President of the Kiel Institute
January 1969 – March 1989
* May 11, 1921, † July 22, 2010
After studying in Breslau and Kiel and receiving his doctorate and habilitation in Münster, Giersch accepted a position as full professor at the University of Saarbrücken in 1955. In 1969, he moved to the chair of theoretical economics in Kiel, which was linked to the leadership of the Kiel Institute in succession to Erich Schneider. As a founding member and spiritus rector of the German Council of Economic Experts (Sachverständigenrat zur Begutachtung der gesamtwirtschaftlichen Entwicklung) founded in 1964, he shaped the economic policy debate in Germany for many years through his high media presence.
His research agenda was characterized by challenges such as sectoral structural change, declining employment, endangered monetary stability and unstable exchange rate regimes in times of global upheaval and weak growth in Europe. He anchored them in a problem-oriented and evidence-based manner in international research networks such as the long-standing Collaborative Research Center "World Economy and International Economic Relations" at the Kiel Institute. His view of open advice as a debt to be discharged by economists created controversy with government policy and promoted a one-sided public view of the Kiel Institute as a refuge of supply policy, which did not correspond to the extent of Giersch's work.
After his retirement, he remained at the institute for many years and also participated in economic policy discussions as founder of the Herbert Giersch Foundation.