Welcome to the Institute Labour and Economy

Founded in 2001, the Institute for Labour and the Economy (Institut Arbeit und Wirtschaft, or IAW) is a joint endeavor of the University of Bremen and the Arbeitnehmerkammer Bremen, a non-profit legal organization that represents the interests of employees in all sectors in the state of Bremen. The IAW researches, develops, and lobbies for political and economic measures that function in our increasingly complex society to benefit workers. With interdisciplinary research, academic consulting, public forums, and political engagement, it contributes to the ongoing public discourse about reshaping the economy and society.

IAW activities

  • basic research, funded by public research funding organizations
  • contract research for companies and public institutions
  • consulting for public institutions, companies, and labor and economic associations
  • evaluations of other institutions
  • moderating labor conflicts
  • organizing events and meetings
  • developing concepts for organisational reforms
  • consulting in organizational development processes
  • organizing public colloquiums
  • publishing research reports and consultation briefings

Research Units

Working in three research units, the IAW combines basic research with applications, and transfers its results into practice via model projects and active cooperation with business.

Research Unit I: Transformation of the Work Society

This unit focuses on the labour market and social policy—on how institutions and actor strategies change in the process of governing working conditions and industrial relations. We examine wage agreements and the interplay between the “social partners”, company regulations, and individual contracts, as well as changes in the way work is organized and the proliferation of new types of employment and work conditions and of professional career patterns. We also explore the consequences of these developments for various forms of social inequality and develop political counterstrategies.

Research Unit II: Perspectives for Sustainable Employability

The employability of workers depends on many interacting factors and changes constantly. We focus first on the quality of vocational and academic pathways leading to employment, changing requirements for employment, and on-the-job training and skill acquisition. Then we look at the organisation of work, working conditions, quality of work, and the health and motivation of employees. Practice-oriented research is the foundation for our organisational design recommendations.

Research Unit III: Regional Development and Fiscal Policy

This research unit analyses regional socio-economic, environmental, and political factors and designs ways to integrate them into multi-level governance. It focuses on economic, financial, and tax policy at the regional level, and on the position of city-states in multi-level governance systems. It comprises consulting, moderation, and evaluation projects in all of these areas.


  • Lürssen kauft Blohm + Voss: Zukunftsfähige Werftengruppe

    Prof. Dr. R. Hickel im Interview mit dem Weser-Kurier zur Übernahme von Blohm+Voss durch die Lürssen-Gruppe
  • Kindertagesbetreuung und Armutsprävention

    Folien zum Vortrag von René Böhme
  • Neue Publikation zu Veränderungen des deutschen Arbeits- und Tarifsystems

    Der Beitrag diskutiert die verschiedenen Veränderungen des deutschen Arbeits- und Tarifsystems der vergangenen Dekaden und arbeitet Muster des institutionellen Wandels heraus. Im Zentrum steht eine Analyse der bislang erkennbaren Anpassungsreaktionen kollektiver und individueller Akteure. Der Artikel von PD Dr. Irene Dingeldey und Dr. Günter Warsewa ist in der aktuellen WSI-Mitteilungen erschienen.
  • Journal of youth studies

    Neue Publikation: Wie erinnern sich junge Menschen an den Zweiten Weltkrieg?

    The paper focuses on the question of how young people today evaluate the Second World War today and how this ‘difficult past’ determines their political attitudes. Furthermore, the channels through which the current young generation in Europe is informed about the events dating back to the first half of the twentieth century (e.g. parents and grandparents, schools, the media) are examined. The theoretical basis chosen for addressing these questions is the work of Mannheim (1928) on the formation of successive generations, and the theories of collective memories and identities of Eisenstadt and his followers. Der Artikel von Wolnik et al. ist 2016 mit dem Titel "Junge Menschen in Deutschland, Dänemark und Finnland: Unterschiedliche Erinnerungsmuster an den Zweiten Weltkrieg" im "Journal of Youth Studies" erschienen.
  • Die Kultur der europäischen Küstenregionen

    Unter dem Titel „European Maritime Regions in Transition. Investigating the Role of Cultural Heritage for the Development of Maritime Metropolitan Regions” trafen sich am 05./06.09.2016 rund 20 Forscherinnen und Forscher aus 7 europäischen Ländern zu einem interdisziplinären Workshop im iaw.
  • Das iaw - mitten im Leben

    Welche Entwicklung nimmt die Arbeitsgesellschaft? Wie wird lebenslanges Lernen bis ins Rentenalter möglich? Wie entwickeln sich Haushalt und Finanzen in Bremen? Solche und ähnliche Themen beschäftigen Wissenschaftlerinnen und Wissenschaftler am Institut Arbeit und Wirtschaft.