Labor Markets, Education, Population

Research Focus

Labor Markets

Labor markets play a central role for both the well-being of individuals and of the community as a whole. Within this field, the research department concentrates on two topics.

The first topic is based on evaluation research. On the one hand, the research unit explores whether specific labor market policies - e.g. the “Hartz” reforms or the programs of the European Social Fund, ESF - achieve their aims (e.g., lowering unemployment) and whether their implementation was realized at low cost, i.e. efficiently. On the other hand, effects of labor market institutions are analyzed, e.g. the effects of minimum wages.

The second topic consists in investigations of the underlying functioning of the labor market. Here, traded factors – i.e. employment and unemployment – as well as prices – i.e. the structure of incomes and wages – take center stage. In particular, labor supply as well as labor market dynamics are examined. In this context, our researchers investigate which factors have an impact on these dynamics, with a particular focus on the business cycle, globalization (e.g. foreign direct investment), and technological change. Other topics of major interest are, for example, atypical forms of employment, such as temporary agency work and marginal employment.

Population and Education

In the research fields of population and education, the research division considers different aspects of human capital accumulation as well as topics from the field of population economics, such as migration, integration and fertility.

The accumulation of human capital is a central prerequisite for economic and social success of individuals. Although issues concerning the decision to acquire education as well as education policies are of great social relevance, there is still little empirical evidence on many questions. Within the field of education economics, research focuses on the determinants of investment in education, on the evaluation of educational reforms as well as on the returns to education for individuals and for the society as a whole (so-called externalities). Various projects focus on vocational education (entry into college, university or the apprenticeship system) and further training. The research division is also part of the WeLL project that collects a linked employer-employee data set on further training.

In the field of population economics, research focuses on the economic success of immigrants, the integration of foreigners and other disadvantaged groups, migration to and within Germany, processes of agglomeration and segregation as well as on issues of fertility and the process of family formation.

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