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

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



Microeconometric Evaluation and the Selection Bias – A practical Survey of Nonparametrical Solution Methods

Eva Reinowski

in: Zeitschrift für Evaluation 2, No. 2, 2006


The application of evaluation strategies becomes more important in various fields of study. The problem of self-selection associated with microeconomic evaluation can be solved in different ways, but nonparametrical solutions are most popular. The study gives an overview of nonparametrical solution methods for this problem. The aim is to close the gap between introductory and the more sophisticated literature and to give some practical guidance for the choice of the appropriate method for empirical application. The assumptions as well as advantages and drawbacks for empirical application and the requirements to the data base are described for every approach. It becomes clear that there is no ‘magic bullet’. For an unbiased estimation the assumptions have to be fulfilled and the data at hand must be compatible with the respective method.

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Microeconometric Evaluation of Selected ESF-funded ALMP-Programmes

Eva Reinowski Birgit Schultz

in: IWH Discussion Papers, No. 17, 2006


The study evaluates different ESF-funded labour market programmes by comparing the labour market status at different points in time after the treatment. In order to solve the selection problem we employ a standard matching algorithm with a multi-dimensional distance measure. The effects of the analyzed programmes (wage subsidies, start-up subsidies and qualification measures for recipients of social welfare) are very heterogeneous. It can be observed that the direct integration into the regular labour market provides an advantage for the supported individuals. Its lasting effects, however, strongly depend on the group of persons being supported, the type of treatment and the employers’ financial share.

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