Alexa Burmester joined Kühne Logistics University as an Assistant Professor of Applied Quantitative Methods in August 2021. Before joining KLU, Dr. Burmester was a postdoctoral researcher at Universität Hamburg.
She has set her focus on tackling methodological challenges in the context of quantitative data. According to Burmester: “My specialty is so-called ‘endogeneity problems.’ In other words, I look at the correlation between the dependent variable and the error term of the model. In simplified terms, I help to find solutions to avoid false correlations within the data, such as incorrectly identifying certain variables as effective when they actually have no real effect or different effects on the issue.”
A simple example: an ice cream shop at the beach. On a sunny day, the shop owner expects a lot of business and therefore sets high prices. And it works: the beach is crowded with lots of people who are in the mood for a nice cold scoop of ice cream. At the end of the day he has sold a lot of ice cream at high prices. The next day, it’s rainy. The beach is empty, there are very few people. So, the shop owner lowers his prices just to sell anything at all – but still sells much less ice cream than the day before. “If you only look at the data, you might get the impression that higher prices lead to more sales and lower prices to fewer sales – even though it’s actually the weather that caused the difference in demand and sales. The problem: in this case, the weather wasn’t considered as a variable. This failure to include an important variable is one possible cause of endogeneity,” Burmester explains.
Her past research topics have been quite varied: she has investigated media, digitalization and marketing – even including projects with the movie industry. She has also pursued sustainability research, e.g. in a project on how to best remind supermarket shoppers to bring their own bag. As such, her background offers plenty of possibilities to connect with KLU. “I’m really looking forward to working together with my new colleagues at KLU and diving into new research topics,” she says.
Dr. Alexa Burmester received her Ph.D. in Marketing from Universität Hamburg, where she also completed a degree (diploma) in Business Administration.