The research unit "Labor market and self-employment" examines issues around the labor supply of individuals and the challenges and chances of starting an own business.
In our work, we apply and combine insights and approaches from Economics, Management, and Sociology. We use a broad range of methodologies ranging from exploratory, qualitative interviews, statistical analyses of large scale secondary data, and the collection and examination of new data up to conducting survey and field experiments to identify relevant causal effects.
We aim at pairing high scientific quality with the derivation of concrete and practice-oriented recommendations for decision-makers in politics, administration, organizations, and businesses.
The already existing scarcity of skilled labor in many industries and the upcoming retirement of the large baby-boomer cohorts are especially challenging for small and medium enterprises which recruit most of their employees on the domestic labor market and are therefore more dependent on national developments. The research focus "Labor market" therefore examines phenomena which affect the size and quality of current labor supply, in particular in the areas of migration and integration as well as education and qualification.
The ongoing economic and social changes influence the scope and character of independent work and have led to profound changes in the determinants for starting and running an own business in the last couple of years. In order to understand and learn more about these processes, we concentrate our work in the research focus "Self-employment" on the impact of individual resources (e.g., education and know-how) and socio-economic conditions (e.g., the social environment, institutions, and regional structures) on independent entrepreneurial activities. In doing so, we put special emphasis on migrants, women, and new forms of self-employment.