Tasks of the IWH

Under the guiding theme "From Transition to European Integration", 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 capital (re-)allocation, 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 four 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 referred magazines.

Own publication series of the IWH include

  • the magazine Wirtschaft im Wandel
  • Konjunktur aktuell
  • IWH Online
  • IWH-Sonderhefte
  • and the IWH discussion papers.

Preparing Information for the Public

The IWH Newsletter Wirtschaft im Wandel informs the public every two months via e-mail about results of its research on politico-economic relevant questions and topics. In the IWH-Sonderhefte contributions like expert opinions, collective reports of various institutions and conference materials are published. The IWH discussion papers serve as a preparation for a publication in high-ranking academic journals and therefore always present the latest results of the IWH's research.

A central task of the public relations department at the IWH is to support research through internal and external communication. The external communication ensures the public distribution of the IWH's research results whereas the internal communication is mainly in charge of the reporting system as well as the observation of the media response.

Being the press office of the IWH the public relations department may directly answer media inquiries or will forward these to qualified interview partners of the specialized research departments. Additionally, the public relations department informs by publishing press releases, especially concerning current reporting on the economic cycle and also policy relevant publications of the IWH Newsletter Wirtschaft im Wandel. Furthermore, the public relations department of the IWH frequently assists the organization of scientific and politico-economic events of its research clusters.

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