Labour Market, Income and Social Security
The Research Group's work is aligned to a mid-term strategy that links subjects of relevance to politics with scientific research
priorities. From a microeconomic point of view, its analytical work focuses on individual behaviour with regard to gainful
employment, its determinants and results as well as on structure and determinants of unemployment. The repercussion of labour
market developments on the need to adjust the system to changing requirements, e.g., in the field of qualification of the
workforce, social security, labour market flexibility, is of special interest for research in this area. Research on socio-economic
systems, on systems of social insurance and distribution focuses on institutional links and options for their design. The
Group also looks into macroeconomic developments as well as technological and social innovations and their impact on
labour market outcome as well as on the distribution of income. Individual decision-making in the labour market and the institutional
arrangements governing education and social welfare systems are interlinked and are of crucial importance not just for an
individual's welfare but also for the overall competitiveness of an economy.
Labour market, labour market policy and unemployment
Evaluation studies have been provided for a broad range of active labour market policy instruments within the last years.
Currently, there is a focus on measures to improve labour market integration of older workers, in particular those with health
impairments, and other groups of hard-to-place unemployed. The research on incentives in disability policy, comprehensive
analysis of reforms and best practice examples provides new findings also for the Austrian labour market. In the field of
evaluation research, the Research Group aims to achieve continuous progress in terms of content and methodology.
A new topic in this Group looks at how to integrate migrants and especially refugees in the Austrian labour market, as this
forms a vital step for integration into society. Gender issues are generally mainstreamed but WIFO runs several research projects
which study exclusive gender issues such as gender equality aspects in Austrian regions. Activities with regard to education
research concentrate on issues of training and further education in the context of labour market integration and social cohesion,
where it touches upon issues of migration policy.
Income policy and income distribution
Current research work includes an analysis of income distribution as well as of the redistributive role of the state. Other
projects involve the study of wage disparities on the labour market from a gender perspective (gender pay gap), as well as
the analysis of part-time wage gaps. Another ongoing strand of research concerns the development of wages and labour costs
in relation to productivity, i.e., the analysis of unit labour costs.
Social security and social insurance systems
Considering that flexibility of gainful employment as well as labour market segmentation are increasing in Austria, social
security on flexible labour markets has become a new research focus. In recent years, the Research Group has gained a profile
in analysing and discussing the new financing needs of the welfare state, an endeavour which it continues with its current
studies and study projects. A concerted effort is made to analyse sustainable models to finance the welfare state.
The Research Group's projects and publications