Key research topics

WSI research covers issues of employment and institutional change in a globalising world, the quality of work as well as questions of redistribution and social security, industrial relations and collective bargaining policy. The focus of labour market related research is on strategies combating precarious employment, collective wages, employee representation and industrial action. Poverty, health and pension policy, as well as gender inequality are research topics of general social concern. A growing number of projects take a European perspective and draw on international comparisons.

The work of the WSI is organised in five research areas. The following pages inform about our projects and publications:

Labour market and working conditions

non-standard and precarious employment - labour market (de)regulation - quality of work, job-related stress - innovation and productivity more...

Wage policy, collective bargaining and industrial relations

collective bargaining in Germany and Europe - works and staff councils - trade unions - trends in industrial action - role of employers’ associations more...

Social policy and redistribution

welfare state, social security systems - poverty - redistribution of income and assets - redistribution effects of taxation and social policy more...

Gender research

social inequality over the life course - gender inequality at work, gender pay gap - household income relations and division of household tasks more...

Europe and European policies

economic and financial policy issues in Europe - EU democratic deficit - monitoring of EU decisions - ECJ, ECHR, ECB - transnational labour relations more...


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