25 Years IWH

Centre for Evidence-based Policy Consulting (IWH-CEP)

The Centre for Evidence-based Policy Consulting (IWH-CEP) of the IWH was founded in 2014. It is a platform that bundles and structures activities in research, teaching, and policy consulting. IWH-CEP pursues the objective of creating better foundations for a causal analysis of policy implemented across different sectors.

IWH-CEP is designed as a service unit and supports the activities in the research groups by providing access to a supra-regional research and policy consulting network as well as access to data sets for causal analyses. IWH-CEP lies at the interface between three areas of responsibility and carries out coordination functions between them.

Centre for Evidence-based Policy Consulting (IWH-CEP)

The government intervenes in the market mechanism through a lot of policy instruments in order to achieve various economic objectives. However, for policy makers, it is important to know whether the originally intended objectives are also achieved. Scientific methods can make a significant contribution to this. These are necessary to establish a clear connection between a policy instrument and its effect. Against this background, the Centre for Evidence-based Policy Consulting (IWH-CEP) at the IWH was founded.

Research and Policy Consulting

Research and policy consulting are organized via the different research groups of the IWH. This organizational structure allows to assess policy changes from both a macro and micro perspective and cover different sectors of the economy.

To gain a better understanding of structural changes and economic growth, a first focus is set on the evaluation of industrial policy schemes,for example, the "Joint Task of 'Improving the Regional Economic Structure'" in the Federal State of Saxony-Anhalt (which is the most important regional policy support scheme in Germany) is being evaluated. The objective of the project is to use different evaluation techniques to assess the impact if policy support measures.. The project is carried out under the responsibility of IWH Research Group "The Performance of Firms and Regions".

A second key area  includes analyses on regulatory reforms and effects. Especially having in mind that after the recent financial crisis, a re-regulation of the financial system took place, it is of utmost importance to evaluate the effectiveness of the reforms as well as to assess whether there are unintended side-effects. In the context of the project "The Political Economy of the European Banking Union", researchers in the financial markets departments study how the directives underlying the European Banking Union are implemented across member states as well as whether the new regulatory framework has implications for banking stability and financial intermediation.

Set-up of a Network

IWH-CEP is part of the initiative for "Evidence-based Economic Policy", which is established by the Verein für Socialpolitik (German Economic Association). Through the connection with the initiative, visibility and knowledge transfer should be guaranteed in the scientific and political community.

Set-up and Maintenance of Databases


The major challenge in the analysis of effects of government interventions and regulatory changes  lies in the development of granular data. IWH-CEP advances into this direction by building up databases that can be shared with other researchers.

As such, at the IWH R&D Micro Database is set up, maintained and completed according to the (current) specialisation in the analysis of effects of industrial policy support schemes. Information about the funded projects alone is not sufficient to conduct causal analyses – corporate data of the official and commercial statistics must be referred to; this is organised using record linkage techniques. This task is carried out at the IWH Research Data Centre.

Additionally, the financial market department has set up the website International Banking Library, which is a web-based platform for the exchange of research on cross-border banking. It provides access to data sources, academic research, both theoretical and empirical on cross-border banking, as well as information on regulatory initiatives. Thus, the website provides researcher and policymakers with a comprehensive overview of available data to conduct policy evaluation and the current stance of the literature on regulation and supervision of financial markets. The quarterly newsletter summarizes recent developments and is received by both academics and central bankers.

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Complexity and Bank Risk During the Financial Crisis

Thomas Krause Talina Sondershaus Lena Tonzer

in: Economics Letters , 2017


We construct a novel dataset to measure banks’ complexity and relate it to banks’ riskiness. The sample covers stock listed Euro area banks from 2007 to 2014. Bank stability is significantly affected by complexity, whereas the direction of the effect differs across complexity measures.

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State Aid and Guarantees in Europe

Reint E. Gropp Lena Tonzer

in: T. Beck, B. Casu (eds): The Palgrave Handbook of European Banking, London , 2016


During the recent financial crisis, governments massively intervened in the banking sector by providing liquidity assistance and capital support to banks in distress. This helped stabilize the financial system in the short run. However, public bailouts also bear the risk of longer-term distortions, for example, by affecting bailout expectations of banks. In this chapter, the authors first provide an overview of state aid interventions during the recent crisis episode. The third section then analyzes the effects of state aid on financial stability from a theoretical view. This is followed by the description of results obtained from empirical studies. The link between the provision of state aid and politics is discussed in the section “Institutional Design and Policy Implications”. Finally, in the section “The European Banking Union” the authors describe the elements of the European Banking Union meant to resolve and restructure banks in distress and to lower the need for public intervention. Based on the preceding analysis, conclusions are drawn regarding the new design.

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Taxing Banks: An Evaluation of the German Bank Levy

Claudia M. Buch Björn Hilberg Lena Tonzer

in: Journal of Banking & Finance , 2016


Bank distress can have severe negative consequences for the stability of the financial system. Regimes for the restructuring and resolution of banks, financed by bank levies, aim at reducing these costs. This paper evaluates the German bank levy, which has been implemented since 2011. Our analysis offers three main insights. First, revenues raised through the levy were lower than expected. Second, the bulk of the payments were contributed by large commercial banks and by the central institutions of savings banks and credit unions. Third, for those banks, which were affected by the levy, we find evidence for a reduction in lending and higher deposit rates.

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Die Analyse kausaler Effekte wirtschaftspolitischer Maßnahmen – Das Zentrum für evidenzbasierte Politikberatung am IWH (IWH-CEP)

Matthias Brachert Eva Dettmann Mirko Titze

in: Wirtschaft im Wandel , No. 5, 2015


In Deutschland besteht ein enormer Bedarf an evidenzbasierter Politikberatung. Viele wirtschaftspolitische Interventionen werden bislang nicht umfassend evaluiert, und falls doch, wenden die wenigsten Untersuchungen geeignete Verfahren der Kausalanalyse an, um einen ursächlichen Zusammenhang zwischen der Intervention und dem Erreichen von wirtschaftspolitischen Zielen zu identifizieren. Das Leibniz-Institut für Wirtschaftsforschung Halle hat für diese Aufgabe das Zentrum für evidenzbasierte Politikberatung (IWH-CEP) eingerichtet. Eine Pilotstudie zu den Wirkungen der betrieblichen Investitionsförderung ist bereits angelaufen.

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The Structure and Evolution of Intersectoral Technological Complementarity in R&D in Germany from 1990 to 2011

Matthias Brachert T. Broekel

in: IWH Discussion Papers , No. 13, 2014


Technological complementarity is argued to be a crucial element for effective Research and Development (R&D) collaboration. The real structure is, however, still largely unknown. Based on the argument that organizations’ knowledge resources must fit for enabling collective learning and innovation, we use the co-occurrence of firms in collaborative R&D projects in Germany to assess inter-sectoral technological complementarity between 129 sectors. The results are mapped as complementarity space for the Germany economy. The space and its dynamics from 1990 to 2011 are analyzed by means of social network analysis. The results illustrate sectors being complements both from a dyadic and portfolio/ network perspective. This latter is important, as complementarities may only become fully effective when integrated in a complete set of different knowledge resources from multiple sectors. The dynamic perspective moreover reveals the shifting demand for knowledge resources among sectors at different time periods.

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