Field of Activities
The ifo Institute is one of the major German economic research institutes. It examines short-term developments in the overall economy and in individual sectors as well as longer-term tendencies and structural changes of the German and European economy. The institute regularly conducts short-term forecasts, medium-term business cycle perspectives and long-term growth scenarios, both for the economy as the whole and for individual sectors and industries. In its various business surveys the institute gathers and analyses data from many thousand firms monthly. The ifo Institute publishes for about 70 years the main survey findings, e.g. the well-known ifo Business Climate (based on ca. 9,000 survey responses). The institute also analyses current and projected economic policy measures and puts forward its own economic policy recommendations.
Setting-up and status
The ifo Institute was founded in 1949 in Munich as a non-profit, independent research organisation and has the legal status of a registered society. Since 2002 there is an institutional link to the University of Munich as basis for a strong co-operation.
The ifo Institute is structured in the following eight ifo Centers (research departments):
Macroeconomics and Surveys; Public Finance and Political Economy; Labor and Demographic Economics; Economics of Education; Industrial Organization and New Technologies; Energy, Climate and Resources; International Economics; International Institutional Comparisons and Migration Research. In addition, there is one research group for Taxation and Fiscal Policy, as well as, a branch office in Dresden, where specific topics are dealt with.
With around 200 staff members, the ifo Institute covers the whole spectrum of economic activity. Around two-thirds of the Institute’s funds are provided by the government, according to the general agreement on the joint financial support of research in Germany. The remaining one-third of the funds are mainly raised through contract research, multi-client studies, conference fees and foundation grants. The research contracts are primarily awarded by federal and state ministries, international organisations and the EU Commission, business associations and private companies. Membership fees and the sale of the institute’s various publications contribute also to the funding of the organisation.