The IAW’s objective is to apply economic and social research to issues relating to the private and public economy. Its scientific work contributes to the empirical basis for economic policymaking. The institute’s core research field is problems and methods of empirical economic research, and it implements recent theoretical approaches in empirical research. The IAW conducts research projects for members and non-members and has a consulting function for its sponsors.
The activity of the IAW is subdivided into three main research areas that are closely interrelated:
- International Integration and Regional Development
- Labour Markets and Social Security
- Firm Dynamics and Structural_Change
Research at the IAW is characterised by an empirical and micro-economic approach. Results are obtained using advanced econometric methods and are based on representative data. The application of these quantitative methods is constantly being improved. The quantitative orientation is supplemented by qualitative methods that assist in hypotheses building as well as in interpreting and validating the results.
Besides this, the IAW is known for its outstanding, and in many fields unique, competence in developing and using representative micro data at the level of a firm or establishment as well as individual data. For this purpose, the IAW Competence Centre for Microdata-based Policy Advice cooperates closely with statistical offices and other data producers. On-going activities in this field are efforts to link existing administrative data sources and methods to anonymise micro data. Both aim to improve the data infrastructure for scientific research in the social and economic sciences.