Institute of the Economics of Innovation

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The Institute for the Economics of Innovation has a threefold research agenda:

  1. It is our goal to study how inventors, scientists and firms create knowledge. This includes the study of whether high-quality peers or high-skilled immigrants make inventors more productive. In particular, we study how science evolves over time and what factors contribute to the advancement of the knowledge frontier.
  2. We focus on applied issues in labour economics, such as migration, human capital and discrimination. Research on the latter is particularly important: what are the economic effects of discrimination based on gender or ethnicity?
  3. We aim to understand how social networks impact the behaviour of individuals. Whether an existing social network, e.g. a migrant community at destination, is a sizable pull-factor for migration decisions is relevant for a more complete understanding of how migration patterns unfold.

Building on the theoretical body of the economics of networks and labour economics, we use applied econometric techniques to disentangle causation from correlation. In many settings we have used historical data to answer the questions in the above. In particular, 20th century data on scientists and their work as well as German economic and financial data from the mid-20th century have been used to better understand these issues.

You can find more information on individual research projects on our webpages: