Labour Markets and Social Security

Even in times of decreasing unemployment, many structural problems on the German labour market persist. The consequences of technological progress, internationalisation of production, and demographic changes put employees and companies increasingly under pressure to adapt. The extent to which problem groups in the labour market — long-term unemployed, low-skilled and older workers — benefit from recent labour market reforms remains unresolved. The widening gap in wage distribution means that incomes of low-wage earners stagnate or decline even if economic conditions improve.

In view of the complex interdependencies in the labour market, good policies require careful causal analysis. The IAW advises policymakers on issues such as active labour market policies, welfare programmes, education policies, and others, using a wide range of empirical techniques. With an evaluation of the Targeted Negative Income Tax Programme for Baden-Wuerttemberg, the IAW provided a highly significant contribution to this line of research. Since then, the IAW has regularly carried out projects in evaluation research. The IAW also takes part in the monitoring and implementation of pilot projects at the intersection of labour markets, social policies, and education, helping politics to optimise project quality by process evaluation.

More generally, the IAW is active in empirical labour market research on a variety of research topics. On behalf of scientific foundations or other public institutions, studies are produced on subjects such as wage formation, companies’ employment needs, or the increasing internationalisation of the labour market. In cooperation with data producers like Statistical Offices and the Federal Employment Agency, the IAW takes part in the steady improvement of the empirical basis of labour market research.