The IW's Education, Immigration and Innovation competence area is researching how education and immigration contribute to securing skilled labor.
The experts scrutinise the educational system from early-childhood teaching, primary and secondary schools right up to tertiary education. The focus is on both monitoring educational processes and policy developments as well as issues of funding and fairness with respect to the education system. Our economists analyse the contribution of migration to securing a skilled workforce, examine the importance of workers qualified in STEM subjects (science, technology, electronics and mathematics) for a country’s innovation performance and investigate whether such workers are sufficiently available to the labour market. The unit identifies potential bottlenecks and suggests how these might be removed.
The experts in this unit work on requirements for an efficient and performance-oriented school system. Moreover, they analyse how pupils can develop appropriate competences to start a vocational training. To guarantee that all people in Germany have access to basic skills, the researchers engage in the project AlphaGrund. This project, amongst other things, develops and implements training and educational concepts to acquire basic skills at the workplace. Furthermore, the experts develop proposals concerning the funding of academic education. They analyse the effects of the Bologna-reform and provide research on the private sector’s involvement at German universities. Additionally, they compare the latest developments of the educational policy in the different German federal states. The results are published annually in the Bildungsmonitor (education monitor) which is based on established educational economics categories like educational equality and returns on education.
The economists analyse how migration contributes to securing the supply of skilled workers for the German economy. To encourage immigration to Germany, this unit develops and runs the Welcome Portal for foreign professionals Make it in Germany on behalf of the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy. The multilingual website provides information on how foreign skilled professionals can successfully find their way to Germany – and what makes living and working here worth it.
The unit Innovation and STEM identifies the drivers of technological change as well as ways to increase their impact. Therefore, the research focuses for instance on the patent system and the governmental funding of research and development. Skilled professionals are particularly important for an economy’s innovative capacity. The German business model is based on export-oriented high-technology industries like mechanical engineering, vehicle manufacturing, electrical and chemistry industry. These industries employ a high number of qualified STEM workers. To ensure the future success of the German business model, it is important to secure the availability of such skilled workers. Within the framework of the initiative MINT-Zukunft schaffen (STEM- Shaping the future), the unit examines the availability and demand for STEM workers and investigate the labour market for engineers on behalf of the Association of German Engineers (VDI). As a result, the researchers develop measures for securing the supply of skilled workers in Germany.
If Germany does not succeed in attracting immigrants on a large scale in the next few years, the working-age population will decline sharply. According to the European population projection EUROPOP from 2019, the number of 20–64-year-olds could be 11.2 percent lower in 2030 than in 2020, if there would be no migration. In this case, a decline of only 6.9 percent would be expected in the EU average, and only Lithuania would show a more negative development.
Social and political change necessitates corresponding innovations in motor vehicle technology. This paper analyses the nature of current technological progress in Germany’s motor vehicle industry.
The first lockdown in spring 2020 had a negative impact on the labor market integration of refugees in Germany.
In the last 20 years, the role models of mothers in Germany have changed to a great degree, as an evaluation of the Socio-Economic Panel (SOEP) shows.
In recent decades marriage has become less important. While in 1991 60.2 per cent of adults in Germany were married, in 2019 this was true of only 51.0 per cent. And with a fall from 79.7 to 60.7 per cent over the same period, the decline in the medium age range of 40- to 49-year-olds has been even steeper.