, vol. 65 (July), pp. 94-105. 


"Cultural Diversity and Economic Growth: Evidence from the US During the Age of Mass Migration", (joint with Markus Brückner). European Economic Review, 2013, vol. 64 (November), pp. 76-97.



Working Papers


"The Intergenerational Effects of a Large Wealth Shock: White Southerners After the Civil War" (joint with Leah Boustan and Katherine Eriksson). Revise and Resubmit  -- American Economic Review


"Killer Incentives: Relative Position, Performance and Risk-Taking Among German Fighter Pilots, 1939-45", (joint with Leonardo Bursztyn, Lukas Leucht, and Joachim Voth). Revise and Resubmit  -- Review of Economic Studies

"Church Membership and Social Insurance: Evidence from the Great Mississippi Flood of 1927", (joint with Casper Worm Hansen and Lars Lønstrup).  Reject and Resubmit -- Economic Journal


"How the Other Half Died: Immigration and Mortality in US Cities" (joint with James Feigenbaum, Casper Worm Hansen, and Hui Ren Tan).

"The Effect of Immigration on the Economy: Lessons from Closing the Border in the 1920s", (joint with Ran Abramitzky, Leah Boustan, Elior Cohen, and Casper Worm Hansen). 

"Bank Entry Regulation and Financial Development: The US Free Banking Experience", (joint with Fabrizio Spargoli).  


"The Persistence of de Facto Power: Elites and Economic Development in the US South", 1840-1960".


Work in Progress


"Froebel's Gifts: How the Kindergarten Movement Changed the American Family", (joint with Francesco Cinnirella).


"Did the Boll Weevil kick off the Great Migration?", (joint with Richard Baker, Katherine Eriksson, and Benedikt Herz).


"The Making of an American: Public Kindergartens and the Assimilation of Immigrant Children", (joint with Francesco Cinnirella, Katherine Eriksson, and Viktor Malein)


Other Publications


“The accuracy and efficiency of the Consensus Forecast: A further application and extension of the pooled approach”, (joint with Marcus Kappler and Steffen Osterloh). International Journal of Forecasting, 2009, vol. 25 (1), pp. 167-181.


Honors, Scholarships, and Fellowships


Danish Council for Independent Research, 2018: Project: "Institutions of Care: The Role of Early Childhood Investments for Historical Development" (PI, amount: DKK 4,488.160 (~ 710.000 USD)).


Danish Council for Independent Research, 2015: Project: "Diversity and Development: Evidence from Immigration Quotas" (joint with Casper Worm Hansen, amount: DKK 1,502.967 (~ 225.000 USD)).


Conference Presentations


AEA Annual Meetings (San Diego, 2020), Simposio of the Spanish Economic Association (Alicante, 2019), SSHA Conference (Chicago, 2019), FAIR CELE Workshop (Bergen, 2019), Royal Economic Society Conference (Warwick, 2019), Conference on "Migration, Refugees, and the Stateless" (Northwestern University, 2019), LSE 4th Interwar Workshop (London, 2018), EHA Conference (Montreal, 2018), WEHC (Boston, 2018), Deep-Rooted Factors in Comparative Development (Brown, 2018), Economic Demography Workshop (Denver, 2018), AEA Meetings (Philadelphia, 2018), ASREC Conference (Boston, 2017), 2nd Annual Meeting of the Danish Society for Economic and Social History (Copenhagen, 2016), NBER SI 2016 DAE (Boston, 2016), Zeuthen Workshop (University of Copenhagen, 2016), 3rd SDU Workshop on Applied Microeconomics (Odense, 2016), PAA Annual Meeting (Washington DC, 2016), Economic Demography Workshop (Washington DC, 2016), Royal Economic Society (University of Sussex, 2016), AEA Meetings (San Francisco, 2016), Simposio de la Asociación Española de Economía (Girona, 2015), FRESH Meeting (Universitat de Barcelona, 2015), 11th European Historical Economics Society Conference 2015 (Pisa, 2015), Historical Economics of Religion Workshop (Queen's University Belfast, 2015), EBHS Conference (La Crosse, WI, 2015), Simposio de la Asociación Española de Economía (Palma de Mallorca, 2014), SSHA Conference (Toronto, 2014), EHA Conference (Columbus, OH, 2014), FRESH Meeting (University of Kent, 2014), Danish Public Choice Workshop (Copenhagen, 2014), AEA Meetings (Philadelphia, 2014), Simposio de la Asociación Española de Economía (Santander, 2013), Swedish Economic History Meeting (Lund, 2013), FRESH Meeting (Humboldt Universität zu Berlin, 2013), 4th Workshop on Growth, History and Development (University of Southern Denmark, 2013), Simposio de la Asociación Española de Economía (Vigo, 2012), Royal Economic Society (Royal Holloway University of London, 2011), Economic History Society (Cambridge, 2011)


Seminar Presentations


IFN (Stockholm, 2020), CSEF (Naples, 2019), University Parthenope (Naples, 2019), Queen's University (Belfast, 2019), NYU Stern (New York, 2018), Harvard (Cambridge, 2018), Brown (Providence, 2018), NTNU (Trondheim, 2017), Humboldt University (Berlin, 2017), Fed Chicago (Chicago, 2017), WU Vienna (Vienna, 2017), SFI (Copenhagen, 2017), University of Bonn (Bonn, 2016), UC Davis (Davis, 2016), University of Bayreuth (Bayreuth, 2016), LMU (Munich, 2016), CBS (Copenhagen, 2015), University of Exeter (Exeter, 2015), University of Copenhagen (Copenhagen, 2014), University of Modena and Reggio Emilia (Modena, 2014), Lund University (Lund, 2014), Universitat de Barcelona (Barcelona, 2013), University of Southern Denmark (Odense, 2013), Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona (Barcelona, 2013), UPF Labor, Public and Development Lunch Seminar (Barcelona, 2010, 2011, 2012), UPF Finance Lunch Seminar (Barcelona, 2012),  CREI International Lunch Seminar (Barcelona, 2009, 2013)


Editorial Service


Referee: American Economic Review, Agence National de la Recherche, British Journal of Political Science, Demography, European Economic Review, Economic History Review, Economic Journal, Economics of Education Review, Explorations in Economic History, European Journal of Population, European Review of Economic History, Israel Science Foundation, Journal of Applied Econometrics, Journal of Comparative Economics, Journal of Development Economics, Journal of Economic Behavior and Organization, Journal of Economic Growth, Journal of Economic History, Journal of Law, Economics and Organization, Journal of Political Economy, Journal of Population Economics, Journal of Public Economics, Journal of the European Economic Association, Labour Economics, Oxford Economic Papers, Review of Development Economics, Review of Economic Studies, Scandinavian Economic History Review

© 2020 by Philipp Ager