Lucas Erlbacher

Lucas Erlbacher is currently a final semester student in the Master of Economics at Free University of Berlin (FU Berlin). For his master thesis he studied China’s recent economic debate on industrial policy, in particular the academic controversy between Lin Yifu and Zhang Weiying, two leading Chinese economists from Peking University. In addition, he holds a bachelor’s degree in Economics, Business and Social Sciences from the Vienna University of Economics and Business (WU Wien). From Mai 2021 to December 2022, he has worked as a research assistant for PD Dr. Stefan Schmalz in the SFB subproject ‘JRT02: Clash or Convergence of Capitalisms’. In that context, he has, together with Philipp Köncke (SFB Research Associate), contributed to the design and collection of a unique database on the influence of the PRC Party-State on the country’s biggest 500 companies.

Additionally, Lucas Erlbacher has since 2020 been an associate fellow at the Austrian Institute for European and Security Policy (AIES) for which he has undertaken several research projects on Austria-China relations. In this capacity, he is representing Austria in the European Think-Tank Network on China (ETNC), which brings together China researchers from leading European institutes.

A picture of Lucas Erlbacher.

Research Project

Lucas Erlbacher is currently developing his PhD project in which he will study the evolution and current state of contemporary Chinese economic thought using a novel bibliometric database. Specifically, he seeks to shine light on the evolution of economic research during the Reform era, as well as to identify the main thematic and ideological paradigms shaping contemporary Chinese economic scholarship. Against this background, current debates, notably surrounding the policy concept of ‘Common Prosperity’, will be closely examined.