Robert Östling appointed professor
Robert Östling obtained his PhD in Economics from the Stockholm School of Economics in 2008. He then worked at the Institute for International Economic Studies (IIES) at Stockholm University until 2018, when he returned to SSE. In November 2020 he was granted a full professorship at the Department of Economics.
Congratulations! How does it feel?
”I have long strived to become a professor, so it feels fantastic now when that dream comes true. But I also realize that little is likely to change in my day-to-day life. A bigger step was when I was offered the opportunity to return to SSE almost two years ago. I am very happy that I took the opportunity to work with all the amazing colleagues and students at SSE.”
What particular subjects pique your interest?
”I think I get most excited about social and economic phenomena that cannot easily be squared with economic theory. I think this inclination initially spurred my interest in behavioral economics which, to a large extent,focuses on behavior that cannot easily be reconciled with standard economic theories.”
What are your future aspirations and professional goals?
”I am constantly frustrated that I do not get more done, both in terms of research, teaching and public outreach. In the future, I hope I will learn to channel that frustration into higher productivity in all three domains, all of which I believe are important to universities.”
Has this year brought you any new insights or challenges for you as an educator or researcher?
”I think it is still to early to summarize what I have learnt from this year. But it certainly involved practical challenges, from acute back pain from working from home to switching to online teaching for 300 students in the course Global Challenges on very short notice. I also think I have learnt a lot about how societies function during times of crisis, both their weaknesses and strengths. I also find it fascinating to observe how capable human beings are to quickly adapt to changing circumstances when necessary.