The ZEW works in the field of user-related empirical economic research. In this context it particularly distinguished itself nationally and internationally by analysing internationally comparative issues in the European context and by compiling scientifically important data bases.
The ZEW is a non-profit economic research institute with the legal form of a limited liability company (GmbH). It was founded in 1990 on the initiative of the government of the federal state Baden-Württemberg, trade and industry, and the Mannheim University. In April 1991 the institute took up work and has expanded rapidly since then. At present, 115 employees work at the ZEW, 78 of which are scientifically active. Professor Dr. Wolfgang Franz (President/Scientific Management) and Ernst-O. Schulze (Director/Commercial Management) are heading the institute. The high quality of the research work conducted at the institute was confirmed by the Wissenschaftsrat (the advisory body to the Federal Government) on the occasion of the evaluation of the ZEW in 1998, and documented externally by the recommendation to grant the ZEW Federal Government and Länder Funding (Blue List).
Duties and Goals
The ZEW´s duty is to carry out economic research, economic counselling and knowledge transfer. The institute focuses on decision-makers in politics, economics, and administration, scientists in the national and international arena as well as the interested public. Regular interviews on the situation on the financial markets and business-related service providers as well as large-scale annual studies on technological competitiveness of and innovation activities in the economy are representative of the different types of topical information provided by the ZEW.
Approach and Fields of Research
The ZEW takes a predominantly microeconomic and microeconometric research approach to its research work and co-operates closely with other scientific disciplines, whenever the respective issue requires such. In this context, the research institute distinguished itself, inter alia, in the analysis of internationally comparative questions in the European context and in the creation of data bases which are eminently important as a basis for scientific research. In addition, the ZEW provides outside persons and bodies with excerpts of selected data stocks for the purpose of scientific research. The ZEW is subdivided into the following five research fields:
International Finance and Financial Management;
Labour Economics, Human Resources, and Social Policy;
Industrial Economics and International Management;
Corporate Taxation and Public Business Finance;
Environmental and Resource Economics, Eco-management.
Evaluations in regular intervals ensure the quality of the work performed in the research fields and its orientation towards the institute´s research programme. The evaluations are carried out by the Scientific Advisory Council of the ZEW, which is composed of renowned German and foreign scientists as well as of executives from the economy and public administration.