The Research Group analyses macroeconomic developments in Austria and the global economy with a focus on national and European economic policy. Its key activity is the analysis of business cycles, economic growth, prices, financial markets and the public sector. This research is incorporated into economic policy decisions in Austria and receives considerable public attention. The regular forecasts combine the expertise of the entire WIFO and provide a forum for discourse of current economic policy issues.Among the most important tasks of the Research Group are:
The Research Group is supported by a team of research assistants with a high level of competence in the preparation, maintenance and presentation of large and complex economic data sets. This comprehensive data knowledge lays the ground for the development of a large number of models and economic analyses, which are used both internally and outside WIFO. The macroeconometric model WIFO-Macromod represents the macroeconomic relationships of the Austrian economy on an annual basis. It is used to provide medium-term forecasts and to estimate the macroeconomic effects of economic policy measures. In this context a composite model approach with the WIFO microsimulation model is frequently used: results for private households from the micro-model are used as input for the macroeconomic simulations with WIFO-Macromod.
The Research Group regularly prepares empirical studies on relevant economic policy issues with a macroeconomic focus. For instance, we examine the relationship between productivity and inclusive growth, and analyse macroeconomic aspects of digitisation and its impact on public finances. Another key research area is the analysis of Austrian and European fiscal policy – currently the EU budget or the reforms of the EU and the monetary union as well as different areas of government revenues and expenditures. In addition, issues such as fiscal federalism and the efficiency of public administration are investigated. In this context, studies have been conducted on the expenditure dynamics of fiscal authorities and on the stability-compliant consideration of public investment. Taxation issues are also regularly addressed, e.g., the effects of the introduction of a common consolidated corporate tax base in Austria, the budget effects of various options for a financial transaction tax or gender aspects of taxation.
Analyses of the capital market and the banking sector are also among the Research Group's research activities. Furthermore, alternative indicators for measuring progress and prosperity of an economy taking into account economic, ecological and social aspects ("Beyond GDP") are also on the research agenda of the Research Group.