The Institute of Economic and Social Research (WSI) is an independent academic institute within the Hans-Böckler-Foundation, a non-profit organisation fostering co-determination and promoting research and academic study on behalf of the German Confederation of Trade Unions (DGB). Since it was founded in 1946, the institute's focus has always been on the improvement of life chances, on social justice and fair working and living conditions. Economists, sociologists, political scientists and law scholars work on social, economic and labour market policy issues. On the basis of their analyses, researchers elaborate policy proposals aimed at overcoming labour market restrictions and social problems to the benefit of employees.

WSI Publications in English

Key Research Topics

: Labour market and working conditions

In recent years, labour market policy has been challenged by huge structural changes, most of all by the increase in non-standard and often also precarious forms of employment. Moreover, quality of work has changed – growing job-related stress being one major example.

Forschung Arbeit und Arbeitsmarkt

: Social policy and redistribution

Research is concerned with welfare state and social policy changes, structural causes for the increase in social inequality, and the search for possibilities to foster a fairer distribution of life chances.

Sozial- und Verteilungspolitik

: Gender Research

The focus of WSI gender studies is on the job inequality of men and women and ways to overcome it.

Forschung Gender und Gleichstellung

: Europe and European policies

The research area monitors economic, social and political developments on the European level and evaluates the consequences, risks and opportunities for employees, households, firms and the future of the welfare state.

Recent Publications

Hamjediers, Maik / Peters, Eileen : Switches from gender-atypical towards more gender-typical positions

Research on sex segregation in the labor market has repeatedly found that women and men are more likely to exit from occupations and firms in which they are the numerical minority and subsequently seek positions that are more represented by their gender. Data from the German social security insurance system show, however, that gender compositions of occupations and firms jointly shape attrition from gender-atypical positions, which ultimately perpetuates labor market segregation.

Cover Journal European Societies

Lott, Yvonne / Wöhrmann, Anne : Working-time demands and work-life balance

Spillover and crossover effects of working time demands on work–life balance satisfaction among dual‑earner couples: Findings indicate that high working time demands negatively impact the work–life balance satisfaction of workers and their partners because of work–life conflict experienced either by the workers only or by both partners.

Lott Woehrmann Current Psychology

Routledge 2021 : Minimum wage regimes

Employing cross-country comparisons, sector studies and single country accounts of change, this new book relates institutional and labour market settings, actors’ strategies and power resources with policy and practice outcomes.

Special offers