Department of Finance Hosts Commercial Real Estate Researcher from Germany

December 18, 2018

PhotoLea Eilers


BATON ROUGE - Professor Lea Eilers, a researcher with the RWI - Leibniz Institute for Economic Research (RWI) at their Essen, Germany-based Research Data Center FDZ Ruhr spent several weeks during the Fall 2018 semester collaborating and researching with Professor Kelley Pace, Director of the Real Estate Research Institute in the Department of Finance at LSU’s E. J. Ourso College of Business. The visit was part of the RWI Transatlantic Research Exchange, a scientific exchange program between researchers of the RWI and North American research institutes in the field of economics. The program is supported by a grant from the Transatlantic Program of the Federal Republic of Germany.

The RWI is a leading center for economic research and evidence-based policy advice in Germany. Through its research work, RWI provides information on economic developments and their underlying catalysts, assists economic policy decision-making and fosters economic literacy among the wider public. The Research Data Center FDZ Ruhr at RWI where Eilers is located provides services for internal as well as external scientists for non-commercial research.

Eilers received her PhD from the Ruhr- University ät Bochum (University of Bochum) in Bochum, Germany and a master's degree in Economics at the Rijksuniversiteit Groningen (Netherlands). As part of her master's thesis entitled "Spatial Dependence in Real Estate Data: Apartment Offering Prices in Hamburg", she examined real estate prices in Hamburg using various spatial-econometric models and learned of Professor Pace’s work in the field of spatial econometrics.

“I applied for the Transatlantic scholarship specifically to collaborate with Professor Pace,” said Eilers, adding “he is a leading expert in the field of spatial econometrics and it was an honor to work with him.”

The feeling was mutual. “It was a pleasure to work with Dr. Eilers,” said Pace. “During her visit at LSU we (along with Dr. Narayanan and Prateek Sharma) made progress in modeling aspects of bank competition which has a material spatial component as depositors still prefer banks with a nearby physical presence,” he said, adding “It was excellent for our students to speak with Dr. Eilers and obtain a different perspective on graduate education and topics of interest in Germany."

In a written good-bye to the Department of Finance, Eilers expressed her appreciation to all who she met: “Thank you so much for the exciting time! I really appreciate the time the faculty members, especially Kelley, spent with me discussing both, research related questions and every life situations. My stay exceeds all my expectations and I hope to stay in touch. You were so friendly, open minded and helpful!”

Professor Rajesh Narayanan, Chair of the Department of Finance, was pleased with Eiler’s choice to visit the E. J. Ourso College of Business. “This grant not only validates the interest in the knowledge being created by the Department of Finance and our world-class faculty,” says Narayanan, “but also serves as an example of how funding research by faculty and students can provide opportunities to transform ideas into actionable intelligence through international collaboration.”

About the Department of Finance
The Department of Finance offers high-quality curricula to undergraduate and graduate students interested in careers in corporate finance, asset management, real estate, insurance, banking, financial planning and business law. The department boasts internationally renowned research faculty in several areas, including derivatives, asset management, banking and spatial econometrics. The department’s Securities Markets Analysis Research & Trading Lab utilizes the Bloomberg Professional service, the platform used by more than 300,000 leading business and financial professionals worldwide to make informed business decisions, and an extensive library of financial databases including the Wharton WRDS System. Additionally, the department encourages, supports and conducts research in real estate by housing the nationally renowned Real Estate Research Institute. For more information, visit our home page or call 225-578-6291.

About the E. J. Ourso College of Business
Since its establishment in 1928, the E. J. Ourso College of Business has continuously improved and expanded its offerings for students and alumni. Additionally, the college has made it a priority to provide its faculty with the resources it needs to further research in every aspect of the business world and to produce industry leaders for a global work environment. For more news and information about the E. J. Ourso College, visit

Contact: Wendy Marx
LSU E. J. Ourso College of Business