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Digitalization, Structural Change and Competition

The researchers of the Structural Change and Competition unit monitor corporate activity in a constantly changing market environment.

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The markets which form the competitive environments for companies can differ widely, varying, for instance, in the composition of supply and demand and in the institutional framework that flanks all business activities. In addition, markets are constantly changing – nowadays in particular because of the digitization of all areas of life.

Against this backdrop, the economists of the research unit Structural Change and Competition examine the strategic behavior of companies, the design of markets and the impact of government regulation on competition.

The aim of the research is to provide policy recommendations in order to foster efficient and welfare-enhancing competition and facilitate successful business creation and development.

The researchers particularly focus on the effects of digitization on competition. The increasing interconnectedness of people, machines and processes and the associated automation and intelligent self-organization of production (autonomy) implies many questions and challenges for industry, policy and society.

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Sections of the Research Unit

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Vera Demary

Dr. Vera Demary

Head of the Research Unit Digitalization, Structural Change and Competition

Tel: +49 221 4981-749
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Jan Büchel

Jan Büchel

Economistfor Industrial Economics and Competition

Tel: +49 221 4981-415
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Barbara Engels

Barbara Engels

Senior Economist for Industrial Organization and Competition

Tel: +49 221 4981-703
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Klaus-Heiner Röhl

Dr. Klaus-Heiner Röhl

Senior Economist for Firms

Tel: +49 30 27877-103
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Christian Rusche

Dr. Christian Rusche

Senior Economist for Industrial Organization and Competition

Tel: +49 221 4981-412
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Studies and contributions

48 results
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An Empirical Stocktaking
IW-Trends No. 1 19. April 2022

Data Management by Companies in Germany: An Empirical Stocktaking

Jan Büchel / Barbara Engels

Companies that exploit their own data can use it to analyse and improve their business processes and thus improve their results. Firms can also benefit from using data jointly with other companies.


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Exploiting potential for sustainable growth
IW-Report No. 12 25. March 2022

European competitiveness: Exploiting potential for sustainable growth

Hubertus Bardt / Sandra Parthie / Christian Rusche

The EU's position as a major global economic power is increasingly under threat. On the one hand, this is a consequence of the crises that the EU has faced in the last two decades. In particular, these include the global financial crisis (2007-2009), the euro crisis (2010-2012), the refugee crisis (2015-2016), Brexit (2016-2020), the Corona pandemic since 2020 and the war in Ukraine from 2022.


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Does the Future Fund bring new impetus to the start-up culture?
IW-Policy Paper No. 28 2. December 2021

Start-ups and venture capital in Germany: Does the Future Fund bring new impetus to the start-up culture?

Klaus-Heiner Röhl

This policy paper shows the development of foundations of new companies and start-ups in Germany and, after a look at the international venture capital markets, presents the Future Fund, with which the German government wants to put start-up financing on a new footing.


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To what extent do start-ups and venture capital serve as growth drivers
IW-Report No. 44 2. December 2021

Start-ups and economic growth in an international comparison

Klaus-Heiner Röhl / Leonie Heuer

This IW Report analyses the importance of entrepreneurial activity and Venture Capital for economic growth. Potential growth has declined significantly in the highly developed countries in recent years.


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An Empirical Analysis with Footfall Data
IW-Trends No. 3 7. September 2021

A Coronavirus Shock for the Retail Sector in German City Centres

Henry Goecke / Christian Rusche

The Corona pandemic and the measures taken to contain the virus have delivered an asymmetrical shock to German business. This asymmetry is exemplified by the effects on the retail trade, an import ant part of the nation’s economy.


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