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Honor: Prof. Davide Cantoni receives ERC Grant

The European Research Council (ERC) awards Consolidator Grant to his project on the reorganization of cities.


Davide Cantoni, mathematician Phan Thành Nam, and molecular biologist Nicolai Siegel have each been awarded a Consolidator Grant together with LMU. For Prof. Cantoni, this is already the second ERC Grant in his career, in addition to his ERC Starting Grant (2016) for his project on the democracy movement in Hong Kong. The award comes with funding of up to two million euros for a period of five years. By means of Consolidator Grants, the European Research Council helps excellent academics expand and consolidate their innovative research. The basis for the decision of the ERC when awarding the prestigious grant is the academic excellence of the applicant and of the research project itself.

As metropolises grew up in the 19th century, their inhabitants faced a series of challenges that are familiar to us today: dealing with the disruptive effects of new technologies, integrating large numbers of new immigrants, and trying to effectively tackle epidemics. In his new ERC project “CityRising” (The City Rising: Inequality and Mobility in a Growing Metropolis of the 19th Century), Davide Cantoni will investigate how Munich managed these challenges and provided opportunities for economic and social mobility to its dwellers in the period between 1823 and 1914. Based upon rich, novel archival data that furnishes information at the individual level, the project is divided into three sections. In part 1, the researchers want to study the consequences of a technological shock — the introduction of mass transportation — on the spatial structure of the city. They will explore the distributional consequences of the agglomeration of residents and economic activity. School attendance data will provide insights into how this reorganization of the city influenced social mobility. In part 2, Prof. Cantoni wants to investigate how members of the long marginalized Jewish population were integrated into the growing city and rose to the ranks of the educated upper middle classes. He will study the conditions that determined occupational specialization and success, and he analyzes assimilation strategies. In part 3, Davide Cantoni will show how the connection to the water supply and sewerage changed the social geography of the city.

“We are most proud of Davide Cantoni’s magnificent success”, says Prof. Florian Englmaier, Dean of the Department of Economics. “This award is as much a success for LMU as it is for our entire department. With this project, Prof. Cantoni will continue to strengthen the research field of economic history at our department in an internationally outstanding way. With his new insights and findings, we will also tap into important synergies, especially in connection with the research agenda of our DFG-funded Transregional Collaborative Research Centre on "Rationality and Competition" (CRC TRR 190)."

Please visit these websites for more information in the LMU Newsroom, on the award itself, and on the Transregional Collaborative Research Centre on "Rationality and Competition.