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Goals and Mission of the Department of Economics

It is the main objective of the Department of Economics to provide excellent research and teaching. Through its activities, it aims at contributing to the solution of today’s most important economic problems.

Research

In particular, the Department strives for international recognition through publication of research papers in leading refereed journals and through international visibility at high-level conferences. Thus, the members of the Department orient themselves in their activities and methods to the standards employed by international scientific journals to publishable research. 

The Department tries to achieve a balance between basic and applied research. In both contexts, research has to be carried out independently from the interests of specific groups in society or funders. Empirical, quantitative research focuses particularly on the evaluation of policy measures. The Department is in a leading position in Austria with respect to research in applied microeconomics and the application of corresponding econometric methods.

The fields of research are determined by the specific interests and experiences of the Department’s staff members as well as by considerations of the developments in science and society. Currently the main research areas are:

  • Applied microeconomics with a focus on labour, health and related fields
  • Industrial organisation
  • Macroeconomics, trade and the public sector
  • Quantitative research

In all of these fields, the particular success of the Department’s research activities is documented through publications in reputable and internationally refereed scientific journals. The Department is ranked first in Austria and 105 worldwide, e.g. in the IDEAS ranking considering only the 10 best economists each (last update: June 2018).

Teaching

In a similar manner, it is our goal to provide the students with an education corresponding to international standards. Such education is based on the results of scientific research. Society essentially depends on economic reasoning (knowledge of economic mechanisms, incentive effects of policy measures) in almost all of its segments. It is therefore an important mission for the Department to offer relevant economics courses in all fields of study within the Faculty of Social Sciences, Economics and Business. The students are, thus, brought in a position to identify causes of economic changes and to estimate their consequences for her/his professional environment. Moreover, business students will get an introduction into the functioning of market interactions and of economic principles behind decision-making in firms.

For students specialising in Economics, the Department offers advanced courses that are designed to make the students gather special knowledge in various areas of economics as well as the general methodology of economic reasoning through models. The objective is to convey a universally applicable set of methods but also a critical reflection and demonstration of their limitations. A unique selling point of the Department is to provide students with knowledge and command of quantitative methods to evaluate policies and analyse actions of economic agents. This set of skills is an essential asset for students in their future career – both in Economics as well as in Business.

The Department of Economics offers the students many possibilities to interact with department members on a regular basis; internships are very common and fruitful for students to learn the craft. The Department offers a Master program in Economics as well as one in Management and Applied Economics. Our PhD-programme jointly with the University of Innsbruck is giving the students a high-level preparation for independent research. All our graduate courses are held in English.

Graduates of our programme are found in universities, business and leading government positions.

Department Culture

The Department is a participatory institution with low hierarchies and effective cooperation. Leading research is only possible in a cooperative climate. The Department relies on voluntary work of all its members to fulfil its duties and to expand in the future. Department members of all hierarchy levels are welcome as discussion and decision partners at all occasions.