em.o.Univ.Prof. Dr. Manfred M. Fischer

em.o.Univ.Prof. Dr.rer.nat.

1975 …2024

Research activity per year

Personal profile

Short biography

Dr. Manfred M. Fischer is Emeritus Professor of Economic Geography at Vienna University of Economics and Business, and Adjunct Professor at the Institute for Geographical Sciences and Natural Resources Research, Chinese Academy of Sciences in Beijing. Throughout his illustrious career, he has been at the forefront of the field of Regional Science as a researcher, editor, and educator. Dr. Fischer has authored over 400 journal articles, books, book chapters, encyclopedia articles and other publications as well as tireless service in committees, conference organizations and journal editorial and review boards. Dr. Fischer has supervised 220 diploma/Master and 57 doctoral theses, mentoring many young scholars in Austria and internationally as a visiting professor to institutions in Europe, North America, and China.

Dr. Fischer’s contributions have come in an academic career that spans more than forty years. In 1975 he received his doctorate in Geography and Mathematics with the distinction summa cum laude from Friedrich-Alexander University Erlangen-Nuremberg for work on urban modeling. He started his academic career at University of Vienna (1975 – 1988) where he earned his habilitation degree in Social and Economic Geography (1982) for his research on a methodology of regional taxonomy. He worked at the Oskar Lange Academy in Wroclaw (September 1978) and the University of California Santa Barbara (Winter Quarter 1988) before he became Full Professor and Chair at Vienna University of Economics and Business [Wirtschaftsuniversität, WU] in December 1988.

Service at Vienna University of Economics and Business. Dr. Fischer served as Chair of the Department of Humanities, Social and Formal Sciences (2002 – 2003) and chaired then the Department of Social Sciences (2004 – 2009), the predecessor of the Socioeconomics Department. From 2002 to 2009 he joined the Board of the Association of University Professors and from 2009 to 2015 he served as Chair of the Committee for Academic Study Programs.

Stimulated by the International Joint Conference on Neural Networks in Nagoya (1993), he has been instrumental in designing the Special Research Program Adaptive Information Systems and Modeling in Economics and Management Science [SFB, Austrian Science Fund, 1997 – 2000], established well before AI research has become popular in science. In the early 2000s, he joined forces with WU colleagues Sebastian Kummer and Werner Jammernegg to set up and implement the Supply Chain Management Master Program (2010), and – in cooperation with the Austrian Institute of Technology – he developed the Innovation Economics Vienna Program for WU Master and Ph.D. students, 2008-2015.

External Service. Dr. Fischer served in many international committees. Examples include the Scientific Committee of the European Advanced School of Logistics in Verona (1989 – 1992); the Management Committee of the COST 328 Program of the Commission of European Communities (1994 – 1998); the International Advisory Committee, State Key Laboratory of Resources and Environmental Information Sciences, Chinese Academy of Sciences (1997 – 2012); the Undergraduate Study Program Evaluation, Panteion University of Social and Political Sciences, Athens; the Academy Professorship Program Committee, Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences (2004/2005 – 2006/2007); as Reviewer, Advanced/Starting Grants and Descartes Prizes, European Research Council (2008 – 2016); Jury, European Union Contest for Young Scientists in Lisbon (2010); the Humanities and Social Sciences Panel of the Research Grants Council Hong Kong (2013 – 2016) and the Scientific Advisory Board, Geographical Society of China (2018 – 2022).

He was (elected) Chair of the 500-person Commission on Mathematical Models of the IGU (1988 – 1996). In this capacity he was planning scholarly meetings in Canberra, Shanghai, Beijing, Prague, Bratislava, Odessa, The Hague, Boston, Washington, Princeton, and Santa Barbara, and engaging in developing research relations between members from different parts of the world.

Editorial Responsibilities. With Arthur Getis (San Diego State University), Dr. Fischer joined forces to launch a new methodology publication outlet in 1993, the Journal of Geographical Systems [and its predecessor Geographical Systems] for which he serves as one of its editors-in-chief. One of the distinctive features of this journal is its distinct focus on the interface between modeling, statistical techniques, and spatial issues in a wide spectrum of related fields.

Together with Geoffrey Hewings (University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign), Peter Nijkamp (Free University Amsterdam) and Folke Snickars (Royal Institute of Technology Stockholm) Dr. Fischer founded the Springer book series Advances in Spatial Science that is widely recognized as the flagship book series in Regional Science. Dr. Fischer is also active in editing book publications. The recent edition of the multi-volume Springer Handbook of Regional Science (2021) by him and Peter Nijkamp reflects the academic professionalism that both have managed to create.

Research. Dr. Fischer has devoted his career to Regional Science with a focus on theoretical and applied aspects. His contributions include rigorous theoretical modeling efforts in the areas of regional and urban economics, housing and labor market research, transportation systems analysis, spatial behavior and decision processes, innovation, and growth. This led to a rich network of outstanding scholars including Nijkamp, Folmer, Haag, Johansson, Suarez-Villa, Reggiano, and many others. His contributions to the fields of Geographic Information Systems [GIS], Spatial Analysis, Spatial Econometrics and Spatial Statistics resulted in over 200 articles and books that serve to illustrate his absolute mastery and wide intellectual grasp of subject areas. His collaborators include many prominent experts such as Getis, LeSage, Griffith and others.

His research interests encompass new fields and new challenges, and his work is known as an example of a scholar who seeks challenges, solutions, and new insights. Manfred is one of the most cited regional scientists. His leadership and inspiration are largely responsible for the desire of some of the finest scholars to work with him in research and other academic projects.

Despite a strong and maintained focus on Regional Science in general and Regional Science Methods in particular, Manfred Fischer also reached out across to other fields such as Computational Science and Macroeconometrics. He contributed to the field of GeoComputation by tackling the problem of classification, modeling spatial interaction flows, and search and optimization using neural networks and machine learning techniques with his collaborators Gopal, Leung, Staufer, and Yao. More recently, he addressed the problem of network dependence in multi-indexed data on trade flows by means of computationally efficient Markov Chain Monte Carlo estimation methods in cooperation with LeSage, and reached out to Macroeconometrics by analyzing the impact of monetary policy using a factor-augmented vector autoregressive model as well as predicting the US term structure of interest rates based on a novel vector autoregressive model approach with time-varying parameters and stochastic volatility, with his student Florian Huber and associates.

His research has been published in a wide range of journals including Regional Science and Urban Economics, the Journal of Regional Science, Papers in Regional Science, Geographical Analysis, and Environment and Planning A, but also the International Journal of Approximate Reasoning, the Journal of Applied Econometrics, Oxford Bulletin of Economics and Statistics among many others. Three of his books had been translated into Chinese.

Honors and Awards. Dr. Fischer has received many honors and awards for his research. He has been named as one of the fifteen most influential authors in regional science over the period 1990 – 1999, in Regional Science Publications in the 1990s. He is listed among the most cited scholars during the 1977 – 1989 and the 1990 – 2001 periods and listed among the all-time intellectual leaders of regional science as well as being listed as top economic geographer in the German-speaking world (based upon research output and citations), Institute for Geography, University of Hanover.

Dr. Fischer has been honored by Special Sessions at the Annual Meeting of the American Association of Geographers in Boston (2008) and the European Congress of the Regional Science Association International [RSAI] in Lisbon (2015) for his contributions to Geography and Regional Science, respectively. Special Issues of the Review of Regional Studies 37(1), edited by James LeSage, and the International Regional Science Review 34(2), edited by his students Sucharita Gopal and Serge Rey, appeared in his honor. In 2019 he received the Bronze Medal of Masaryk University in Brno, awarded for long-term contributions to the development of its Faculty of Economics and Administration, and was honored by a library that bears his name.

His accolades include the Fellows Award of the RSAI (2006) for outstanding contributions and dedicated leadership to the field of regional science, and the European Prize in Regional Science for outstanding contributions to Spatial Economics (2012). He is the 2015 recipient of the Jean-Paelinck Award for distinguished scholarship in Regional Science Methods, the first awardee for this recognition. In 2016 he received the Founder’s Medal of the RSAI for life-time contributions to the field of Regional Science and to the Association, the highest award of RSAI bestowed every four years.

Learned Societies. He is elected Foreign Member of the Division of the Humanities and the Social Sciences of the Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences (1999), elected Corresponding Member of the Austrian Academy of Sciences (1996), and Academician of the International Academy of Sciences for Europe and Asia (1995).

Dr. Manfred M. Fischer's contributions to research, teaching, and scholarly service have left an indelible mark on the field of Regional Science, inspiring countless scholars and advancing the discipline through his dedication and innovative work.





Curriculum Vitae

Social and Economic Geography, Dr. habil [Docent], A Methodology of Regional Taxonomy, University of Vienna

Award Date: 11 May 1982

Geography and Mathematics, Dr. rer. nat., Mathematical Urban Development Models, Friedrich-Alexander University (FAU)

Award Date: 7 Jan 1975

External positions

Adjunct Professor, Institute for Geographical Sciences and National Ressources Research, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijng

20 Jul 2011 → …

Visiting Professor, Free University Amsterdam, Department of Spatial Economics

1 Jul 200031 Jul 2000

Visiting Professor, Department of Geography and Regional Planning, National Technical University Athens

1 Apr 200030 Apr 2000

Visiting Professor, Department of Geography and Regional Planning, National Technical University Athens

1 May 199931 May 1999

Visiting Professor, Free University Amsterdam, Department of Spatial Economics

1 Apr 199930 Apr 1999

Director, Austrian Academy of Sciences, Institute for Urban and Regional Research

1 Nov 199630 Oct 1999

Visiting Professor (Economic Geography), Johannes Kepler University

1 Sept 199631 Aug 1997

Visiting Professor, Department of Geography and Regional Planning, National Technical University Athens

1 Apr 199530 Apr 1995

Visiting Professor, Free University Amsterdam, Department of Spatial Economics

1 Apr 199330 Apr 1993

Visiting Associate Professor, Department of Geography, University of California, Santa Barbara

1 Jan 198831 Mar 1988

Visiting Associate Professor, Institute for Economic Cybernetics, Oskar Lange Academy of Economics, Wroclaw (Poland)

1 Sept 197830 Sept 1978

Assistant to Associate Professor , Institute for Geography and Regional Research, University of Vienna

1 Sept 197530 Nov 1988


  • Spatial Econometrics
  • Bayesian Macroeconometrics
  • Computational Neural Networks
  • Spatial Data Science
  • Regional Science

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