About ZEW

ZEW – Leibniz Centre for European Economic Research

This is the place for anyone interested in economics and science

The ZEW – Leibniz Centre for European Economic Research in Mannheim is a non-profit and independent institute with the legal form of a limited liability company (GmbH). ZEW is a member of the Leibniz Association. 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 building view

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Our Profile

Politically relevant research and science-based policy advice – that is what ZEW stands for.

ZEW is one of Germany’s leading economic research institutes and enjoys a strong reputation throughout Europe. It is a member of the Leibniz Association. Our mission is to conduct research for the benefit of society. In our scientific work – e.g. on digitalisation and innovation, taxes and pensions, equal opportunities and climate protection – we therefore focus on practice-oriented issues. In doing so, our guiding mission is to study the optimal performance and the design of markets and institutions in Europe.


The two main pillars of ZEW’s work are:

  1. economic policy research
  2. evidence-based policy advising

Our research topics

The ZEW´s research guiding principle runs through all nine research units. These form the core of ZEW. Due to our broad spectrum of content, we are able to address central economic issues and enrich the economic policy debate.

In addition, ZEW’s scientific expertise manifests in three overarching focus topics:

People and their impact at ZEW

Our Alumni

ZEW wouldn’t be ZEW without its alumni and alumnae. With more than 500 members, they form a vibrant network.

ZEW in Numbers

The Institute

Founded: 1990

Legal form: GmbH (Limited Liability Company)

Number of employees: 188 (116 Scientists, status: 31 December 2022)

Executive Directors: Prof. Achim Wambach, PhD (President/Director of Science and Research), Thomas Kohl (Managing Director)

Total budget 2022: EUR 21.52 million

Financial Structure

  • Institutional funding: 64%
  • Third-party funding, incl. other earnings: 33%
  • Reserve assets: 3%

Third-Party Funding by Clients

  • German Federal Ministries and Foreign Government Agencies: 48%
  • Federal States: 9%
  • Foundations/DFG/Research Institutions: 28%
  • Companies/Associations: 13%
  • Institutions of the European Union: 2%

Status 2022 (preliminary)

How we do our research

Research Funding

Institutional funding by the federal and state government institutions is the financing basis for ZEW’s research work, accounting for around 60 per cent. Most of the remaining 40 percent of the Institute's financial resources are obtained from research projects for third parties, including the European Commission, ministries and institutions of the federal and state governments, as well as companies, associations, and local authorities.

ZEW's work is conceptually and financially supported by the ZEW Sponsors' Association for Science and Practice (Registered Society), which was founded in 1993. The firms belonging to this organisation facilitate a constant exchange between the domains of research and practice.

Best Academic Practice Guidelines at ZEW

In order to fulfil its responsibility in research, ZEW has committed itself to follow strict guidelines to ensure good scientific practice. The current guidelines are available upon request from the ombudspersons. Professor Irene Bertschek and Professor Christoph Böhringer have been appointed as ombudspersons.

ZEW Sponsors' Association for Science and Practice (Registered Society)

Since its foundation in 1993, the ZEW Sponsors' Association has been promoting the dialogue between science and practice for mutual benefit.

ZEW Research Data Centre

ZEW’s Research Data Centre offers researchers access to research data, primarily individual company data collected in ZEW surveys.

Open Access

ZEW has taken a clear stance for greater transparency and openness with its Open Access strategy.

Sustainability at ZEW

By signing Baden-Württemberg’s WIN Charta in 2017, ZEW officially committed itself to economic, environmental, and social sustainability. The ZEW target concept (PDF file, not barrier-free, 692 KB, German), which was submitted to the state of Baden-Württemberg in March 2018, defines the goals and intended measures for increasing sustainability at the institute. The status of implementation as well as planned future measures are outlined in an annual sustainability report, documenting ZEW’s contribution to sustainability.

Knowledge Transfer

Our communication channels

In order to make the results of ZEW’s research and advisory work visible and to satisfy the needs of our target audience, we use a variety of communication channels:

More about ZEW

Information brochure // 2022

ZEW in brief

Download // 2021

Annual Report

Our Experts

Prof. Achim Wambach, PhD

Prof. Achim Wambach, PhD


Board of Directors

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Prof. Dr. Irene Bertschek

Prof. Dr. Irene Bertschek


Digital Economy

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Prof. Dr. Friedrich Heinemann

Prof. Dr. Friedrich Heinemann


Corporate Taxation and Public Finance

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Prof. Dr. Melanie Arntz

Prof. Dr. Melanie Arntz


Labour Markets and Social Insurance

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Prof. Dr. Sebastian Rausch

Prof. Dr. Sebastian Rausch

Environmental and Climate Economics

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Thomas Kohl

Thomas Kohl

Managing Director

Board of Directors

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Prof. Dr. Tabea Bucher-Koenen

Prof. Dr. Tabea Bucher-Koenen


Pensions and Sustainable Financial Markets

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Dr. Georg Licht

Dr. Georg Licht


Economics of Innovation and Industrial Dynamics

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