The Hamburg Institute of International Economics (HWWI) is an independent economic research institute that carries out basic and applied research, while providing impetus for business, politics and society.
HWWI's roots go back to 1908 when the Institute was founded by Hamburg merchants who wanted to understand the global economy, its state and perspectives. In this regard, the HWWI is the oldest economic research institute in Germany.
The Hamburg Chamber of Commerce is the sole shareholder of the HWWI. The Helmut Schmidt University is an associated scientific partner of the Institute.
The HWWI's research activity spans over four areas. Metatrends such as globalization, digitization, demographic change, sustainability, and urbanization are thereby addressed as transversal objectives in various dimensions.
International Economics and Trade
The dynamic growth of international trade has been one of the most significant global development trends in recent decades. In this context, the idea of the boundless international exchange of goods and, increasingly, capital and labour has become one of the key hallmarks of our 21st century society. However, due to protectionist tendencies, the wide-ranging instruments of trade policy have appeared on the political agenda again. Also, there are signs that globalization is about to enter a new phase, in which digitization, access to critical resources, as well as questions concerning the distribution of global wealth will become key to further economic development. The research area International Economics and Trade addresses the short- and long-term consequences of this evolution. It analyses the determinants of international flows of goods, capital and knowledge, gaining understanding of current trends. Methodologically, it makes use of a wide range of state-of-the-art econometric methods.
The Institute for Digital Economics and Applied Solutions IDEAS@HWWI addresses the digital revolution which is rapidly and fundamentally changing markets, competition and industries. By focusing on research in digital economics it is possible to help business and politics tackle the complex challenges of the digital transformation. IDEAS@HWWI carries out quantitative analyses and develops specific models, methods and solutions to understand the underlying economic relationships. It plans to design user-oriented, interdisciplinary approaches that can be experimentally tested with the goal of initiating innovation processes and fostering knowledge transfers. One feature is Bridges2Future@HWWI which serves as an Events platform. By gaining a better understanding of the interaction of technology, economics and regulation IDEAS@HWWI intends to actively shape economic and social transformation processes.
Our project Hammerbrooklyn.DigitalCampus
Labour, Education and Demography
Researchers in the area of Labour, Education and Demography (LED) conduct empirical research using modern quantitative methods based on German and European data in the field of applied microeconometrics, with a focus on labour economics, the economics of education, and family economics. Human capital related decisions, their determinants and outcomes lie at the center of our research, with a special emphasis on earnings, educational mismatch, and the role of parents' resources in children’s educational pathways. Another aspect of our research relates to employment decisions and time use for unpaid work in the household context. Furthermore, we analyse how socio-economic trends like demographic and technological change shape individual behavior and how this feeds back into macroeconomic phenomena like labour shortages, segregation, or income inequality. The research output of the LED area regularly contributes to the public debate and forms the basis of our engagement in political advice. Furthermore, it is disseminated to the scientific community via articles and presentations for scientific journals and conferences.
Energy and Environmental Economics
At the global level, the consumption of energy and resources continues to rise, due to an increase in population and wealth. Against this background, developed nations have committed themselves to the goal of restricting resource use in order to combat its adverse consequences like climate change. Sustainable development, which aligns economic growth with ecological aims, remains one of the biggest challenges of our time. In the HWWI research area Energy and Environmental Economics, we analyse the corresponding policy approaches. To this end, we make extensive use of micro- and macroeconomic models. Moreover, we put particular emphasis on interdisciplinary work, as the perspectives of natural scientists and engineers are central for the understanding of our topics. The spatial focus of our analysis is the regional level. Nevertheless, we also address the national and global implications of our results.
Economics of Cities and Regions
The research area Economics of Cities and Regions addresses structural and economic changes in urban and rural areas with a focus on Northern Germany and the Northern and Baltic Sea region. A region’s growth potential and competitiveness can be identified based on the analysis of location factors such as demographic change, the availability and qualifications of workers, innovativeness, or quality of life. It is further important to consider the quality of the existing infrastructure, the availability of real estate, the industry composition and the economic activity of small and medium-sized entreprises. Researchers in Hamburg and Bremen analyze these topics for decision-makers at the national and European levels, using official statistics, available research data and their own economic models. In addition, the team conducts its own surveys. The quantitative and qualitative results are translated into recommendations for public policies as well as business strategies.
An overview of our current international projects.
MICADO – Migrant Integration Cockpits and Dashboards. MICADO provides innovative communication and interaction tools for managing the integration of migrants in cities across the EU, to be piloted in Hamburg, Madrid, Bologna and Antwerp. This project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 innovation action Programme under grant agreement No 822717.
Project "Baltic Game Industry – Empowering a Booster for Regional Development" (BGI) aims at boosting the game industry in the Baltic Sea region (BSR), increasing the capacity for innovation and transforming the game industry in the region into a global player with worldwide competitiveness. BGI is an Interreg North Sea Region project started in October 2017, with a duration of 3 years.
Project "Strengthening smart specialisation by fostering transnational cooperation (GoSmart BSR)" is implemented with the support from the European Regional Development Fund Baltic Sea Region Programme 2014-2020. From October 2017 to September 2020 project unites 8 partners from 7 countries, and it aims to increase capacity of innovation actors to apply smart specialisation approach.
REPLACE - REgional PoLicy Actions for Circular Economy - has the goal of integrating, deploying and capitalizing on lessons learnt through the H2020 project SCREEN by engaging policy-makers and managing authorities with the common objective of improving Regional Operational Programmes (ROPs) to enhance CE performances, aligning with the European Commission's Circular Economy Action Plan.
DecomTools is a part of the Interreg North Sea Region Programme. The project focuses on the sustainable and efficient decommissioning of offshore wind farms after the end of their life cycle. Both cost and emissions of decommissioning are to be driven down, demonsrated by pilot actions. The duration of the project will be four years. The total budget amounts to approximately 4.7 million euros.
The project BIO-PLASTICS EUROPE addresses the topic „Sustainable solutions for bio-based plastics on land and sea”. It intends to develop sustainable strategies and solutions for bio-plastic products. This project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 innovation action Programme.
The BSR S3 Ecosystem platform aligns smart specialisation initiatives to better steer investments across the Baltic Sea region. By sharing best practices, it activates research and academic communities, industry and public entities to strengthen the regional innovation ecosystem. The platform builds on the experiences of Interreg Baltic Sea Region’s projects LARS,BSR Stars S3, Smart-up BSR and GoSmart BSR, as well as S34 Growth, BIOREGIO, ClusterFy and TraCS3, co-founded by Interreg Europe.
Where there are far-reaching decisions to be made, be they political or economic in nature, the basis for these decisions must be informed. For this reason, HWWI researchers generate practical knowledge to benefit cognitive interest and to impart individual expertise within our comprehensive consultation process.
Hamburg Institute of International Economics (HWWI)
20097 Hamburg, Germany
Phone: +49 (0)40 340576-0
Fax: +49 (0)40 340576-776
Registered office of the gemeinnuetzige GmbH: Amtsgericht Hamburg, HRB 94303
Value added tax identification number: DE 241849425
Director & CEO: Prof. Dr. Henning Vöpel