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Visiting Researchers

Sebatian POLEDNA
International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA)
Research Scholar
Period of Stay
2019/05/01 – 2019/10/31
Research Theme

Estimating indirect disaster losses from earthquakes

Host Researcher
Maddegedara Lalith Wijerathne


Sebastian Poledna is a research scholar at the International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA). MMag. Dr. Poledna holds double degrees in physics (2005-2011), and in economics and business administration (1999-2003) and has worked as a practitioner in risk management at one of the largest European banks for almost a decade (2007-2015). He obtained his PhD in physics at the University of Vienna in 2016. In terms of the research activity his portfolio of interests is broad and includes for example new approaches to economic forecasting, impact of climate change on socio economic systems, systemic risk of various complex systems and financial regulation. He authored several papers in international peer-reviewed journals such as the Journal of Banking & Finance, the Journal of Financial Stability, Quantitative Finance, and the Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, etc., as well as in interdisciplinary science journals, such as Scientific Reports.

He has extensive experience in agent-based modeling from the EC FP7 project CRISIS and from active collaboration with both important groups in the field and with researchers from several central banks. In recent work he developed the first agent-based model depicting an actual national economy with millions of interacting agents that can be used for mainstream applications such as economic forecasting and macroeconomic policy analysis. In particular, he showed that this model is able to improve out-of-sample prediction on widely used theory-based and statistical models, such as Dynamic stochastic general equilibrium (DSGE) and vector autoregressive (VAR) estimated on the same data set. In related work he studied the impact of climate change on socio-economic systems by using agent-based modeling in combination with a probabilistic physical damage catastrophe model. He developed a novel approach for estimating the indirect economic losses due to natural disasters with an application to flood risk in Austria.

MMag. Dr. Poledna’s work (especially his suggestion for a systemic risk transaction tax) has generated interest from numerous institutions including the Bank of England, the Bank of Canada, the Bank of Mexico (Banco de México), the German regulatory bodies BaFin, the Bundesbank, the German Ministry of Finance, and the European Commission (DG-MARKT). He presented his work at more than 20 international conferences and workshops and has received recognition in both national and international news media such as the Süddeutsche Zeitung and Bloomberg. He has active collaborations with researchers from several central banks and is in close contact with financial practitioners.

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