Background of the Heinz Grohmann Lecture

The Grohmann Lecture honors a scientist who, in their manifold activities for statistics – within and outside the German Statistical Society – has combined scientific theory and its application in practice in a rare and emphatic way and who, with their work, has initiated and influenced the political discussion in various fields. Fundamental for them was the insight that, in economics and society, policy-relevant scientific findings always presuppose a preoccupation with the respective historical background and the institutional framework as well as the objectives, values, and norms guiding the actors.

The Grohmann Lecture contains applied topics from the fields of economic, demographic and social statistics, especially those of particular economic or social importance. The spectrum is broad. It includes topics of family, education, and labor market policy, as well as those of housing, health, and social policy, to name just a few important fields, especially in an aging society. Specific topics could include international labor market comparisons (immigration, shortage of skilled workers) or the influence of consumer prices on the Hartz IV standard rates (limits of a statistical model). However, the range of topics also extends far into the issues raised by the Stiglitz Report: the statistical measurement of prosperity, especially to the extent that it cannot be expressed in monetary terms. This includes, for example, a well-founded recording and evaluation of household production, the subjective assessment of one’s own living situation in relation to that measured by income, the nonpecuniary effects of unemployment or illness, the availability of resources such as real property, etc. From all this, but also from completely different considerations, the question of a possibly necessary reorientation of the system of official statistics, indeed of the entire informational infrastructure, can be derived, whereby, however, the limitedness of resources and a possibly accompanying paradigm shift could also be addressed. All this, and ultimately topics such as the reputation of statistics in society, ethical norms, and legal issues of statistics, come into consideration as possible topics for Grohmann’s lecture.

Previous speakers of the Heinz Grohmann Lecture

Year Speaker Titel of Lecture
2019 Prof. Dr. Bernd Fitzenberger Wage inequality in Germany: facts, data, analyses.
2018 Prof. Dr. Gabriele Doblhammer A long healthy life? New insights through the use of population-based secondary data.
2017 Prof. Dr. Notburga Ott Poverty measurement and poverty reduction: putting the OECD scale and “statistics” model of standard needs calculation to the test.
2016 Prof. Dr. Walter Krämer The demographic time bomb: causes and consequences of childlessness.
2015 Prof. Dr. Joachim Wagner 25 years of using confidential company data from official statistics for economic research: products, projects, problems, perspectives.
2014 Prof. Dr. Walter Müller Educational Opportunities and Social Mobility in Germany.
2013 Prof. Dr. Hans-Juergen Andreß Poverty and Wealth: Germany in a World of Increasing Income Inequality.
2012 Prof. Dr. Wolfgang Lutz Modeling and Forecasting Social Change with Demographic Methods
2011 Prof. Dr. Axel Börsch-Supan How well can we estimate the consequences of demographic change? What is certain, why do we need more data?