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Simon Brandkamp

Cluster position YEP Student

Cluster member since 2021

Research Areas

Main research topics

Market Design, Auction Theory, Behavioral Economics, Energy Economics


Simon is a Ph.D. student in Economics at the University of Cologne under the supervision of Peter Cramton. His research focuses on market design and behavioral economics with a particular interest in energy and electricity markets. He holds a Bachelor’s degree in Philosophy & Economics from the University of Bayreuth and a Master’s degree in Economic Research from the University of Cologne. Simon also worked as a trainee in the energy market analysis team of McKinsey & Company and as an intern in the Norwegian renewable energy company Statkraft.


What is the best thing about your job?

That, unlike in the private sector, time is no longer a scarce resource and that I can now develop genuinely profound answers to relevant questions that are of interest to me.

If you had not gone into research, what would you be doing today?

In any case, in the energy sector as well: either traditionally at a consulting firm or directly at a regulator in the market analysis department or in business development of an energy supplier.

Who or what inspires you?

In newspaper articles, interviews and conversations with my peers, repeatedly witnessing how challenging the energy transition is and how socially relevant our work in market design is toward the success of this transformation.

When was the last time you had to change your mind?

Having the entire rest of my chair’s team in the U.S. has provided me with a much more detailed and positive picture of the U.S. electricity sector. Through those many blackouts and the Trump era I had a very unreliable picture of the electricity market in the U.S., but I had to realize that many aspects that work poorly in our country do run smoother over there, too.

Which advice would you have needed yourself as a doctoral student?

One piece of advice I received at the very beginning is to always work on several projects at the same time. On the one hand, this spreads the risk of a project not being continued from one day to the next. On the other hand, phases in which one gets stuck on a project and cannot make any more progress, can then be productively used for working on the other project.