International Economics

Research interests

We conduct methodologically disciplined research with high policy and societal relevance based on clear theoretical foundations on the three major aspects of globalization: international trade, investment and migration. Members of the research team work in particular on the following aspects: (1) globalisation, wage inequality and firm productivity, (2) causes and consequences of international migration, (3) measurement issues, a.o. measurement of efficiency and productivity, the construction of composite indices, inference with estimated variables, (4) location of firms and spillover effects of multinational firms, and (5) international trade, location and migration from an historical perspective.

Key publications



  • On 21 March 2019, ITIM hosted the second CESSMIR research day “Migration research in practice" during which CESSMIR scholars presented their recent research to a broad audience. In 2019, the event was one of the key activities of the city’s Belmundo festival dealing with the topic “Root Causes of Migration”.
  • On 28 March 2019, we organized a workshop on “Firm Heterogeneity in Technological Change” which aimed to bring together researchers studying production data and to facilitate research collaboration across institutions in France, Belgium and nearby countries.

Recent PhD graduates

First or current placement (when available) in parenthesis

  • Els Bekaert, October 2022, Understanding migration drivers : the role of health and climate factors
  • Killian Foubert, January 2022, Essays on migration (intentions) and terrorism
  • Bram De Lange, April 2021, State-Ownership and the European Economy
  • Ruben Dewitte, January 2020, Firm heterogeneity in international trade
  • Yelter Bollen, February 2018, The domestic politics of EU trade policy : the political-economy of CETA and anti-dumping in Belgium and the Netherlands (Université Libre de Bruxelles)
  • Angelos Theodorakopoulos, August 2017, Internationalisation and firm performance (KU Leuven, VIVES - Research Centre for Regional Economics)
  • Stijn Ronsse, December 2015, Explorations in Cliometrics (Idea Consult; Ghent University)
  • Karolien Lenaerts, December 2014, Firm-level heterogeneity and the demand and supply side of foreign direct investment spillovers. (CEPS)  
  • Victoria Purice, October 2015, Multinational activity and firm performance (University of Groningen)
  • Samuel Standaert, September 2015, Economic integration and corruption : resolving measurement and endogeneity problems through state-space modeling (Ghent University)
  • Ilse Ruyssen, April 2013, Determinants of international migration (Université catholique de Louvain)