Five years ago, Angela Merkel coined the now famous phrase “Wir schaffen das” (“We can do it”) in the midst of a crisis situation, as more and more migrants made their journey to Europe on the Balkan route. But what can the countries that take in immigrants do to integrate them? What consequences can be expected from accepting and integrating immigrants with regard to the attitudes towards migration issues in these countries? These and other questions were discussed at the international workshop “Immigration, Integration and Attitudes” that took place on 22 and 23 September 2020 at ZEW Mannheim.
Dr. Laura Pohlan, a researcher in the ZEW Research Group “Market Design”, received the 2020 “Forschungspreis Soziale Markwirtschaft” (“Social Market Economy Research Award”) by the Roman Herzog Institute (RHI) Munich on 7 October 2020. She was awarded the third prize for her dissertation on the social consequences of unemployment and the effects of direct and indirect state measures on employment. She wrote her dissertation while still working in the ZEW Research Department “Labour Markets and Human Resources”. The award ceremony was held online.
Young companies are particularly hard hit by the coronavirus crisis, since firms that have not been in the market for a long time are less able to cushion the effects of the crisis. Especially innovative high-tech firms face a great number of challenges. As these start-up companies create knowledge and develop new technologies, it would be very damaging for the German economy if they do not survive the crisis, explains ZEW economist Jürgen Egeln. In the latest episode of the #ZEWPodcast he talks about how young and innovative companies are suffering from the current crisis and what support measures they need. While this editions was published in German, there are plans to produce English editions of the podcast as well.
Real estate financing
| Residential real estate
The German Real Estate Financing Index (DIFI) of ZEW Mannheim and JLL rises again, but remains in negative territory at minus 36 points. After a slight decline in the sentiment indicator at the beginning of the year (by minus 3.7 points) to minus 18.9 points, and a plunge of 37.8 points in the second quarter to an index level of minus 56.7 points, the DIFI has now improved by more than 20 points in the third quarter compared to the previous quarter. At present, however, the indicator continues to remain below the values registered since the the survey began in 2011.
Economics has now also come to the schools of North Rhine-Westphalia. Starting in the school year 2020/21, economics is to become a mandatory subject in all secondary schools in this state – North Rhine-Westphalia is taking the step that Baden-Württemberg took four years ago.
| Pension finance
| Public pension system
| old age provision
| Occupational pension schemes
| Private pension provision
The German Federal Cabinet has adopted a draft law for the introduction of a digital pension platform. An information portal will be set up under the German Pension Authority (Deutsche Rentenversicherung Bund) in order to cover all three pillars of old-age provision, namely statutory, occupational, and private. The portal should be able to show how much money you have saved and what monthly pension payments you can expect at retirement. In this interview, ZEW economist Professor Tabea Bucher-Koenen talks about why a digital pension platform is so important.
| Data protection
| data economy
Since the coronavirus-related shutdown in spring, companies and employees in Germany have made extensive use of remote working. In the digital event #ZEWlive, Professor Irene Bertschek, head of the ZEW Research Department “Digital Economy”, and Luka Mucic, CFO of SAP SE, discussed how the experience gained during the coronavirus crisis could be of benefit in the long term. This edition of the #ZEWlive digital event series focused on “COVID-19 and the Digital Economy: The Crisis as an Opportunity?”. The event was moderated by the journalist Elif Şenel and attracted about 150 spectators, who could participate in the discussion via chat.
ZEW Economist Tabea Bucher-Koenen in the #ZEWPodcast
04.09.2020 · ZEW (tbk/chs)
| old age provision
The German Federal Cabinet plans to introduce a digital pension platform, having already adopted a draft law to this end. An information portal will be set up under the German Pension Authority (Deutsche Rentenversicherung Bund) in order to cover all three pillars of old-age provision, namely statutory, occupational, and private. The portal should be able to show how much money you have saved and what monthly pension payments you can expect at retirement. In the latest episode of the #ZEWPodcast, ZEW economist Professor Tabea Bucher-Koenen talks about why a digital pension platform is important and how knowledge about financial topics affects saving for old age. While the first three editions were published in German, there are plans to produce English editions of the podcast as well.
Human Resource Management
| Manpower planning
| Manpower Planning and Development
The labour market was particularly hard hit by the coronavirus crisis. As a result of the pandemic, there has been a shift away from existing practices and the usual processes – which also applies to the area of human resources management. ZEW Mannheim was able to quickly adapt to these new circumstances and successfully continue its staff planning process. Over the past months, the HR department of ZEW held a total of 77 interviews and hired 14 new employees as well as an apprentice. “While there is a great deal of uncertainty in the labour market and although we have had to find new ways to manage the application process, we were able to fill our vacancies in the research departments as planned,” says Katharina Pakebusch, head of the HR department at ZEW, summarising the situation.
The European Commission’s ban of the planned merger of the Siemens and Alstom train divisions in May 2019 put the issue on the front page: Is the European internal market well equipped to adequately deal with the challenges posed by the China’s economy and Chinese companies, such as the railway giant China Railway?