1975 …2023

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Personal profile

Research interests

Dr. Manfred M. Fischer, 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, is one of the world's most highly cited and widely published regional scientists and economic geographers. In the course of his distinguished career that spans more than four decades he has been at the forefront of the discipline of regional science as a researcher, editor and educator.

He received his doctorate in Geography and Mathematics with the distinction summa cum laude from Friedrich-Alexander University Erlangen-Nuremberg (1975), focusing on mathematical urban development models. He started his academic career at University of Vienna (1975-1988) where he earned his habilitation degree (venia docendi) in Social and Economic Geography for his research on a methodology of regional taxonomy. He worked for briefer time periods at the Oskar Lange Academy in Wroclaw (September 1978) and at the University of California Santa Barbara (Winter Quarter 1988) before he became a Full Professor and Chair at Vienna University of Economics and Business in December 1988.

Service at Vienna University of Economics and Business. Manfred M. 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 served on  the Board of the Association of University Professors and from 2009 to 2015 as Chair of the Committee for Academic Study Programs. So far he supervised 2020 diploma/master theses and 57 doctoral dissertations at WU, other Austrian and foreign universities.

At the same time, he helped developing the Special Research Program Adaptive Information Systems and Modelling in Economics and Management Science  [SFB, Austrian Science Fund, 1997-2000], the Supply Chain Management Master Program jointly with Sebastian Kummer and Werner Jammernegg, and the Innovation Economics Vienna Program of the Institute for Economic Geography and GIScience in cooperation with the Austrian Institute of Technology (2008-2015).

Manfred M. Fischer has been invited to a large number of prestigious positions for researchers, visiting professorships, research boards and fellowships. Many of his activities are within Europe and the USA, but his network includes also Asia, especially China.

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

Editorial Responsibilities. With Arthur Getis (San Diego State University) he 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 modelling, statistical techniques and spatial issues in a broad spectrum.

Together with Geoffrey Hewings (University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign), Peter Nijkamp (Free University Amsterdam) and Folke Snickars (Royal Institute of Technology Stockholm) he founded the Springer book series Advances in Spatial Science that is widely recognized as the flagship book series in Regional Science. Manfred 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 is a reflection of the academic professionalism that both have managed to create.

Research. The focus of his research activities is not exclusively in the field of economic geography, but transdisciplinary in nature, crossing the boundaries to economics, business economics, statistics and computational science. He is widely regarded as an example of the consummate scholar who creates challenges, solutions and new insights.

He has made important contributions to the development of methods and techniques within spatial statistics and econometrics, and also applied these methods to a wide range of social science areas, most recently in macroeconomics and finance. His devotion to excellence in research  has given him international recognition since a long time.

His research activities show a strong commitment to collaborative production of knowledge. In this spirit, he has participated in several interdisciplinary scholarly programs, such as the GISdata Research Program and the Network for European Communication and Transportation Research [NECTAR] of the European Science Foundation.

Publications. His publication list, with a majority of works written with colleagues, includes 20 monographs, 22 edited books, 136 chapters in international books, and 131 articles in international refereed journals, such as, e.g., the Journal of Applied Econometrics, International Journal of Approximate Reasoning, Journal of Spatial Econometrics, Journal of Regional Science, and Papers in Regional Science.

Awards. Manfred is the recipient of a long list of awards, amongst them are the Fellows Award (2006), the Jean-Paelinck Award (2015) and the Founder’s Medal (2016), the most prestigious accolades of the Regional Science Association International. He also received the Bronze Medal of Masaryk University in Brno (2019), awarded for long-term contributions to the development of the Faculty of Economics and Administration.

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 Division of the Humanities and the Social Sciences of the Austrian Academy of Sciences (1996), and Academician of the International Academy of Sciences for Europe and Asia (1995).

Curriculum Vitae

Social and Economic Geography, Dr. habil [Docent], A Methodology of Regional Taxonomie, 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

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


  • Regional Science
  • Spatial Economics
  • Economic Geography
  • Spatial Data Analysis
  • Geocomputation
  • Computational Neural Networks
  • Spatial Statistics
  • Spatial Econometrics
  • Bayesian Macroeconometrics
  • Geographic Information Systems
  • Gravity Models

Collaborations and top research areas from the last five years

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