The possible uses of microsimulation models for individual data have been demonstrated on many occasions. Less well-known, on the other hand, are similar models for the business sector. However, quantitative prognoses of the effects of political intervention or other external factors on firm behaviour also have a role to play in the business sector, to test the effectiveness of political programmes and provide suggestions as to how political action can be made more efficient. This project aims to help show the potential of such models at the micro level in firms.

Thanks to its comprehensive stocks of data, the ZEW is in a position to investigate firm start-ups in Germany, for example. This topic area offers a multitude of possible applications that are well-suited to the use of a microsimulation model. In particular, the Industrial Economics research department hopes that a microsimulation using the ZEW Foundation Panel will provide insights into the effects of demographic change on business dynamics in Germany. In the medium term, the demographic development of the German population will mean a considerable decline in the age groups that have traditionally been responsible for starting businesses. This project will use a microsimulation model drawing on the ZEW Foundation Panel to help analyse business dynamics, with a view to determining what influence the decline of the age groups most involved in start-ups is having on the number of firms and on employment, as well as looking for possible ways to compensate for this decline.

Selected Publications

Discussion and Working Papers

Project duration

01.10.2005 - 31.12.2007

Cooperation partner

Prof. Dr. Helmut Seitz, Technische Universität Dresden, Dresden, DE