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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.

  • Tarifflucht im Land Bremen

    Tarifverträge und Tarifflucht im Land Bremen

    Eine Studie des Wirtschafts- und Sozialwissenschaftlichen Instituts der Hans-Böckler-Stiftung (WSI) und des Instituts Arbeit und Wirtschaft IAW) der Universität Bremen in Zusammenarbeit mit der Arbeitnehmerkammer Bremen, Autoren: Thorsten Schulten, Andreas Friemer, Irene Dingeldey, Malte Lübker
  • Broschüre

    Bremens IT-Branche: Studie über Stärken und Perspektiven im digitalen Wandel

    Die Studie zeichnet ein aktuelles Bild des Umfangs und der inneren Struktur der IT-Branche und gibt Auskunft über die regionalen Entwicklungsbedingungen der IT-Branche im Bundesland Bremen. Insbesondere für die IT-Dienstleistungen zeigt sich eine sehr positive Entwicklung bei den Beschäftigten- wie bei den Betriebszahlen. Insgesamt erhält der Standort in der Branchenumfrage gute Noten, auch wenn von den Unternehmen aus ihrer Perspektive auf einige Mängel, vor allem Probleme bei der Rekrutierung von qualifiziertem Personal, verwiesen wird. Eine besondere Stärke des Standortes Bremen scheint bei der Entwicklung und verschiedenen Anwendungen von künstlicher Intelligenz zu liegen.