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).

Your Contact


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

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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


Determinanten ausländischer FuE-Aktivität in Deutschland und der EU27

Eva Dettmann Iciar Dominguez Lacasa Jutta Günther Björn Jindra Philipp Marek A. Gumpert

in: Internationale FuE-Standorte. Studien zum deutschen Innovationssystem Nr. 11-2013, No. 11, 2013


Obwohl es sich grundsätzlich um kein neues Phänomenhandelt, so hat in den letzten beiden Jahrzehnten die Internationalisierung von Forschungund Entwicklung (FuE) deutlich zugenommen. So zeigen z. B. Untersuchungen der OECD, dass die FuE-Ausgaben ausländischer Tochterunternehmen in der Periode zwischen 1995 und2003 doppelt so schnell angestiegen sind wie ihr Umsatz oder die aggregierten Importe des Gastlandes. Dies deutet darauf hin, dass FuE zu den dynamischen Elementen der Globalisierung gehört. Allerdings steht der Grad der FuE-Internationalisierung dem der Produktion oft noch nach, wenn man zumindest unterschiedliche Bereiche des Verarbeitenden Gewerbes in EU und OECD-Ländern betrachtet.

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What Drives Innovation Output from Subsidized R&D Cooperation? — Project-level Evidence from Germany

Michael Schwartz Michael Fritsch Jutta Günther François Peglow

in: Technovation, No. 6, 2012


Using a large dataset of 406 subsidized R&D cooperation projects, we provide detailed insights into the relationship between project characteristics and innovation output. Patent applications and publications are used as measures for the innovation output of an R&D project. We find that large-firm involvement is strongly positively related with the number of patent applications, but not with the number of publications. Conversely, university involvement has positive effects on projects’ innovation output in terms of the number of publications but not in terms of patent applications. In general, projects’ funding as measure of projects’ size is an important predictor of the innovation output of R&D cooperation projects. No significant effects are found for the number of partners as (an alternative) measure of projects’ size, for spatial proximity between cooperation partners, for the involvement of a public institute for applied research, and for prior cooperation experiences. We derive conclusions for the design of R&D cooperation support schemes.

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A Systemic View on Knowledge-based Development Metrics

Mirko Titze Michael Schwartz Matthias Brachert

in: International Journal of Knowledge-Based Development, No. 1, 2012


Drawing on the systems perspective of innovation processes, this article proposes a conceptual approach for a comprehensive analysis of regional knowledge generation and transfer. Instead of focusing on one single indicator, the approach emphasizes the importance to take multiple channels of knowledge transfer into account. This provides valuable insights into the spatial structure of innovation processes on different levels. We disentangle the innovation process and consider four different layers: i.) publications in peer-reviewed journals, ii.) patent applications, iii.) formal R&D collaboration projects, the iv.) localized input-output relations. Further, we demonstrate the relevance of the „multi-layer approach‟ by applying it empirically to a specific regional innovation system: The Free State of Saxony – a federal state in Germany. We argue that the approach could be a valuable tool to inform policy-makers about knowledge-based regional development strategies.

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Distance Functions for Matching in Small Samples

Eva Dettmann Christian Schmeißer Claudia Becker

in: Computational Statistics & Data Analysis, No. 5, 2011


The development of ‘standards’ for the application of matching algorithms in empirical evaluation studies is still an outstanding goal. The first step of the matching procedure is the choice of an appropriate distance function. In empirical evaluation situations often the sample sizes are small. Moreover, they consist of variables with different scale levels which have to be considered explicitly in the matching process. A simulation is performed which is directed towards these empirical challenges and supplements former studies in this respect. The choice of the analysed distance functions is determined by the results of former theoretical studies and recommendations in the empirical literature. Thus, two balancing scores (the propensity score and the index score) and the Mahalanobis distance are considered. Additionally, aggregated statistical distance functions not yet used for empirical evaluation are included. The matching outcomes are compared using non-parametric scale-specific tests for identical distributions of the characteristics in the treatment and the control groups. The simulation results show that, in small samples, aggregated statistical distance functions are the better choice for summarising similarities in differently scaled variables compared to the commonly used measures.

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Measuring Regionalized Knowledge Generation and Transfer – A Feasibility Study Using a Multi-layer Approach in the Free State of Saxony

Mirko Titze Matthias Brachert Jutta Günther Michael Schwartz

in: IWH-Sonderhefte, No. 5, 2010


Economic literature regards knowledge creation and learning as critical elements for gaining competitive advantage of regions. However, recognizing the importance of innovation and knowledge creation to economic success is far from being novel. Original is the view of increasing importance of knowledge creation for speeding up the depreciation of existing knowledge stocks. This puts a high pressure on regional actors to constantly participate in innovation processes to maintain their competitive advantages. Against this background, regional actors – if they aim to be successful in the globalized economy – first require access to a comprehensive and diversified knowledge base. Second, they need to participate in the processes of knowledge generation and knowledge transfer. Thereby, systemic innovation theory has pronounced the view that the locus of innovation and knowledge creation resides not only within the boundaries of the regional actors, such as private firms, universities, research laboratories, suppliers, and customers, but is the result of an interdependent exchange process between these different types. Collaborative interactions, bringing together different types of actors, may therefore lie well at the heart of accelerated knowledge creation and learning at the regional level (Lundvall and Johnson 1994).

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The Identification of Industrial Clusters – Methodical Aspects in a Multidimensional Framework for Cluster Identification

Mirko Titze Matthias Brachert Alexander Kubis

in: IWH Discussion Papers, No. 14, 2010


We use a combination of measures of spatial concentration, qualitative input-output analysis and innovation interaction matrices to identify the horizontal and vertical dimension of industrial clusters in Saxony in 2005. We describe the spatial allocation of the industrial clusters and show possibilities of vertical interaction of clusters based on intermediate goods flows. With the help of region and sector-specific knowledge interaction matrices we are able to show that a sole focus on intermediate goods flows limits the identification of innovative actors in industrial clusters, as knowledge flows and intermediate goods flows do not show any major overlaps.

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20 years of innovation policy in East Germany – from a pure “survival support” to high-tech subsidy

Jutta Günther Nicole Nulsch Katja Wilde

in: Wirtschaft im Wandel, No. 2, 20 Jahre Deutsche Einheit - Teil 2 - 2010


The article uses the occasion of “20 years German re-unification” in order to provide an overview of the range of innovation policy schemes in East Germany with the intention to identify changing patterns or paradigms in its philosophy and priorities over time. In general, innovation policy schemes aim at increasing research and development (R&D) activities of companies in order to strengthen their competitiveness as market incentives for R&D are usually too low (problem of market failure). However, in East Germany in the early 1990s the situation was different. At the very beginning, the transformation process in East Germany was accompanied by innovation policy schemes that aimed at the pure maintenance of industrial research and the stock of R&D personnel since the potential for innovation was at a risk to be eliminated completely. In the late 1990s the intention of innovation policies changed. Instead of financial support primarily for human resources, innovation policy schemes since then focused on the support of cooperation projects between different research entities (companies and scientific organizations) and, later on, also the setup of networks in order to close the economic differences between East and West Germany.

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Subsidized Vocational Training: Stepping Stone or Trap? An Evaluation Study for East Germany

Eva Dettmann Jutta Günther

in: IWH Discussion Papers, No. 21, 2009


The aim of this paper is to analyze whether the formally equal qualifications acquired during a subsidized vocational education induce equal employment opportunities compared to regular vocational training. Using replacement matching on the basis of a statistical distance function, we are able to control for selection effects resulting from different personal and profession-related characteristics, and thus, to identify an unbiased effect of the public support. Besides the ‘total effect’ of support, it is of special interest if the effect is stronger for subsidized youths in external training compared to persons in workplace-related training. The analysis is based on unique and very detailed data, the Youth Panel of the Halle Centre for Social Research (zsh). The results show that young people who successfully completed a subsidized vocational education are disadvantaged regarding their employment opportunities even when controlling for personal and profession-related influences on the employment prospects. Besides a quantitative effect, the analysis shows that the graduates of subsidized training work in slightly worse (underqualified) and worse paid jobs than the adolescents in the reference group. The comparison of both types of subsidized vocational training, however, does not confirm the expected stronger effect for youths in external vocational education compared to workplace-related training.

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Subsidized Vocational Education in East Germany: Stepping Stone or Dead End?

Eva Dettmann

in: Wirtschaft im Wandel, No. 12, 2009


The aim of the study is to analyse whether the formally equal qualifications acquired during a subsidized vocational education induce equal employment opportunities compared to regular vocational training. This question is answered for adolescents in workplace-related training. Using replacement matching on the basis of a statistical distance function, we are able to control for selection effects resulting from different personal and profession-related characteristics and thus to identify an unbiased effect of the public support. The analysis is based on unique, very detailed data, the Youth Panel of the Halle Centre for Social Research (zsh). The results show that young people who successfully completed a workplace-related training are disadvantaged regarding their employment opportunities even when controlling for personal and profession-related influences. Besides a quantitative effect on the percentage of employed adolescents, the analysis shows differences in the job quality: The employed graduates of workplace-related training work in worse paid jobs, and less are employed in qualification adequate occupations compared to matchable graduates of regular vocational education.

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Matching kleiner Stichproben. Ein Vergleich verschiedener Verfahren

Eva Dettmann

in: Saarbrücken, 2009


Die Anwendung moderner Evaluationsverfahren ist aus der wissenschaftlichen Politikberatung nicht mehr wegzudenken. Unabhängig davon ist die Idee dieser Methoden auf viele Gebiete der Ökonomie und der Sozialwissenschaften übertragbar. Da die konkrete Fragestellung ebenso wie die verfügbaren Informationen die Eignung eines Verfahrens für den praktischen Einsatz beeinflusst, fällt die Auswahl der “richtigen“ Methode oft schwer. Die Studie ist als Beitrag zur Entwicklung von Richtlinien für den praktischen Einsatz speziell von Matchingverfahren zu sehen, dessen Ziel darin besteht, die diskutierten Methoden einem breiten Anwenderkreis zugänglich zu machen. Charakteristisch dabei ist ein enger Bezug zur praktischen Anwendung, der auch die Rahmenbedingungen für die durchgeführte Simulation vorgibt. Die Ergebnisse zeigen, dass es sich lohnt, bei der Wahl eines Matchingansatzes „über den Tellerrand zu schauen“ und bisher nur in anderen Wissenschaftsbereichen genutzte Verfahren eventuell anzupassen und für die Bildung von Vergleichsgruppen nutzbar zu machen. Dies gilt insbesondere für die Wahl eines geeigneten Distanzmaßes.

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