A Queer Youth Centre for Vienna?

Is there a need for a designated center for queer youth in Vienna? IHS is currently addressing this question in a research project for the City of Vienna. 

Language: German

Nudging as a Means to Reduce Fake News

Insight Austria Blogpost

Especially in times of COVID, a lot of fake news is circulating. Why does the belief in conspiracy theories persist so much? How do people decide whether or not to share fake news on social networks? In this article, we will get to the bottom of these questions and show how you can reduce the sharing of fake news with a simple nudge.

Language: German

Evidence-based Policy Making

The Corona Pandemic has highlighted the importance of scientific research in the social sciences and economics. Our lives radically changed due to the political measures introduced to curb the epidemic, and to know which measures worked (and which did not), scientific advice was instrumental. This was the background for the conference on evidence-based policy making held on last Thursday, on 27 May 2021, jointly organized by IHS, WIFO and CEU.

Who is Paying for a Carbon Tax?

EU member states want to reduce their CO2 emissions by 55% by 2030, compared to 1990 levels. A carbon tax can serve as an instrument to achieve this goal. But caution is called for, because Austrian households could be burdened particularly heavily compared to the economy. This is already the case with existing energy and transport taxes.

Language: German

An Online Experiment on Waste Separation

Insight Austria Blogpost

In Austria, a large majority of people say they separate their waste. But do they separate correctly? Insight Austria has set itself the goal of designing information stickers on waste separation more efficently. To find out what works best, they conducted a small online experiment.

Language: German


Spatial inequalities and the price of a short commute among students in Austria

Young study aspirants who don’t grow up close to a higher education institution often face a tough choice: Commuting to the nearest institution from the parental home, or moving close to an institution of choice? The former means considerable commuting times and being restricted to choose from a possibly narrow range of study programmes offered there. The latter requires more effort and resources, e.g. to find and afford some sort of housing near the institution.


Long-time IHS President Heinrich Neisser Turns 85

On October 11, 1983, Heinrich Neisser, then a 47-year-old member of the Austrian Parliament, was elected to the Board of Trustees of IHS at a general meeting. The doctor of law, who had also studied national economics and sociology, could already look back on an impressive career.

Language: German

Women at IHS

A previous blog post dealt with the collective biography of the directors of IHS. So far, all of them have been men - however, women have been instrumental in shaping the history of the Institute.

Language: German

Directors of IHS: A Collective Portrait

Martin Kocher's appointment as Minister of Labor on January 11 of this year not only came as a surprise, it was a premiere for the IHS: for the first time in the institute's nearly 60-year history, its director moved straight into politics.

Language: German

Who Complies to the Corona-Lockdown-Rules?

Insight Austria Blogpost

The behavioral economists Holger A. Rau and Stephan Müller from the University of Göttingen recently published a study on "Preferences and Compliance in the Societal Stress Test of the COVID-19 Crisis" in the "Journal of Public Economics". This blog post explores implications of the study for policy and society.

Language: German

What can Behavioral Science contribute to Better Acceptance of COVID-19 Vaccination?

Insight Austria Blogpost

The world is eagerly awaiting the vaccination against Covid-19. Now it is here - several variants, in fact - and the first vaccinations are already being carried out in various countries. A certain relief is palpable, but scepticism is also high and the unease felt is stronger than with other vaccinations. Could this lead to not enough people being willing to do the vaccination?

Language: German

Addressing Legitimacy Challenges for the European Union

The financial crisis 2008 posed a huge challenge to the European Union, its consequences being still noticeable today. The legitimacy of the EU’s responses to that crises is at the core of a research initiative that the IHS was a part of for the last three years.

Combating Domestic Food Waste

Insight Austria Blogpost

"Eat up, or we'll have to throw it away" are words my grandmother used to say to my ears. Unlike my grandmother, however, I grew up in an affluent society and have a less careful approach to food. I am not alone in this: Verma, de Vreede, Achterbosch & Rutten (2020) estimate that food waste worldwide averages 527 wasted kilocalories per person per day.

Language: German

Covid-19, Distance Learning and Social Inequality

in_progress Blogpost

In Austria, school closures during the lockdown in spring 2020 affected around 1.1 million pupils. The schools were still open to pupils in which families could not provide adequate care. However, this was conceived as an absolute exception and remained so. The lockdown thus brought about a total shift of the education system towards distance learning and distance education, largely supported by communication via digital media.

Language: German

Economic Consequences of the Pandemic on the Situation of Families

in_progress Blogpost

In early summer 2020, about 30% of households already had to cope with lower income due to COVID-19. This is shown by the AKCOVID survey, in which 2,000 persons between 20 and 64 years of age living in Austria were interviewed.

Language: German

The European Citizens' Initiative

The European Citizens' Initiative (ECI) is an important first step in diversifying the range of stakeholders involved in EU policy making. However, room for improvement remains. The name of the ECI implies involvement of all citizens living in the EU but it is rather a tool for organised civil society with transnational networks. Improving internet infrastructures and paying attention to the involvement of marginalised, less well-educated communities will enable better access for all European citizens to participate in the ECI. What is more, allowing for more controversial initiatives and a greater political commitment by the Commission will make the ECI a stronger tool in the long-run.

Science, Open Up!

In September 2020 the touring exhibition "Open UP!" had its stop at IHS. It focused on the Open Science movement and how it is changing daily research work, especially in the economic and social sciences. In this article, Thomas König, Elisabeth Frankus and Elisabet Torggler reflect on some of the essential aspects of Open Science.

Language: German

Mobility as a Commons

Understanding mobility as a commons aims to provide an alternative perspective on the management and development of mobility for innovation, policy and society. Developments in this area - from walking to data mobility and logistics - should be guided by the need to provide fair access and to add value to society.

Language: German

Mobilizing Voters

Insight Austria Blogpost

A high voter turnout is fundamental as a central instrument of democratic decision-making and as a cornerstone of a democratic society. Clara Zwettler deals with the question of how to increase voter turnout in her blog post for the Insight Austria Blog.

Language: German

Engagement Goes Virtual

Getting people engaged in a workshop is always a challenge. Doing it virtually can be even tougher. The following steps are designed to help create more inclusive online experiences – for yourself as well as your participants.

Review: Living with Corona

The symposium "Living with Corona" in early July highlighted current social science research on the pandemic in various areas of life. In this blog post Thomas König reflects on how the symposium came about and what we can take away from it.

Language: German

What we know, what we don't know

The COVID-19 pandemic and the restriction to curb its impact have stimulated lots of research activities. The Symposium "Leben mit Corona" ("Living with Corona) aims at bringing results from ongoing research in different areas of social life together and thereby hopes to initiate more research. This blogpost reflects on the ambitions of the Symposium.

Language: German

COVID-19 Teacher Survey - Preliminary Results

In a WWTF-funded research project, the teaching and learning performance as well as the support provided by the home environment during the COVID-19 crisis is being surveyed. The preliminary results show: There is great concern about a decline in competence during school closures, especially with regard to already disadvantaged pupils.

Language: German

Reduction of Corporate Income Tax

The reduction in the effective corporate income tax burden can be achieved by reducing the tax base or lowering the corporation tax rate. An IHS-analysis shows that measures that target the tax base and provide direct tax relief for investments are more cost-effective than a general reduction of the corporate income tax rate.

Language: German

Democracy and the Pandemic

The COVID-19 pandemic has already and will result in massive social and economic costs. Within a short time span, whole societies and economies were put under almost complete lockdown, the world almost literally came to a standstill. But does the pandemic also threaten our democracies? This blogpost argues that, in order to cope with the pandemic, our democratic institutions will be tested in three very different ways.

COVID-19 Future Operations Clearing Board

Scientific knowlegde is the bedrock to get us out of the Corona-crisis, and science advice a crucial mean to turn that knowledge in informed decisions. Austria is still behind other countries in that regard, but a new instrument located at the Austrian chancellery offers a new approach, write Martin Kocher and Thomas König.

Language: German

Sustainable Work? Precisely Because of COVID-19!

Even if the pandemic and the shutdown are not yet over, it is already time to start thinking about the future of a sustainable working society. Climate change, digitalisation and growing social inequality force us to. We cannot afford to postpone upcoming debates for much longer.

Language: German

Why Masks?

It is one of the most remarkable (and visible) changes of behavior in our daily lives: we're all wearing masks now. This collective decision is the right one to take and part of our ability to learn and adapt in order to stem the challenges that come with the current pandemic of COVID-19.

Language: German

Closed Schools, Home Schooling, and Potential Consequences

With COVID-19, Austrian schools were all but closed, classes take place remotely and via home schooling. What does that mean for children and families?

Language: German

The Need for Midwifes

This blog article deals with current and future midwifery capacities in the so-called Versorgungszone Ost (Vienna, Lower Austria, Northern and Central Burgenland). 

Language: German

After the Pandemic

With the current coronavirus pandemic, curfews and closed borders are becoming the new normality, people are wearing masks, and the global economy is heading towards a recession. As important as the measures are, we must be prepared for the challenges that the post-corona world will bring.

Understanding the Coronavirus Case Numbers

On 16 March 2020, the German government took drastic measures to combat the spread of the novel coronavirus SARS-CoV-2. These measures are designed to minimize human contact with each other and thus contain the spread. The absolute number of cases seems to contradict this to some extent: On Friday, March 13, there were only 504 cases? Even on the third day of the ordinances of the Ministry of Social Affairs on the COVID-19 Act, there were only 1,471. So are the measures excessive?

Language: German

First assessment of the economic impact of the Coronavirus in China

The coronavirus is potentially to become a pandemia, media outlets claim. This blog entry provides an early assessment of the societal and economic impact of the outbreak, dating early February. For an updated analysis, see the Policy Brief from 27 February (in German).

Critical Automobility Studies

IHS research group Techno-Science and Societal Transformation is launching a Critical Automobility Studies Lab, inviting and engaging researchers in various areas of mobility to focus on critical automobility studies. The lab kicks off with a launching event that offers presentations and discussions as well as networking opportunities for everyone interested.

Europe´s Competitiveness and the Rise of China

This year’s EconPol Europe Conference takes place from November 7-8 in Brussels and examines Europe´s Competitiveness and the Rise of China. The annual conference was established in 2017 and brings together economists, politicians and stakeholders from civil society from all over Europe.

From Party State to Movement Society?

Austria is a country with strong parties and associations. Political participation happens first and foremost through party-dominated elections - forms of political protests are rare. Is this image of the country still accurate?

Language: German

National Lack of Skilled Labor

A shortage of skilled labour occurs when there is a higher demand for labour than the supply of labour in an area or occupation that requires technical training or qualification, i.e. when the vacancies cannot be filled.

Language: German

Do we Need a Reorientation for the Innovation Imaginary?

Public sector innovation is widely seen as a key for "doing things better". However, innovation per se will not necessarily lead to "the better" nor define what "the better" actually is.

Post originally published at OECD Observatory of Public Sector Innovation

Educational Poverty - Causes and Solutions

Education Poverty is noticeable in Austria and becoming a substantial problem, especially in certain population groups. What are the causes of the uneven distribution and what possible solutions are there?

Language: German

Educational Poverty - An Underrated Issue

Fighting Educational Poverty is one of the strategic goals of Europe 2020. In Austria the problem is bigger than it appears at first glance.

Language: German

Industry 4.0 and Digitalisation - Scenarios for the Role of Education

Technological change, especially the disruptive process of digitalisation has allocated a new role to the educational system. Over the past centuries it was designed to prepare the youth for the existing society - today it is supposed to prepare them for a future society that is yet unknown to all those involved.

Language: German

The Climate Crisis is a Social Crisis

The threat of climate change has been hanging over us for some time; however, the 2018 UN report suggests that action is urgently needed to avert disaster. The latest scientific analysis gives us just twelve years to limit global warming to 1.5 degree Celsius above pre-industrial levels by 2100. Unless we slow that rate, no one will be safe from the consequences of climate change.

Measuring Europe - The European Social Survey

The European Social Survey (ESS) is an academically driven cross-national survey that has been conducted across Europe since 2001. The survey measures the attitudes, beliefs and behaviour patterns of diverse populations in more than thirty nations.

Language: German

Comprehensive Sustainability Discourse

The term sustainable development has been around for 35 years - but outside of the debate not much else has happened since. Events like the "Growth in Transition"-Conference aim to foster the discourse.

Language: German

RRI on the Line

For almost 20 years now, the idea of Responsible Research and Innovation (RRI) has been an emerging priority of the European Research Arena. The new proposal for the budget framework that will follow Horizon2020 cuts the funds for specific RRI programs like NewHoRRIzon. Has the concept outlived itself?

IHS Spotlight:

Alexander Lang

Alexander Lang has been at the IHS since 2011 and explored a series of different topics in his research, including technology assessments, responsible research, and examining the notion of “good death". He is part of the research group Science, Technology and Social Transformation and currently working on his dissertation.

About this Blog

This Blog informs about topics and projects currenty dealt with by the Institute. The aim is to weigh in on current issues and foster public debate.