The Centre for European Economic Research (ZEW) in Mannheim is a nonprofit and independent institute with the legal form of a limited liability company (GmbH). Founded in 1990 on the basis of a public-private initiative in the Federal State of Baden-Württemberg in co-operation with the University of Mannheim, ZEW is one of Germany's leading economic research institutes, and enjoys a strong reputation throughout Europe.
ZEW pursues four key objectives:
• To conduct research of the highest quality
• To provide exceptional economic policy advising
• To train young economists, and
• To inform the professional and lay public
The institute focuses on decision-makers in politics, economics, and administration, scientists in the national and international arena as well as the interested public. Regular interviews on the situation on the financial markets and the economic situation of the information industry as well as the large-scale annual study on innovation activities in the German economy are representative for the different types of information provided by ZEW to the public.
ZEW Research Efforts
Under the leadership of Prof. Achim Wambach, PhD, the president of the Institute, and Thomas Kohl, the director of business and administration, ZEW currently employs a staff of about 195 in six research departments, three research groups, and three service areas. In order to ensure a high standard of excellence in research, ZEW promotes international co-operation with universities (e.g. integration in doctoral programmes) and the ongoing development of its staff by granting periods of paid release from normal project work. These sabbaticals can be used for postgraduate doctorates, postdoctoral theses, or fellowships at renowned universities and research institutions.
ZEW's guiding mission is to study the "optimal performance of markets and institutions in Europe". To this end, ZEW applies a plurality of methodologies, with a clear focus on microeconomic and microeconometric research. The institute co-operates closely with other scientific disciplines to address research questions. In this context, the research institute distinguishes itself, inter alia, in the analysis of internationally comparative questions in the European context and in the creation of data bases which are eminently important as a basis for scientific research. In addition, ZEW provides external persons and bodies with excerpts of selected data stocks for the purpose of scientific research.
The high quality of ZEW's research work was confirmed in 1998, when the German Council of Science and Humanities evaluated ZEW and recommended its inclusion in the joint state and federal funding programme. Since 2005, the Institute has received basic funding from this programme. ZEW is a member of the Leibniz Association, a network of research institutes with outstanding scientific qualifications. Evaluations in regular intervals ensure the quality of the work performed in the research units and its orientation towards the institute's research programme. Evaluations are carried out by the Scientific Advisory Council of ZEW, which is composed of renowned German and foreign scientists as well as of executives from the economy and public administration.