2023 Best 40-Under-40 MBA Professors: Jan Sebastian Nimczik, ESMT Berlin

Congrats to Jan Sebastian Nimczik of ESMT Berlin for being named a 2023 Best 40 Under 40 MBA Professor.

Jan Sebastian Nimczik

ESMT Berlin

“Professor Nimczik is incredibly knowledgeable and patient with students that don’t understand immediately. As a first-time data science student, Prof. Nimczik has been wonderful in guiding myself and others through the intricacies of learning to code while also learning the nuances of statistics and experimentation. I have enjoyed every class with him, even when I get frustrated with my own shortcomings. Prof. Nimczik is always cheery and loves to integrate his own research, which helps give life to our learnings.”Kyle Louis

Jan Sebastian Nimczik, 39, is an assistant professor of economics at ESMT Berlin. Previously, he worked as a PostDoc at the Humboldt University, Berlin, and obtained his Ph.D. in Economics at the University of Mannheim. During his studies, he visited the University of California, Berkeley, and the University of Wisconsin Madison. 

In his research, Nimczik investigates the structure and functioning of labor markets. His recent papers examine how immigration and the mobility of people affect labor markets and the economy in general. He is also interested in the role of market power in the labor market. For his research, Nimczik received several awards including the German Prize for Economics of the Joachim Herz Foundation and the Young Labor Economics Prize of the European Association of Labour Economists.


At current institution since what year? 2019

Education: Ph.D. in Economics from the University of Mannheim

List of MBA courses you currently teach: Machine Learning in the Full-time MBA and Business Economics in the Global Online MBA


I knew I wanted to be a business school professor when … I found out what a great and diverse set of individuals work at ESMT. I really enjoy how different views and angles on topics of common interest come together at our business school. 

What are you currently researching and what is the most significant discovery you’ve made from it? My current research examines the economic determinants and consequences of migration and mobility for economies with a special focus on the labor market. I use natural experiments to identify the causal effects of migration on economic outcomes such as productivity, employment, and wages. The most significant discovery is that – while causing significant challenges for receiving countries in the short run – the long-term impact of migration can be enormously positive. We come to this conclusion by comparing villages in the Southwest of Germany that due to the occupation policy in the years after World War II received large amounts of refugees within a short period to neighboring villages that didn’t receive refugees. Today, more than 70 years after the refugee arrival, we observe higher income, productivity, and wages in those villages that received refugees.

If I weren’t a business school professor … I would work as a musician. That was actually plan A after finishing high school. But luckily I took some economics classes in college and discovered how exciting these topics are.

What do you think makes you stand out as a professor? I am certainly not the right person to answer this question. I sometimes think that bringing the perspective of an empirically working economist who researches topics of high relevance for our societies such as immigration, inequality, and social mobility can add value to a business school and its students.

One word that describes my first time teaching: My first teaching in the MBA was absolutely chaotic. It happened exactly at the beginning of the pandemic and included a wild mix of in-person, online, and hybrid teaching. Wow, what a challenge. Neither the students nor me knew what to expect. Luckily, the situation improved quickly, and I really enjoy teaching MBA students now.

Professor I most admire and why: I have a lot of admiration for David Card, a labor economist and Nobel prize winner at UC Berkeley who laid the foundations for a lot of the research that I and fellow labor economists do today. During my Ph.D., I had the great luck and honor to visit him for a semester and benefited tremendously from his insights and advice.


What do you enjoy most about teaching business students? I really enjoy the curiosity and engagement of our students. They are usually highly interested in the topics that I teach and inspire me to think about the applicability of modern quantitative methods for businesses. 

What is most challenging? I am teaching quite demanding classes on quantitative methods. The challenge is to find a good balance between rigor in the methodology and applicability to business problems.  

In a word, describe your favorite type of student: Curious

In a word, describe your least favorite type of student: Ignorant

When it comes to grading, I think students would describe me as: Fair


What are your hobbies? Most importantly, my kids. And music.

How will you spend your summer? With my kids. And music.

Favorite place(s) to vacation: I love the rough winds and waves at the small Northern German islands in the North Sea. And the Dolomites.

Favorite book(s): Currently, I’m mostly reading children’s books to my kids.

What is currently your favorite movie and/or show and what is it about the film or program that you enjoy so much? I’m currently working on a research project on migration between the former GDR in East Germany and West Germany. In the wake of this, I’ve watched “The Lives of Others” again. Great movie.

What is your favorite type of music or artist(s) and why? I love classical music with a focus on the big symphonic works of Bruckner, Mahler, and Strauss.


If I had my way, the business school of the future would have much more of this… I think many business schools are already making a lot of progress in having an eye on issues that affect the overall society and go beyond core business questions. 

In my opinion, companies and organizations today need to do a better job at … separating correlation and causation. The fact that something works well does not necessarily imply that it was triggered by our decision. It could have gone well anyways. We need more experiments and causal analysis to assess the causal impact of our decisions.

I’m grateful for … the support from my colleagues, friends, and family. 



Questions about this article? Email us or leave a comment below.