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.
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.
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.
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.
What is the connection between social circumstances and democratic integration in times of change? Survey data show that secure, well-paid work, recognition and creative opportunities protect against anti-democratic orientations
EU minimum wages: In comparison with the original commission proposal, the EMPL report adopted on 25.11.2021 marks a clear improvement. The confirmation by the plenary of the European Parliament has strengthened the negotiation mandate.
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.
Coalition Dynamics in the German Union Movement: What drives union strategy? Selective benefits or public goods? Taking the German case over the period 1964 to 2018, the article investigates the logics shaping unions coalitions.
The 2020 bargaining round took place in a context dominated by the Covid-19 pandemic: Agreed pay rose by an average of 2.0 per cent in 2020, i.e. due to Corona, at a much lower rate than in preceding years.