Doctoral Researcher (m/w/d) on the ERC project "Economic Consequences of Restrictions on the Usage of Cookies"

Professor Bernd Skiera is a grantee of an Advanced Grant of the European Research Council (“ERC Advanced Grant”) that will start on October 1, 2019. He is searching for a


Doctoral Researcher (E13 TV-G-U, 75% part time)
from 01.10.2019 (or later) up to 30.09.2024 (Initially limited to a period of 3 years)


Description of ERC project “Economic Consequences of Restrictions on the Usage of Cookies“
Tracking technologies such as cookies allow companies to collect information about users on the Internet. This information is of-ten used to improve the performance of online advertising, which website publishers rely on in order to finance the “free” content to which their users have become accustomed. Yet, the collection of information leads to a loss of privacy. Accordingly, EU policy makers have put forward initiatives to restrict usage of tracking technologies such as cookies (e.g., General Data Protection Regu-lation (GDPR), upcoming ePrivacy Regulation (ePR)).


So far, there exists very little empirical knowledge on the trade-off between user privacy and the economic value that website pub-lishers, advertisers, and even users derive from cookies. As a result, policy makers have no way of telling whether their restrictions on cookies have the intended positive consequences for user privacy, or whether any benefits are outweighed by negative effects on the profits of companies—which policy makers also seek to nurture. Our project with its four work packages aims to close this gap by analyzing several data sets, including a proprietary and massive (60-65 TB) set of “cookie data” that includes 472 publish-ers, 842 advertisers, 2.8 billion cookies and the prices of >110 billion ad impressions, as well as an implementation dataset that shows how thousands of websites implemented the EU General Data Protection Regulation that went into effect in 2018.


An interdisciplinary team of 2 post-doctoral researchers and 2 doctoral positions with a background in business (marketing), infor-mation systems, computer science and economics will work on this project. The positions come with no obligation to teach and no administrative duties outside of this ERC project, unless desired.



Your Profile
You have or are about to have a master degree in either business (marketing), information systems, computer science, economics or other related disciplines. The interdisciplinary research team needs to have profound knowledge on consumer privacy on the Internet and methods to analyze big data. More precisely, researchers need to have knowledge on some of the following topics: cookies, tracking technologies, the value and exchange of information in online advertising, consent mechanisms on the Internet, identification of causal relationships, cloud parallel computing with R in combination with Apache Hadoop and Spark, handling of big data and databases as well as machine learning techniques such as image recognition.



Your Opportunity
The position provides you with the opportunity to focus very strongly on research in a very research active environment. The avail-able proprietary and massive data sets enable you to examine a wide range of research questions, including those that are men-tioned in the 4 work packages of the grant proposal. Sufficient funding is available to present your research at international con-ferences. The research group also has a reputation for being able to get access to interesting other data sets.



About the Principal Investigator: Bernd Skiera
Professor Bernd Skiera ( is a chaired professor of electronic commerce at Goethe University Frankfurt (Germany) and one of the most productive researchers in Germany (Rank 1 in most recent Handelsblatt-Ranking published in 2014). He is also dedicated to support junior researchers: 13 of his former doctoral students are now professors in Germany, Austria, USA, Eng-land and Spain; nine are in tenured positions.



Please send your application that should include copies of all your transcripts to:
Prof. Dr. Bernd Skiera, Faculty of Business and Economics, Goethe-University, Theodor-W.-Adorno-Platz 4, 60323 Frankfurt am Main, Germany,

E13 TV-G-U
Prof. Dr. Bernd Skiera
E-Mail Ansprechpartner/in: 
Tel Nr: 
0049-69-798 34640
Postdocs und Mitarbeiter
Goethe-University Frankfurt (Main), Germany
Lehrstuhl für Electronic Commerce
Straße Hausnummer: 
Theodor-W.-Adorno Platz 4
PLZ Ort: 
60629 Frankfurt am Main