New SEEK Research Projects Launched Focussing on Economic Challenges in Europe

Living standards in Europe vary considerably both within and between the EU Member States. What measures can be taken to counteract these discrepancies on a European and on a national level? Numerous suggestions have been made as to how sustainable, stable growth might be achieved in the eurozone. Would all of these solutions prove to be successful? Which instruments might be implemented in order to achieve effective fiscal and economic governance within the eurozone?

In many areas, digital markets and platforms are becoming evermore important. What are the mechanisms behind them and how are they influencing competition and the labour market? These are the questions being addressed in three new SEEK research projects, begun in April 2016.

The following research projects were selected:

All project proposals were assessed by an expert panel. Projects were selected according to criteria such as the scientific quality and originality of the proposed research, the relevance of the research question, as well as the intensity of the intended international cooperation. In comparison to previous years, the criteria for projects were somewhat different; research questions were asked to be wider, and they were to be addressed by larger project teams for a longer duration. This structural change to projects is expected to result in more comprehensive analysis of complex research questions. This should make research more attractive for third-party funding and develop ZEW's competencies in science-based political consulting.

The ZEW research programme "Strengthening Efficiency and Competitiveness in the European Knowledge Economies" (SEEK) has been funded by the State of Baden-Württemberg since 2010. The overarching aim of the programme is to promote excellent economic research. In addition, a particular focus is placed on developing ZEW's international network. Up to now, researchers at ZEW have completed over 40 practical research projects in collaboration with international partners as part of the SEEK programme.

Convinced of the programme's success, the state of Baden-Württemberg has extended funding for a further three years. Since April, three new SEEK projects have seen ZEW researchers analyse specific aspects of economic development in Europe, thereby identifying the conditions necessary for a sustainable and integrative economy. A particular feature of the new research questions is their practical relevance. Research results translate into policy recommendations, which improve our understanding of the economic challenges faced by Europe and enable policy-makers in Europe to make decisions based on factual evidence.