Professor of economics, returned in March 2011 to Austria after a distinguished career in international organizations and academia. He now directs the RH Institute for Economic Policy Analyses (Vienna), holds the chair of Old Age Financial Protection at the University of Malaya (Kuala Lumpur), is honorary professor at the Centre of Excellence in Population Ageing Research, University of New South Wales (Sydney) and Research Fellow at IZA and CESifo, and researches, teaches and consults internationally on pensions, financial literacy/capability, labor and migration issues.
Before his return he was the Research Director of the Labor Mobility Program (Marseille Center for Mediterranean Integration) and Senior Advisor of the Financial Literacy & Education Program (Russia Trust Fund) of the World Bank. From 1997 to 2009 he was Sector Director and Head of the Social Protection & Labor Department leading, inter alia, the strategic and conceptual work on pensions and labor at the World Bank. Before joining the Bank he was professor of economics and the director to the European Institute at the University of Saarland, Germany (1992-97), and before professor of economics at the University of Vienna, Austria. He was also Visiting Professor at various universities in Japan, Chile and Austria, and lectured at Harvard University (USA) and Oxford University (UK). As principal administrator at the OECD (1985-87), he wrote a comprehensive report on public pension reform in industrialized countries.
As senior economist at the IMF (1988-1990), he was heavily involved in fiscal and social security issues during the initial transition from plan to market in Central and Eastern Europe. His research and operational involvement extends to all regions of the world, and he has published 34 books and over 150 articles on social, fiscal and financial policy issues. He travelled to over 80 countries.
He joined IZA as a Research Fellow in December 2003 and created with Klaus Zimmermann in 2006 the Programm on "Employment and Development".