Tobias Grohmann

I am a Migration Economist with research interests in the intersections between migration, labor, culture, policy and identity. I conduct theory-based empirical research using econometric and experimental methods.

I am a Lecturer at the Faculty of Economics and Business, University of Groningen. I hold Master's and Bachelor's degrees in Philosophy and Economics, University Bayreuth.

+++ PhD thesis "Measurment, Drivers, and Consequences of International Migration" submitted +++

+++ Hans Raupach Best Paper Award 2023 for JMP "Cultural Similarity and Migration" +++




Fromell, H., Grohmann, T., and Lensink, R. (2020). Remittances and Development. In J.Y. Abor, C.K.D. Adjasi, and R. Lensink (eds), Contemporary Issues in Development Finance (pp. 104–39). Routledge.


Ministerie van Buitenlandse Zaken. (2018). Ontwikkeling en migratie (IOB Studie nr. 427). Contribution as external researcher.

Work in Progress

Cultural Similarity and Migration

This study brings established gravity estimation practices from the trade to the migration literature and investigates whether cultural similarity between countries has a positive effect on migration flows as suggested by theory. In my preferred specification, I use lagged time-varying similarity variables in a panel of international and domestic migration flows (>200 countries, 1990-2019, 5-year intervals) and estimate a theory-consistent structural gravity model with origin-year, destination-year, and corridor fixed effects. Contrary to previous studies, I do not find positive, significant effects of cultural similarity on migration. In fact, religious similarity has a significant, negative effect on migration, while similarity in survey-based cultural attitudes is insignificant. Further results suggest that these findings may be explained by cultural selection and sorting of migrants who are attracted by destinations that are culturally similar to their personal cultural beliefs rather than the average cultural beliefs of their home country. Also the results of a two-stage fixed effects (TSFE) procedure and a gravity-specific matching estimator, which allow estimation of time-invariant similarity variables, confirm that the relationship between cultural similarity and migration is more nuanced than previously thought.

Stereotypes, Identity and Effort: Do stereotypes affect effort provision of natives and immigrants differently?

with Hanna Fromell
We explore the extent to which negative stereotyping influences individual behavior. In an online laboratory experiment, we manipulate the perceptions of university students about the prevalence of the stereotype that 'young people are lazy'. We assess their responses by comparing effort in a real-effort task. Our findings show no significant aggregate treatment effects, nor any differential responses between those who strongly identify as hardworking versus those who don't. However, we observe that migrant participants lower their effort more in comparison to non-migrants when the stereotype is more prevalent. This suggests that individuals belonging to minority groups, who regularly face stereotypes and social identity challenges, may become particularly susceptible to additional negative stereotyping.

Measures of International Migration: Which one should I use?

with Hanna Fromell
This projects evaluates the differences between measures of international migration. Because direct measures of migration flows are often not available, practitioners have to choose between a number of proxy measures. Our results suggest that more recent, stock-based demographic accounting measures approximate actual migration flows better than simpler stock differences that have been used by practitioners in the past. We show that using the different available measures in a gravity model can lead to differing conclusions regarding the determinants of international migration.


University of Groningen

  • Microeconomics (BSc E&BE)
  • Macroeconomics (BSc E&BE)
  • Statistics II for IB (BSc IB)
  • Research Paper (BSc E&BE)
  • Ethics in Musiness and Management (BSc BA)
  • Ethics and International Business (BSc IB)
  • Business Ethics, Sustainability and Law (BSc E&BE)
  • Business Ethics (MSc BA)
  • Globalization Debates (MSc ED&G)

University Bayreuth

  • Evidence-Based Policy (BA P&E)
  • Advanced Philosophical Writing (MA P&E)
  • Philosophical Writing (BA P&E)

Curriculum Vitae

Current Position

2022 - present Lecturer
Faculty of Economics and Business, University of Groningen.

University Education

2017 - present PhD in Economics
Faculty of Economics and Business, University of Groningen
Supervisors: Robert Lensink & Hanna Fromell
"Measurement, Drivers, and Consequences of International Migration"
Submitted on 18 Nov 2023
2015 MA Philosophy & Economics, University Bayreuth, Germany.
2012 BA Philosophy & Economics, University Bayreuth, Germany.
2011 - 2012 Erasmus Exchange Program, Universita degli Studi di Siena, Italy.

Professional Activity

Awards Hans Raupach Best Paper Award 2023 for "Cultural Similarity and Migration"
Affiliations Global Labor Organization (GLO).
Presentations Joint IOS/ABP/EACES Summer Academy on Central and Eastern Europe 2023 (Tutzing), Annual Meeting of the EPCS 2023 (Hannover), URSI Lunch Seminar 2023 (Faculty of Spatial Sciences, Groningen), Gender Economics Group 2023 (Groningen), Micro Meeting 2020 (Groningen), EEF Brownbag Seminar (Groningen), FEB PhD Conference (Groningen, 2x), LSE-Bayreuth Student Philosophy Conference 2014
Refereeing Journal of Population Economics (3x).
Supervision Master Thesis Economics (1x), Bachelor Thesis Economics (4x, in progress)

Professional Development

  • Gravity Masterclass & Workshop
    With Yoto Yotov and Scott Baier. University of Groningen CPB Netherlands Bureau for Economic Policy and Analysis.
  • Subjective Beliefs in Macroeconomics and Household Finance (PhD Course)
    With Chris Roth, Johannes Wohlfart, Florian Zimmermann, Yueran Ma and Michael McMahon. CEBI Copenhagen. 2021.
  • Experimental Economics
    With Arthur Schram and Jeroen v.d. Veen. Tinbergen Institute. 2020.
  • Migration Economics (Summer School)
    With Hillel Rapoport and David McKenzie. Paris School of Economics. 2018.
  • Experiments in Developing Countries (Summer School).
    With Robert Lensink and Michael Grimm. University of Groningen. 2017
  • University Teaching Qualification
    University of Groningen. 2023.
  • Start to Teach
    Universtiy of Groningen. 2019.

  • Professional Experience

    2017 Samuel Hall, Berlin, Germany. Migration Research.
    Data collection, supervision of data collection, data analysis and report writing.
    E.g., GIZ-funded project on return of Afghan refugees.
    April 2017 - October 2017.
    2017 POSpulse GmbH, Berlin, Germany. Market Research.
    Market research, data analysis, and project management.
    February 2017 - July 2017.
    2013 - 2016 Department of Philosophy, University Bayreuth, Germany.
    Teaching Assistant & adminsitrative assistance to the Department.
    2011 - 2012 Pilot Training Network GmbH, Luftahnsa Group, Frankfurt, Germany.
    Project and change management.
    September 2011 - February 2012.

Get in touch

If you are interested in similar topics, I am always looking for collaborations. Don't hesistate to get in touch!