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

The Centre for Evidence-based Policy Advice (IWH-CEP) of the IWH was founded in 2014. It is a platform that bundles and structures activities in research, teaching, and policy advice. 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 advising 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.

Tasks    Team    Events    Projects    Publications

IWH Subsidy Database   Research Group "Evaluation of Subsidy Programmes"

The tasks of the 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 Advice (IWH-CEP) at the IWH was founded.

Research and Policy Advice

Research and policy advice 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'" (which is the most important regional policy support scheme in Germany) is being evaluated in the Federal State of Saxony-Anhalt. The objective of the project is to use different evaluation techniques to assess the impact of policy support measures. The project is carried out under the responsibility of the IWH Research Group "Evaluation of Subsidy Programmes".

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 department 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", hosted by the Verein für Socialpolitik (German Economic Association). Being part of this initiative enhances IWH-CEP's visibility within 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 accessibility of administrative data. IWH-CEP advances into this direction by building up databases that can be shared with other researchers.

Therefore, the IWH Subsidy 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 provided by official and commercial statistics must be added; 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 outcomes on cross-border banking. It provides access to data sources, academic research on cross-border banking, both theoretical and empirical, as well as information on regulatory initiatives. Thus, the website provides researchers 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 appreciateted by both academics and central bankers.

The website of the International Banking Library also allows access to the Financial Markets Directives Database. This database provides  information about financial markets regulation in Europe since the last financial and sovereign debt crisis. One key element is the harmonization of rules for capital regulation, bank resolution and deposit insurance on the way to the European banking and capital market union. The first element of the database collects the dates at which countries have published the key legal document related to several recent directives affecting financial markets (see Koetter, M.; Krause, T.; Sfrappini, E.; Tonzer, L.: Staggered Completion of the  European Banking Union: Transposition Dates of the BRRD: Data Record Description. IWH Technical Reports 1/2021).

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The IWH-CEP organises the annual transfer conference "From Transition to European Integration". Under a current topic, the event connects representatives from politics, ministries, authorities, associations and companies with scientists from the IWH and its partner institutions. The opening speech is given by a prominent politician. After scientific lectures and discussions, a panel discussion concludes the one-day conference. The event is designed for the dissemination of IWH's research findings among political decision-makers and administrative professionals. There is also media coverage.

Feb 2020

09:50 - 15:30

Workshops and conferences

Europas Finanzmarkt: Zwangsehe oder lose Bekanntschaft?

Eröffnungsvortrag: Claudia M. Buch (Deutsche Bundesbank)
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FLEXPANELDID: Stata module to perform causal analysis of treatments with varying start dates and durations

Download the toolbox


flexpaneldid: A Stata Toolbox for Causal Analysis with Varying Treatment Time and Duration

Eva Dettmann Alexander Giebler Antje Weyh

in: IWH Discussion Papers, No. 3, 2020


The paper presents a modification of the matching and difference-in-differences approach of Heckman et al. (1998) for the staggered treatment adoption design and a Stata tool that implements the approach. This flexible conditional difference-in-differences approach is particularly useful for causal analysis of treatments with varying start dates and varying treatment durations. Introducing more flexibility enables the user to consider individual treatment periods for the treated observations and thus circumventing problems arising in canonical difference-in-differences approaches. The open-source flexpaneldid toolbox for Stata implements the developed approach and allows comprehensive robustness checks and quality tests. The core of the paper gives comprehensive examples to explain the use of the commands and its options on the basis of a publicly accessible data set.

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09.2019 ‐ 09.2022

Establishing Evidence-based Evaluation Methods for Subsidy Programmes in Germany (EVA-KULT)

European Regional Development Fund (ERDF)

The project aims at expanding the Centre for Evidence-based Policy Advice at the Halle Institute for Economic Research (IWH-CEP).

see project's webpage

PD Dr Mirko Titze



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 and Finance, November 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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The Importance of Localized Related Variety for International Diversification of Corporate Technology

Eva Dettmann Iciar Dominguez Lacasa Jutta Günther Björn Jindra

in: Regional Studies, No. 10, 2016


Internationalization of research and development has increased substantially in recent years. This paper analyses the determinants of spatial distribution of foreign technological activities across 96 regions in Germany. It identifies foreign technological activities by applying the cross-border ownership concept to patent applications. The main proposition is that regions with higher related variety of technological activities between sectors attract more foreign technological activities. The estimations show that this is the case in regions characterized by a high overall technological strength. This suggests that related variety facilitates technological diversifications of foreign corporations in regions at the top of the geographic hierarchy.

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Identifying the Effects of Place-based Policies – Causal Evidence from Germany

Matthias Brachert Eva Dettmann Mirko Titze

in: IWH Discussion Papers, No. 18, 2016


The German government provides discretionary investment grants to structurally weak regions to reduce regional disparities. We use a regression discontinuity design that exploits an exogenous discrete jump in the probability of receiving investment grants to identify the causal effects of the investment grant on regional outcomes. We find positive effects for regional gross value-added and productivity growth, but no effects for employment and gross wage growth.

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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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Determinants of Foreign Technological Activity in German Regions – A Count Model Analysis of Transnational Patents

Eva Dettmann Iciar Dominguez Lacasa Jutta Günther Björn Jindra

in: Foresight-Russia, No. 1, 2014


Most research on R&D internationalisation focuses on comparative analysis of location factors at the national level of analysis. Very little work, however, has taken place in this field for the sub-national regional location behavior of multi-national enterprises (MNE). The paper contributes to the existing research by providing evidence on the determinants of foreign technological activities at the sub-national level for Germany, which hosts the largest share of foreign R&D within the EU27 and features the highest cross-regional dispersion of patented research. Using a pooled count data model, we estimate the effect of various sources for externalities on the extent of foreign technological activity across regions. Particular attention is paid to the role of local knowledge spillovers, technological specialization and diversification. We differentiate foreign and domestic sources of specialisation and account for region and sector-specific influences. This is the first time that the ‘cross-border-ownership’ principle to measure R&D internationalisation is combined with regionalised patent information. To verify our findings we develop hypotheses. In particular, we expect and find that foreign technological activity is attracted by technologically specialised sectors of regions. In contrast to current empirical work, this effect applies both to foreign as well as domestic sources of specialization, although effects on foreign specialization seem more significant. We expect and find the same for science-industry spillovers. We postulate a negative impact of domestic specialization on foreign technological activities and a strong positive effect from diversificationspillovers, by comparison with specialisation spillovers, but these hypotheses are rejected. We find that the direction of the specialisation effect depends on dominance in the position of domestic firms as well as on the balance of knowledge flows between them and foreign actors.

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Actors and Interactions – Identifying the Role of Industrial Clusters for Regional Production and Knowledge Generation Activities

Mirko Titze Matthias Brachert Alexander Kubis

in: Growth and Change, No. 2, 2014


This paper contributes to the empirical literature on systematic methodologies for the identification of industrial clusters. It combines a measure of spatial concentration, qualitative input–output analysis, and a knowledge interaction matrix to identify the production and knowledge generation activities of industrial clusters in the Federal State of Saxony in Germany. It describes the spatial allocation of the industrial clusters, identifies potentials for value chain industry clusters, and relates the production activities to the activities of knowledge generation in Saxony. It finds only a small overlap in the production activities of industrial clusters and general knowledge generation activities in the region, mainly driven by the high-tech industrial cluster in the semiconductor industry. Furthermore, the approach makes clear that a sole focus on production activities for industrial cluster analysis limits the identification of innovative actors.

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Subsidized Vocational Training: Stepping Stone or Trap? – Assessing Empirical Effects using Matching Techniques

Eva Dettmann Jutta Günther

in: Swiss Journal of Economics and Statistics, No. 4, 2013


Using replacement matching on the basis of a statistical distance function we try to answer the question of whether subsidized vocational training is related to a negative image effect for the graduates. The results show that young people with equal qualifications acquired during subsidized vocational training are disadvantaged solely due to the kind of education they have received. The probability of finding adequate employment is lower than in the control group. Besides the 'general effect' of support we also find less favorable job opportunities for those who attended 'external' as compared to 'workplace-related' training.

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Im Fokus: Geförderte FuE-Verbundprojekte: Sächsische Akteure wählen zunehmend Partner in räumlicher Nähe

Mirko Titze Matthias Brachert Wilfried Ehrenfeld

in: Wirtschaft im Wandel, No. 3, 2013


Externe Kooperationen bei innovativen Projekten sind mit einer Reihe von Vorteilen verbunden. Oft werden solche Projekte durch Kooperationen überhaupt erst möglich. Die Literatur stellt dabei insbesondere den Austausch von Wissen heraus. Für den Austausch einer ganz besonderen Form des Wissens, des so genannten nicht kodifizierten Wissens, ist oftmals räumliche Nähe erforderlich, da nicht kodifiziertes Wissen überwiegend durch persönliche Kontakte ausgetauscht wird. Der Bund und die Länder wenden eine ganze Reihe von Förderprogrammen an, die Anreize zur Aufnahme von innovativen Kooperationsprojekten bieten. Der vorliegende Beitrag analysiert die Kooperationsstrukturen innerhalb geförderter Verbundprojekte des Bundes in den Zeiträumen 1995 bis 2000 und 2005 bis 2010. Die Untersuchung richtet sich auf den Freistaat Sachsen. Es zeigt sich, dass die sächsischen Akteure im zweiten Zeitraum mehr Partner innerhalb Sachsens und der ostdeutschen Länder gewählt haben als in der ersten Periode. Dies spricht offenbar dafür, dass sächsische Partner attraktiver werden, und ermöglicht durch die räumliche Nähe den stärkeren Austausch von nicht kodifiziertem Wissen, welches wichtig für den Erfolg von Innovationsaktivitäten einer Region ist.

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Sächsischer Technologiebericht 2012

IWH Fraunhofer ISI EuroNorm GmbH

in: Studie im Auftrag des Sächsischen Staatsministeriums für Wissenschaft und Kunst, 2013


Der „Sächsische Technologiebericht 2012“ verfolgt das Ziel, das Innovationsgeschehen im Freistaat Sachsen umfassend darzustellen. Er beschreibt Potenziale und Rahmenbedingungen sowie Stärken und Schwächen der Innovationspraxis im Freistaat und ermöglicht als Monitoring-Instrument die Beobachtung der Entwicklung innovationsrelevanter Indikatoren im Zeitverlauf. Die Funktion des Monitorings erschöpft sich dabei nicht in der Erfassung von Ist-Zustand und Dynamik des Innovationsgeschehens, sondern soll Rückschlüsse darauf zulassen, ob durch die Politik vorgegebene Ziele erreicht wurden.

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