ifo Institute for Economic Research

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Ifo Institute - Leibniz Institute for Economic Research
at the University of Munich V.
Ifo Institute - Leibniz Institute for Economic Research at the University of Munich  V.
Logo of the Ifo Institute
Category: Economic Research Institute
Carrier: none (legally independent registered association )
Membership: Leibniz Association
Facility location: Munich , branch in Dresden
Type of research: Applied research
Subjects: Economics
Management: Clemens Fuest
Employee: approx. 193 employees
Homepage: www.ifo.de
The main building of the Ifo Institute at Poschingerstraße 5 in Munich
ifo President Clemens Fuest (2012)

The Ifo Institute - Leibniz Institute for Economic Research at the University of Munich e. V. (abbreviated ifo ) is a Munich research institution that deals with the analysis of economic policy and determines the Ifo business climate index on a monthly basis .


The registered association is recognized by the tax office as non-profit . This means, among other things, that donations to the institute are tax-deductible.

The organs of the association are the general assembly, the board of directors, the administrative board, the board of trustees and the scientific advisory board. The board represents the association externally. The articles of association also refer to the chairman of the board as the president. The current president is Clemens Fuest . In addition to the president, the board of directors has one or two other member (s). The administrative board exercises supervision over the executive board. It consists of two members from the Board of Trustees, two members from the Ludwig Maximilians University in Munich , a representative of the federal government, a representative of the Bavarian state government, the chairman of the scientific advisory board and other members elected by the general assembly. The statutory task of the board of trustees is to support the board of directors in fulfilling the tasks of the association. According to the statutes, the board of trustees should include "at least 20 personalities from science, business, politics, trade unions and administration".

In 2010 the institute had 193 employees, around half of whom are scientific staff.

The Institute is as an institute affiliated with the Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich associated.


The Ifo Institute is currently financed to about two thirds from public funds (in the course of joint research funding from the federal government and the states via the Leibniz Association ) and about one third from the proceeds from third-party funded projects, which usually also come from public clients ( "Scientific policy advice"). The so-called "Freundesgesellschaft" also supports the institute financially. According to the website of the Ifo Institute, the society of friends consists of “individuals, commercial companies, business associations and corporations from Germany and abroad”.

The Dresden branch is mainly financed by grants from the Free State of Saxony and, to a lesser extent, by third-party funds.

tasks and activities

The purpose of the association is empirical economic and social science research as well as the provision of data, information and research results in the economic and economic policy sector. The results of the work are made available to the public and are intended to aid decision-making in science, business, politics and administration.

The purpose of the association is therefore:

  • Provision of economic data for the interested public. To this end, the institute also organizes research seminars and lectures by its own and other economists. The renowned Ifo Business Climate Index is the most prominent economic analysis . In the forecast of economic development in Germany in 2014, the Ifo Institute was only in the lower third in terms of quality (accuracy), namely 34th out of 48 institutes that had made a forecast. But the Ifo Institute is striving to reconnect with the leading institutes. With the DICE database , the Ifo Institute also provides cross-country, systematic information on institutions and rules. In addition, the Ifo Institute publishes several economic journals.
  • Collection of this data (e.g. ifo business climate index ) through surveys of companies.
  • Advising the bodies influencing economic policy in Germany , in particular federal and state ministries
  • Development of models to simulate the effects of interventions in the German economy.
  • Economic research: Until 1999, research at the institute was very much tailored to its advisory role. On the recommendation of the Science Council, a more university orientation was implemented from 1999. As a research institution, the Ifo Institute works with many German universities , especially the University of Munich, as well as with numerous research institutes in Germany and abroad.
  • The institute maintains a branch in Dresden, which analyzes the economic development in Saxony and the other new states in particular.


President of the Ifo Institute
Surname Period
Karl Wagner 1949-1955
Hans Langelütke 1955-1965
Karl Maria Hettlage 1965-1976
Karl Heinrich Oppenländer 1976-1999
Hans-Werner Sinn 1999-2016
Clemens Fuest since 2016

The Ifo Institute was founded in 1949 as an information and research center (Ifo) for economic observation with funds from the Bavarian Ministry of the Interior. The founding generation included Wilhelm Marquart and Hans Langelütke , both of whom were responsible for economic statistics in the planning office of the National Socialist four-year plan .

A branch was opened in Dresden in 1993 to analyze the merging of the two parts of Germany . Under the presidency of Hans-Werner Sinn , it became a so-called “affiliated institute” of the Ludwig Maximilians University of Munich , which was also made clear by the addition of “at the University of Munich” and the close cooperation with the CES, which is also managed by Sinn .

Areas of responsibility

Criticism and evaluation

The work of the Ifo Institute is regularly checked and evaluated by representatives of the Leibniz Association . The funding of the institute by the state depends on the assessment of this evaluation commission. In 1998, they criticized the work of the institute and downgraded it to the rank of “research-based service facility”.

In 2006, the evaluation commission described CESifo GmbH, the joint subsidiary of LMU and Ifo Institute, in its report as a “great institution for knowledge transfer and international cooperation”. At the same time, however, she again criticized the research performance of the Ifo Institute itself. She doubted “whether all political advice from the Ifo Institute is based on sufficiently rigorous, empirical research”. The quality of the econometrics was also criticized, which in the opinion of the reviewers does not meet international standards. Overall, however, the Leibniz Association praised the institute's progress. The President who was appointed to the Ifo in 1999, Hans-Werner Sinn , fundamentally reorganized the institute and made it a center of modern, application-oriented economic research and scientific policy advice. The Ifo Institute was classified as a "research-based service facility", but the Senate offered the institute the prospect of returning to the ranks of research facilities "if it presented a coherent work program that clearly shows the contributions of the individual departments to the institute's mission".

The regular evaluation of the Ifo Institute initiated in 2012 by the Senate of the Leibniz Association was completed on July 17, 2013. The research performance of the Ifo Institute is "very good, in some cases even excellent," according to the Leibniz Association's statement. The Leibniz Association recognized the performance of the Board of Directors and particularly emphasized the work of President Hans-Werner Sinn, who had repeatedly succeeded in initiating important public debates on a wide variety of topics. Overall, the positive development of the "research, service and consulting work" was again emphasized.

In 2013, according to the Senate of the Leibniz Association , the Ifo Institute was one of the leading European economic research institutes. It performs an "important bridging function between academic research and policy advice".

Individual studies are still criticized in public. For example, in relation to an investigation into electric cars in 2019 , the institute was accused of being flawed and "back in the same direction" as the 2017 study by the Swedish environmental research institute IVL. In 2015, researchers at the Ifo Institute in Dresden, which is in Germany Newly introduced minimum wages cost up to 900,000 jobs. In fact, it had practically no negative impact on the number of jobs.


Until 2009, the Ifo Institute received joint funding from the federal and state governments as an “institution that mainly performs scientific infrastructure tasks” (service institution). After submitting the new work program and re-examining it by the evaluation commission, the Joint Science Conference of the Federal and State Governments (GWK) decided at its meeting on November 2, 2009 to promote the Ifo Institute again from January 2010 as a “predominantly research institution”. With its decision, the GWK followed the recommendation of the Senate of the Leibniz Association of March 4, 2009.


Book series

  • Ifo Contributions to Economic Research
  • ifo research reports
  • ifo Dresden Studies
  • EEAG report
  • Ifo Economic Policy (publisher Edward Elgar)
  • CES Munich Lectures Series (Verlag MIT Press)
  • CESifo Seminar Series (MIT Press)
  • CESifo Book Series (MIT Press)


  • CESifo Economic Studies (Oxford University Press)
  • ifo express service
  • CESifo Forum
  • ifo DICE Report
  • ifo World Economic Survey
  • Ifo Economic Perspectives
  • ifo Dresden reports

Working papers

  • ifo Working Papers
  • CESifo Working Papers

Web links

Individual evidence

  1. https://www.cesifo-group.de/de/ifoHome/CESifo-Group/ifo/ifo-Mitarbeiter/cvifo-fuest_c.html
  2. ^ Website of the Ifo Institute: Information on association membership (accessed on July 1, 2013)
  3. https://www.cesifo-group.de/de/ifoHome/CESifo-Group/ifo/ifo-Mitarbeiter/cvifo-fuest_c.html
  4. Ifo Institute - current statutes
  5. Annual report 2011  ( page no longer available , search in web archivesInfo: The link was automatically marked as defective. Please check the link according to the instructions and then remove this notice.@1@ 2Template: Toter Link / www.cesifo-group.de  
  6. ^ Website of the ifo Institute: Information on the Society of Friends (accessed on July 1, 2013)
  7. Süddeutsche Zeitung of December 19, 2014, p. 18.
  8. https://www.cesifo-group.de/de/ifoHome/CESifo-Group/ifo.html
  9. Götz Aly, Susanne Heim: Vordenker der Vernichtung, Fischer-Taschenbuch-Verlag, Frankfurt am Main 1993, p. 54.
  10. a b Criticism: Quality weaknesses at the Ifo Institute. Wirtschaftswoche, May 6, 2006, accessed July 1, 2013 .
  11. Leibniz Association Evaluation Unit (Ed.): Ifo Institute for Economic Research (Ifo) , Evaluation Report of June 14, 2006, p. B2, available as a PDF file on the Leibniz Society website: Senate opinions (PDF; 748 kB ).
  12. Leibniz Association Evaluation Unit (Ed.): "Ifo Institute for Economic Research (Ifo), Evaluation Report of June 14, 2006, p. 2, available as a PDF file on the Leibniz Society's website: Senate statements (PDF; 748 kB).
  13. leibniz-gemeinschaft.de: Statement by the Leibniz Senate on the Ifo Institute of July 17, 2013, p. 3. (PDF; 1.3 MB)
  14. a b Interference desired, WirtschaftsWoche (print edition), No. 31, July 29, 2013, p. 34.
  15. leibniz-gemeinschaft.de: Statement by the Leibniz Senate on the Ifo Institute of July 17, 2013 (accessed on July 18, 2013, p. 2; PDF; 1.3 MB)
  16. Ifo Institute calculates e-cars badly - and makes many mistakes , in Focus from April 18, 2019
  17. https://www.sueddeutsche.de/wirtschaft/oekonomie-forschung- Fehler- 1.4192926
  18. https://makronom.de/so-weit-klaffen-die-prognosen-zu-den-haben-des-mindestlohns-und-die-realitaet-aus einer- 20490
  19. Leibniz Association Evaluation Unit (Ed.): "Ifo Institute for Economic Research (Ifo), Senate statement of March 4, 2009, p. 2, available as a PDF file on the WGL page Senate Opinions (PDF; 81 kB) .

Coordinates: 48 ° 9 ′ 10.8 ″  N , 11 ° 36 ′ 18.6 ″  E