Having contributed to the European Commission’s Competitiveness Report  since its early days in 1998, and after heading the international research consortium responsible for the analytic background studies from 2006 to 2014, my current focus is on establishing an efficient data system for Austria, which allows for the timely reporting and consistent monitoring of Austria's Competitiveness in International Comparison. Another focus is to setup and coordinate the WIFO "Thematic Plattform Competitiveness".

Innovation and Competition

Innovation and competition are main drivers of competitiveness, growth and development. Empirical studies suffer from the fact that neither is independent of the other and causality can go both ways. We address their endogeneity by estimating a simultaneous system of structural equations. The first paper established the base model and confirmed the hypothesis of an inverted-U relationship . Further applications demonstrated that innovation and competition exert independent positive impacts on firm productivity . Most recently, we extended the model to the use of IPRs .

Schumpeter and Venture Finance

Joseph A. Schumpeter is regarded as one of the most important economists in the fields of entrepreneurship, innovation and industrial development. In cooperation with Andreas Resch (WU Wien) this research aims to fill important gaps in the reception of Schumpeter’s life and work and to demonstrate his relevance to the understanding of modern venture finance. A surprisingly coherent picture emerges from the study of the much neglected monetary side of his theoretical work, his so far incompletely covered personal history as a broke venture investor, and his intellectual influence on the emerging venture industry in the Boston area from the 1930s on.

Energy Efficient Technologies

Led by Martin Wörter from the ETH Zürich, the ETH, ZEW and WIFO conducted a joint and harmonised enterprise survey for the entire DACH region. We used the data to test the determinants and impacts of innovation and adoption of new energy saving technologies  among Austrian, German and Swiss firms with a focus on policy (instruments and barriers) and impacts on the firms’ energy efficiency and competitiveness. WIFO’s contribution was funded by a research grant from the Austrian Science Fund (FWF).

Productivity Analysis

Co-ordination of the Austrian contribution to the EU KLEMS consortium , where WIFO was responsible for developing the productivity mesures for Austria and do research in the area of productivity, technology, and labour markets. EU KLEMS was funded under the 6th Framework Programme and lead by the Groningen Growth and Development Center (GGDC) under the direction of Bart van Ark.