Research Focus

For both the individual and society as a whole, the accumulation of knowledge, competencies and skills or - in general - human capital is an essential prerequisite for achieving economic and social success. Key issues relating to educational decisions and educational policy are, therefore, of utmost social and economic importance.

The research group “Education” investigates determinants of educational decisions and their returns. As part of this work, the research group assesses which particular characteristics and structural factors are conducive to encouraging people to (further) invest in education and which are not. It also assesses individual monetary and non-monetary returns to education. For example, as part of a project funded by the German Research Foundation (DFG), the research group investigates, among other things, how the regional context in which an employee lives and works affects his or her participation in continuous training.

Furthermore, the research group “Education” systematically evaluates educational reforms and policy measures and assesses the impact that reforms and policy measures have on individuals or program participants. In the past, research focused on, for example, the question of whether or not participants in the “Bildungsprämie” program benefited from using a training voucher for funding a vocational training course in terms of their unemployment risk, current job situation, salary or job satisfaction.

To carry out its mostly empirical research, the research group regularly collects micro data. The RWI was therefore, for example, involved in establishing a longitudinal “Linked Employer-Employee” data set on training and employment (project WeLL). The Institute also conducted a panel survey with program participants in order to evaluate the “Bildungsprämie” program.