- Born: 21. 11. 1948 in Ormont, Eifel region of Germany
- 1969 to 1976: Studies of mathematics and economics in Mainz, Germany
- 1976: Diploma in Mathematics, Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz
- 1979: Doctorate (Dr. rer. pol.), Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz
- 1984: Habilitation in econometrics, Vienna University of Technology
- Professional background: Research Associate, Department of Statistics, University of Mannheim; Assistant Professor, University of Western Ontario, Canada; Assistant Professor, Institute for Advanced Studies, Vienna; Professor of Empirical Economics, University of Hannover, Germany
- 1988 to 2018: Full Professor of Economic and Social Statistics at the Department of Statistics, University of Dortmund; various other appointments, including at the Universities of York (Canada), Hamburg, Münster, and St. Gallen University, declined; Visiting Professor at the Management Institute of Fudan University, Shanghai, at the Graduate School of Economics, University of Bielefeld, and at the Institute for Advanced Studies, Vienna
- since 1977: married to wife Doris, two children, three grandchildren
- Publications: more than 40 books and 300 other publications on statistics, econometrics, health economics, and social and language policy. The book Die Krankheit des Gesundheitswesens (The Disease of the Health Care System ), published by S. Fischer in Frankfurt, was preprinted in Der Spiegel in 1989. The book So lügt man mit Statistik (How to lie with statistics ), published by Campus in Frankfurt in 1991, was on the bestseller list of economics textbooks in the Federal Republic for one year. Lexikon der populären Irrtümer (with Götz Trenkler), published by Eichborn in 1996, spent 78 weeks on the Spiegel bestseller list for non-fiction books and has been translated into 16 languages, including Chinese, Japanese, Russian, Korean, Italian, Polish and Slovakian - total sales worldwide exceed one million copies. Numerous articles on health, social and language policy in Financial Times Deutschland, Neue Zürcher Zeitung, Handelsblatt, FAZ, Spiegel, Focus, Zeit and Welt.
1990 to 1994: Chairman of the Association for the Promotion of the Teaching of Statistics in Schools
1996 to 2004: Elected expert reviewer for statistics at the German Research Foundation
1999 to 2003: Member of the Scientific Advisory Board for the 1st Poverty and Wealth Report of the German Federal Government. Armuts- und Reichtumsbericht der deutschen Bundesregierung
1999 to 2003: Member of the scientific advisory board for the Low Income Panel (NIEP)
2002 to 2004: Chairman of the expert committee for the entire economic sciences of the German Research Foundation
2003 to 2007: Chairman of the econometric committee of the Verein für Socialpolitik
2003 to 2007: Member of the committee for the review of special research areas of the German Research Foundation
1997 to 2009: Member of the board of the DFG special research area 475: "Complexity Reduction in Multivariate Data Structures"
2005 to 2009: Dean of the Faculty of Statistics at TU Dortmund University
2003 to 2011: Member of the Board of Directors and Chairman of the Scientific Advisory Board of the Rheinisch-Westfälisches Wirtschaftsforschungsinstitut (RWI)
2008 to 2015: Chief Editor of the German Economic Review
2008 to 2016: Member of the Board of the German Statistical Society
2005 to 2017: Member of the "Ruhr Graduate Schoool in Economics"
2009 to 2021: Spokesman of the DFG Collaborative Research Center SFB 823 "Nonlinear Dynamic Models in Economics and Technology"
2016 to 2021: Vice President of the North Rhine-Westphalian Academy of Sciences and Humanities
2015 to 2022: Member of the Science Council of the University Alliance Metropolis Ruhr
Member of the editorial board of the Austrian Journal of Statistics
Co-editor of the book series "SpringerBriefs in Applied Statistics and Econometrics "
Winner of the German Language Prize 1999
Seven times in a row (2005, 2007, 2010, 2012, 2017, 2019 and 2022) in the list of the 500 most influential German intellectuals published by the political magazine Cicero
First recipient of the DAGStat Medal for outstanding services to German statistics (2013, with Nanny Wermuth and Volker Mammitzsch)
First recipient of the "Readable Science" prize of the Stiftung Lesen and the Jürgen Moll Foundation (2013) Thünen Lecture of the Verein für Socialpolitik (2014)
First recipient of the Gerhart Bruckmann Prize of the Austrian Statistical Society (2015) Grohmann Lecture of the German Statistical Society (2016)
Founder (1997) and since then 1st chairman of the Verein Deutsche Sprache e. V.
From 2015 to 2021 chairman of the jury of the Gerhard Fürst Prize of the German Federal Statistical Office
Member of the Board of Trustees of the German Pop Foundation
Founder (with Th. Bauer and G. Gigerenzer) and since then permanent participant of the campaign "Unstatistics of the Month"
Member of the "Axis of Good" (www.achgut.com)
Member of the Board of Trustees of the Federation of Self-Employed and the Federal Association of Medium-Sized Enterprises
Further memberships (selection)
Alumni Association of the Johannes Gutenberg University, CESifo Research Network, German Society of Finance (founding member), German Statistical Society, Econometric Society, European Economic Association (founding member), European Society of Population Economics (founding member), Free Democratic Party (FDP, since 1969), Society for the German Language, Historical Society Prümer Land, Society of Friends of the Hebrew University, Health Economics Committee of the Verein für Socialpolitik, Austrian Statistical Society, Verein für Rechtschreibung und Sprachpflege, Verein zur Förderung des schulischen Statistikunterrichts (chairman from 1989 to 1993), Westfälischer Industrieklub Dortmund e.V.