Evidence-based, transparent and independent

WIFO is committed to an independent position on economic policy issues, free of special interests. The basis for the recognition of this independent position and impartiality across diverging interests are the following principles:

  • research integrity,
  • the pursuit of a scientific (evidence-based and transparent) approach to policy advice,
  • political independence.

Research integrity

WIFO is a member of the Austrian Agency for Research Integrity (ÖAWI) and observes the rules of good scientific practice to ensure the integrity and traceability of its research results. In its publications WIFO pays special attention to transparent documentation of:

  • methods, data and literature sources,
  • authorship,
  • conflicts of interest,
  • sources of financing.

Within the scope of contract research, only those contracts are accepted for which it assumes sole responsibility for the results.

Together with the Institute for Advanced Studies and in coordination with the Austrian Agency for Research Integrity, principles of research integrity were developed for contract studies. They are intended to help scientific staff and clients to conduct commissioned projects in accordance with the standards of Good Scientific Practice. The document is based on the guidelines of Good Scientific Practice of the Austrian Agency for Research Integrity, the guideline of the University of Vienna on science-based policy advice and documents on policy advice of the EU-funded platform Science Advice for Policy by European Academies (SAPEA).

Responsible for quality assurance and compliance with the rules of good scientific practice is the respective deputy director responsible for scientific affairs. A mandatory review system at project level, WIFO's consultants, external reviewers and WIFO's International Board support quality assurance and research integrity in day-to-day operations. Regular publications in international peer-reviewed journals underline WIFO's high scientific standards.

Pursuing a scientific (evidence-based and transparent) approach in policy advice

Results and recommendations relevant to economic policy are based on a critical review of broad empirical evidence, which in particular screens the robustness of the underlying methodological approach.

Limits to the validity of research results and assumptions behind the available evidence are made transparent in WIFO's publications.

WIFO is aware that its statements and positions can only be one building block among several for the development of economic policy measures, especially in the case of those socio-economic challenges which, due to their complexity, require a multidisciplinary evidence base.

WIFO's research results are generally published and thus accessible to the general public. In accordance with its statutes, WIFO's task is to disseminate the results of its research to the general public, taking into account the overall welfare of the population, and to promote an understanding of economic interrelationships. Scientific accountability requires publication.

Political independence

WIFO's Articles of Association contain a public mandate which requires party-political independence. Therefore, WIFO's recommendations are targeted less to individual organisations than to the public. In support of this, WIFO's Articles of Association assign the institute a non-profit status.

The Institute's independence is underlined by the fact that it is widely supported by institutions with different interests and tasks. In addition, third-party funding from national and international research funds and research programmes is used to finance research projects lasting several years.

WIFO is independent in the recruitment of new staff. The selection process is based on performance-related and transparent eligibility criteria.

Deputy Director, Research