Five Research Groups at WIFO

Regional Economics and Spatial Analysis


The Research Group has its core competences in analysing spatial and structural developments from an economic policy point of view as well as in studying the business cycle at a regional and sectoral level. The Group's economic policy consulting services cover aspects of (national and European) regional and structural policy, determinants of regional growth, regional location analyses and location concepts, aspects of regional labour market policy, transport, housing, tourism and leisure policies. Apart from such work, the Research Group regularly contributes to the regional and sectoral accounts and forecasts (such as forecasts on regional value added, on regional labour markets, tourism satellite accounts and construction industry forecasts) and provides regional and sectoral business cycle reports. Its model infrastructure centres on multiregional input-output models for Austria (MultiREG) as well as a data set on original data set on Structural Fund projects at EU level.

2021 2022 2023 OE_2021 OE_2022 OE_2023
W 3.1 4.2 0 3.5 5.2 -0.6
N 3.1 4.1 -1.4 3.5 5.2 -0.6
B 1.3 4.9 0.7 3.5 5.2 -0.6
St 4.8 3.8 -1.2 3.5 5.2 -0.6
K 4.7 7 -1.9 3.5 5.2 -0.6
O 6 4 -1.3 3.5 5.2 -0.6
S 1.5 9.9 0.8 3.5 5.2 -0.6
T -0.1 9.8 0.7 3.5 5.2 -0.6
V 3.3 4.3 -1.1 3.5 5.2 -0.6

Evaluation of regional economic policy

This research field concentrates on regional impact analysis (such as major investment projects in construction, infrastructure, transport and tourism) and the causal evaluation of regional policy measures. The Group's empirical analyses build on genuine models (the multiregional input-output model family ADAGIO/ASCANIO, a regional CGE model as well as different time-series models) as much as on (micro) econometric methods (building up i.a. on community and raster data). To this end, the Group has over the past few years set up a model infrastructure that allows modelling not just demand-side effects but also supply-side ones. This infrastructure is unique in Austria. Expertise and care in obtaining the model inputs provide the Group with a major competitive edge over other domestic institutes. Future projects are intended to focus on the identification of causal effects of regional policies on the variables of interest to be evaluated. The Group's econometric expertise and a comprehensive database on economic activities at a highly disaggregated spatial scale (grid data) as well as an original dataset on projects co-financed with EU regional funds in 25 EU countries in the last funding period generate further competitive advantages over national competitors.

Sustainable regional development

This core area of research is focused on the one hand on an analysis of causes and effects of regional disparities and interdependencies with respect to labour market outcomes, competitiveness, convergence, mobility, etc. Research is mainly based on applied spatial econometric methods. On the other hand this core area includes projects dedicated to the design of optimum regional policy measures and to regional policy consulting (regional economic and locational policies, regional budgets and public finance, sustainable mobility concepts, smart cities, etc.). The Group's comprehensive knowledge of the politico-economic landscape in Austria at the regional level implies another competitive advantage over the other economic research institutes in Austria.

Regional structures and structural change

Within the scope of this field, the Group's research is dedicated to regional economic structures and their conversion. In addition the Group monitors regional business cycles. The former scope includes the relation between economic structure, structural change and regional growth as well as the drivers of regional development and structural change (e.g., spillovers, diversity, networks of economic activities, digital transformation). Also questions related to the functioning of competition in spatial markets are part of the further scope of research. Studies are based on the comprehensive expertise on (micro) econometric methods and spatial econometric models. The latter scope includes the monitoring and analysis of recent business cycle developments in the Austrian Länder via periodical reports, as well as recent sectoral developments in tourism, construction and transportation from a regional, national and international perspective.

The Research Group's projects and publications

Current projects

WIFO publications

Books and journals

Staff members