Markus Pannenberg studied economics at the the University of Münster and the University of Hamburg, where he received his degree as Diplom-Volkswirt in 1990. In 1994 he obtained his doctoral degree from the Technical University of Berlin for a thesis on the impact of continuous training on individual labor market patterns in Germany. He finished his Habilitation at the Technical University of Berlin in June 2005. Since 2003 Markus Pannenberg has been professor of economics at the University of Applied Sciences Bielefeld. He was previously a senior research associate in the GSOEP department at DIW Berlin and the department of labor market policy at IWH Halle.

Pannenberg's research centers on labor economics and applied econometrics. He has published articles in collected volumes and in journals such as Advances in Statistical Analysis, Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics, Economics Letters, Economic Modelling, German Economic Review, International Review of Law and Economics, Journal of Economic Psychology, Journal of Population Economics, Labour Economics, Public Choice, Scandinavian Journal of Economics or Scottish Journal of Political Economy.

Markus Pannenberg joined IZA as a Research Fellow in October 1999.