Institut für Makroökonomie und Konjunkturforschung (IMK) in der Hans-Böckler-Stiftung / Macroeconomic Policy Institute

Address :
Macroeconomic Policy Institute (IMK) at the Hans-Böckler-Foundation, Hans-Böckler-Straße 39
40476 Düsseldorf
Contact :
Andrew Watt
Phone : +49 211 7778 264
Fax : +49 211 77784 264
Email : Andrew-Watt@BOECKLER.DE
Website :

Short Description

The Macroeconomic Policy Institute (IMK) was founded in January 2005. It is a non-profit and independent research institute. The institute's objective is to strengthen the macroeconomic focus in economic analysis and policy advice. The IMK analysis of the business cycle is based on state-of-the-art macroeconomic theory (with a special focus on modern Keynesian economic theory) as well as state-of-the-art econometric methods.

As an independent research institute the IMK is committed to the standards of academic research. To ensure the high quality of its academic output, the IMK aims at a close cooperation with German and foreign universities and subjects its work to regular evaluations by an independent scientific council.

The IMK is one of the two research institutes at the Hans-Böckler-Foundation. In its analysis of the labour market as well as wages and social policy, it cooperates closely with the other institute, the Institute of Economic and Social Research (WSI).

A central task of the IMK consists in providing economic advice both to policy makers and the general public. The IMK publishes its own detailed economic forecast and policy analysis twice a year. This includes a critical assessment of the current economic policies and an in-depth analysis of a special topic. Furthermore, the IMK provides expertise on macroeconomic topics and participates in the economic policy discussion.

Areas of expertise and competencies

The IMK covers a wide range of macroeconomic topics. Academic research at the IMK is currently classified into four key research areas:

Business cycle analysis and forecasting
As an economic research institute with a strong focus on the business cycle the IMK studies relationships of national accounts aggregates in the course of the cycle focusing on their predictive qualities. The analysis covers both short and medium-term economic developments in Germany and the world. A systematic preparation and evaluation of economic indicators forms the empirical basis for the forecasts, complemented by econometric model simulations. In the middle and towards the end of the year the IMK publishes its own economic forecasts.

Economic policy analysis
This research area focuses on current topics of monetary and fiscal policy as well as employment policy. In addition to monitoring day-to-day macroeconomic policy, special topics are analyzed such as the German fiscal "debt brake", the adequate monetary policy reaction to commodity price shocks and how wages and employment policies affect domestic demand.

Labour markets, income and its distribution in a globalized world
During the latest boom of the world economy Germany was able to profit strongly from global growth and increasing international trade, due to a moderate increase in unit labour costs. The opposite side of this development were moderate wage increases, strongly growing profit shares, and weak domestic demand. In this research programme the interdependencies of wage increases, labour markets and growth in a globalized world economy are investigated.

Challenges for Macroeconomics and Economic Policy after the Crisis
In the face of the global financial and economic crisis starting in 2007 many "conventional wisdoms" in macroeconomics have been challenged. The crisis reveals fundamental problems both within standard macroeconomic theory and with economic policies at the national and international levels. The IMK is interested in alternative approaches to macroeconomic theory and in possibilities of a renewal of macroeconomic policy beyond short-term crisis management.

For a list of researchers according to their interests, please see here.

Work programme, strategic plan, projects

Project outlines can be found on the following website in German and in English.

Titles of some ongoing projects:

International comparison of wage levels
The IMK regularly evaluates the relevant Eurostat statistics and examines wage costs across industries comparing the results with those of the employers' institute, IW.

Financial system and economic growth
The project investigates the long-term relationship between the development and the structure of the financial system on the one hand and income distribution and economic growth on the other.

Research Network Macroeconomics and Macroeconomic Policies
The Research Network Macroeconomics and Macroeconomic Policies provides a platform for analysis, research and discussion of macroeconomic issues.

Publications, language, newsletter

The research findings of the IMK are presented at conferences and workshops both in Germany and abroad. With its own conferences and workshops the IMK creates a forum for the discussion of research findings of the IMK staff and external researchers. The online publications of the Hans-Böckler-Foundation offer free access to the IMK's research findings. The latter are also published in referenced journals and other external publications.

Other publications:

IMK News / English
This newsletter informs you about current research projects, publications, events and other news of the Macroeconomic Policy Institute (IMK).

The IMK report is published in German and treats current economic issues. On a limited amount of pages it delivers analysis of the economic development and the economic policy as well as forecasts.

The IMK Working Paper series offers economic papers for an academic audience. They are published in English irregularly.

The IMK Studies are devoted to in-depth analysis. This series is also the medium for expertise. The IMK Studies are published in the relevant language, usually German or English.

The Macroeconomic Policy Institute is actively involved in economic policy advice. It offers its findings to national and international institutions as well as the general public (Briefing Papers).

Other networks the institute is participating in

The IMK is a member of the Research Network Macroeconomics and Macroeconomic Policies, founded in 1997, consisting of about 600 members and aiming at revitalising macroeconomics, especially post Keynesian economics.

Wirtschafts- und Sozialwissenschaftliches Institut (WSI) der Hans-Böckler-Stiftung / Institute of Economic and Social Research

Address :
Hans-Böckler-Straße 39
40476 Düsseldorf
Contact :
Thorsten Schulten
Phone : +49 211 7778 239
Fax : +49 211 7778 4239
Email :
Website :

Short Description


The Institute of Economic and Social Research in the Hans-Böckler-Foundation (WSI) is a research institute which undertakes academic analysis of issues of practical relevance to industrial relations. Its work covers a wide range of issues, from economic, labour market and structural policy to social policy, gender policy, collective bargaining policy and co-determination.

The main focus of the research carried out by WSI is on the economic and social implications of developments in society and policy decisions. On the basis of the results of its academic research, the Institute elaborates economic and social policy proposals aimed at overcoming social problems. The research findings and ideas developed by WSI are made available to academics, policymakers and the public at large.

As part of the process of rebuilding democratic trade unions after the Second World War, one project was to establish a "trade union centre for economic planning and research". This "Wirtschafts-Wissenschaftliches Institut" (Institute of Economic Sciences - WWI ) was set up in 1946 and thus predates the founding of the German Trade Union Federation (DGB). In 1972 its name was changed to "Wirtschafts- und Sozialwissenschaftliches Institut" (Institute of Economic and Social Research - WSI). The WSI was integrated into the Hans-Böckler-Foundation in 1995.

The WSI forms the research department of the Hans-Böckler-Foundation, which is closely related to the DGB and which is to foster co-determination and to promote research and academic study. The WSI works together with the Foundations' other departments to the mutual advantage of all concerned.

Cooperation with the advisory department responsible for promoting co-determination enables a fruitful exchange to take place between theoretical and practical aspects of workforce representation. There is also an intensive dialogue on new developments in employment-related academic fields with the department responsible for research promotion. This ensures that there is beneficial internal competition between the two departments with regard to the quality of their research work. A "Scientific Committee" advises the bodies of the Foundation on all matters relating to research and scientific policy. It has a special role in supervising the activities of the WSI and the department for promotion of research.

There are 25 researchers working in the Institute, 13 of whom with a permanent contract, 10 - with a temporary contract and 2 doctoral students.

Areas of expertise and competencies

The work of the WSI is organised into a number of key areas:

1) Economic policy

This key area examines economic transformation against the background of globalisation. Both quantitative and qualitative changes in employment are a principal focus of interest here.

Sub-themes in this area include:

- Basic elements in a policy of full employment

- Labour market policy

- Structural, regional and industrial policy

2) Welfare state

This key area of research focuses on the implications for systems of social security and taxation of changes in the world of work and in private lifestyles. Of particular interest are proposals suggesting how labour market, social and collective bargaining policy might be changed in order to take into account different lifestyles and various stages in an individual's career.

Key themes and issues here are:

- Percarisation of employment- The future of social security

- Policy on working time

- Development of health an safety

- Gender and family politics

- Distribution of wealth

3) Industrial relations and collective bargaining

This key area of research examines the impact of the changes that industrial relations in Germany have been exposed to for more than a decade.

Central issues in this area are:

- Company restructuring, industrial relations and trade union organisation

- The future of the collective bargaining system

- The future of trade unions and industrial relations

As the principal information centre on trade union policy on collective bargaining, the main task of the WSI Collective Agreement Archive is to track and analyse developments concerning collective agreements. Besides publishing regular status reports on current agreements, the Archive also produces special assessments. The Archive has an internet website providing access to information on specific collective agreements and giving overviews of developments pertaining to collective agreements in all the major sectors. Every year the Archive publishes an analysis of current policy developments relating to collective agreements - the "WSI-Tarifhandbuch".

Many of the research carried out by the WSI includes international comparisons and a European perspective. The WSI is a research partner in various national and European research networks.

Work programme, strategic plan, projects

All projects can be found here.

Publications, language, newsletter

Research results and expert reports produced by the WSI are published mainly in the academic series "Hans-Böckler-Forschung" produced by "edition sigma rainer bohn verlag" in Berlin, but WSI publications also appear in the catalogues of various other publishing houses.

Publications since 1997 can be found in the online-database of publications.

"WSI-Mitteilungen" is a monthly journal providing up-to-date information on the results of research on current issues of relevance to trade unions. It is aimed primarily at the academic and business communities, trade unionists and policymakers. The publication is in German, but summaries in English are available.

Other publications in German: WSI-Diskussionspapiere (scientific research manuscripts of WSI, published irregularly), WSI - Texte, Datenkarte.

Other networks the institute is participating in

The WSI participates as the German partner in the "European Industrial Relations Observatory" (EIRO).

The WSI is also national correspondent of EWCO. Set up in 2003, the European Working Conditions Observatory (EWCO) provides regular information on quality of work and employment issues in the EU Member States and at EU level. The Observatory is supported by an extensive network of correspondents covering all EU countries, plus Norway.