Tasks of the IWH

Guided by its mission statement, the IWH places the understanding of the determinants of long term growth processes at the centre of the research agenda. Long term growth processes in Germany (East and West) and in Europe can only be understood in the context of economic convergence in Europe and international integration.

Ultimately, economic convergence and growth depend on an efficient (re-)allocation of resources (capital and labour) and productivity growth. Therefore, the researchers at the IWH examine the determinants of the (re-)allocation of resources, structural change, innovation, productivity growth, and macroeconomic dynamics and stability.

Typical Research Questions

  • What are the causes and consequences of macroeconomic fluctuations and instabilities, how can these be empirically identified, and what measures can be taken to ensure macroeconomic stability during convergence and integration processes?
  • How do different institutional settings and their changes influence resource (re)allocation, in particular of human and real capital?
  • How effective are government interventions in firms’ investment and research and development activities?
  • What are the effects of financial crises on the real economy?

For this evidence-based research, the IWH relies on a broad spectrum of empirical methods that range from dynamic macroeconomic models to microeconomic methods for identifying the effectiveness of economic policies. The IWH’s research structure is designed to foster close interplay between micro- and macroeconomic research.

IWH research is organised in a matrix structure. The primary dimension of the matrix consists of research departments that have been established on a medium to long-term basis and which are responsible for human resources development, infrastructure development and quality management.

The four departments are

The secondary dimension of the matrix consists of research groups organized as fixed-term projects. They are responsible for working on specific research projects. Topic-oriented research clusters, which are located where the two dimensions interface, do not form their own organizational units. The establishment of research groups follows a structured, competitive procedure. The research clusters and research groups comprise researchers from different departments, thus allowing for a cross-departmental integration of research at the IWH.

Currently, there are three research clusters:

Publication Activities

The Institute publishes the results of its scientific research both in own publication series and in external publications, especially in externally refereed journals. Own publication series of the IWH include


The IWH organises scientific workshops and conferences, a seminar series (IWH Research Seminar in Economics) and transfer events designed for a broader public.

Event Calendar

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