Rainer Winkelmann studied economics at the Universities of Konstanz, Paris, Washington University in St. Louis and the University of Munich. Since 2001, he is Professor of Statistics and Empirical Economic Research at the University of Zurich, and, since 2015, Chairman of the Economics Department. He also taught at Dartmouth College, USA, and the University of Canterbury, New Zealand, and was visiting professor at Harvard University, Syracuse University and UCLA. He has acted as an advisor to the German and New Zealand governments, on issues such as immigration policy, the international mobility of highly skilled workers, trade liberalization, and income inequality. He is chairman of the advisory boards of the DIW/SOEP Survey committee and the KOF Swiss Economic Institute.
His research interests include empirical labor economics, in particular unemployment, migration, and income distribution; and econometric models for count and panel data. He has published a book "Econometric Analysis of Count Data", and numerous papers in edited books and national and international journals such as American Economic Journal, Economica, Industrial and Labor Relations Review, Journal of Applied Econometrics, Journal of Business and Economics Statistics, Journal of Econometrics, Journal of International Economics, and Journal of Population Economics.