Thomas is member of the standing field committee for Economic Systems and Institutional Economics of the German Economic Association, one of the largest professional economics associations in Europe. Among other positions he is scientific expert at the Austrian Pension Commission which analyzes the financial sustainability of the national pension system. From 2017 to June 2020, Thomas was director of the economic research institute EcoAustria. According to the Economist-Ranking 2019/2020 of Die Presse, F.A.Z., and the Neue Zürcher Zeitung Thomas is the 5th most influential economist in Austria.
Thomas studied economics at the Friedrich-Wilhelms-University Bonn and Technical University Berlin before earning his doctorate summa cum laude at Helmut-Schmidt-University Hamburg in 2006. Thomas was a visiting scholar at, among others, Columbia University in New York at the invitation of Nobel Prize Laureate Joseph E. Stiglitz and Anya Schiffrin and at the Max-Planck Institute for Tax Law and Public Finance in Munich at the invitation of Kai A. Konrad. In his research at the interface between economics and psychology, he analyses decision processes and behaviour in economic and political contexts. His research interest includes the economics of policy reforms and the impact of media on perception and behaviour.
In addition to publications in scientific journals, such as Constitutional Politcal Economy; European Journal of Political Economy; European Journal of Law and Economics; Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization; Journal of Forecasting; and the Journal of Neuroscience, Psychology, and Economics, Thomas regularly presents his research at conferences, including the European Public Choice Society, the International Institute of Public Finance, and the German Economic Association. Furthermore, Thomas appears regularly in national and international media.