In all these areas the ifo Institute aims to achieve excellence. The institute’s five fields of action are closely interlinked: research is the basis for policy advice. And the ifo Institute participate in public debates on the basis of newly gained knowledge. Young economists make a significant contribution to achieving excellent research results. The development of junior economists is particularly important to the institute. The ifo Institute’s activities in the area of information and services in turn ensure that our findings reach the various stakeholder groups: through events, media work, or publications.
The ifo Institute analyzes the role of government action with the aim of sustainably maintaining economic prosperity and social cohesion.
The ifo Institute believes that government action must be taken in four key areas. These are based on the functions of the state as formulated by Richard Musgrave in his finance research. Government action should:
1. Ensure that resources are used where they bring the most benefit.
2. Promote the stability and sustainability of economic development.
3. Guarantee social security.
4. Provide as many people as possible with access to education so that they can take advantage of the opportunities offered to them in an open society.
The ifo Institute’s research topics are closely linked to the concept of the social market economy. As a regulatory framework, it simultaneously achieves economic efficiency, stability, and social balance. It has proven its worth over the past decades – not only in Germany, but also in large parts of Europe. The ifo Institute thinks through the concept of the social market economy and adapts it to ensure its continued success under changed economic and political conditions.