Economic Policy, Innovation and Entrepreneurship (EPIE)

EPIE Group Joins Futurale Film Festival in Kassel

The Economic Policy, Innovation and Entrepreneurship Group will be represented at the Futurale Film Festival in Kassel. On Tuesday, September 27, Guido Buenstorf will host a post-screening expert talk on "Silicon Wadi", a documentary about entrepreneurship in Israel. The Tel Aviv region of Israel is known as one of the world's leading entrepreneurship hubs. But as is shown in "Silicon Wadi", that does not mean that starting a new firm is easy, or that success would be guaranteed. The workshop program can be found here.



Field trip to Dresden

Why are some regions prosperous while others perish? Which role do variable actors, regional structures, and transfer processes between institutions play in the course of this? What can politics contribute to a successful regional development?

These questions were discussed by the students of Economics from the University of Kassel this semester in the course „Perspektiven der Regionalentwicklung“ which is held in cooperation with the TU Dresden. Firstly, the participants made themselves familiar with selected theories of Regional Economics. To examine their relevance in the field, an excursion to Dresden took place on the 26th of May. Together with the students from Dresden, the group visited the Helmholtz-Zentrum Dresden-Rossendorf and Globalfoundries. On the 23rd of June, the students from Dresden came to see Kassel, where the whole group visited the SMA Solar Technology AG and the Volkswagen AG - Original Teile Center in Baunatal. The gathered impressions were reviewed in a creative atmosphere in the Idea Lab of the Science Park Kassel on the 24th of June, after a presentation about Clustermanagement in North Hesse which was held by Astrid Szogs from the regional management of North Hesse.


Welcome to the Economic Policy, Innovation and Entrepreneurship Group

New name, same agenda - as of July 2016, the new name of our group better reflects our research focus on the governance of economic change.

Also new: Guido Buenstorf, head of the EPIE Group, has been appointed Executive Vice Director of INCHER-Kassel. He will moreover be a Visiting Professor at the Institute of Innovation and Entrepreneurship, University of Göteborg (Sweden), from 2016 to 2019.



Workshop: Scientists’ Careers Inside and Outside the University

This international workshop (June 27-28, 2016, at Science Park Kassel) brings together scholars from economics, management and sociology to discuss findings on the careers of scientists. In addition to patterns and determinants of academic career trajectories, it will also explore career outcomes of individuals who left public research to find employment in the private sector. The workshop is jointly organized by the Economic Policy Research Group and INCHER-Kassel as part of the BMBF project WISKIDZ. Confirmed speakers include Jeff Furman (Boston University), Hanna Hottenrott (TUM), Monika Jungbauer-Gans (DZHW) and Henry Sauermann (Georgia Tech). Additional participants are welcome. The workshop program can be found here.



New Location in INCHER Building

The Economic Policy Research Group has moved to new rooms in Mönchebergstrasse 17. We are now sharing space with our collaboration partners of INCHER-Kassel. The Meta-Research in Economics Group is still located in our old quarters in the Wiso B building. Student consultations will also remain to take place there.



Workshop: Academic Entrepreneurship and Tech Transfer

Guido Buenstorf co-organizes an INCHER-Kassel workshop on Academic Entrepreneurship and University Technology Transfer (April 11-12, 2016). The workshop will focus on how transfer activities relate to universities' traditional missions of research and teaching, and how they affect the university as an organization. Keynotes will be given by Aldo Geuna (University of Turin) and Walter W. Powell (Stanford University). The program can be found here



BibSonomy Genealogie (beta version) is online!

BibSonomy Genealogie creates a user-generated genealogy of research at German universities. It is based on the dissertation catalog of the Deutsche Nationalbibliothek (DNB). Users enter linkages between existing dissertations (advisor information etc.) and provide information about missing dissertations.


BibSonomy Genealogie is part of the WISKIDZ project and has been developed in cooperation with the Knowledge and Data Engineering team of Professor Stumme. The first beta version is now online: BibSonomy Genealogie


ICC Special Issue in Honor of Steven Klepper

Together with Rajshree Agarwal (Maryland), Wesley Cohen (Duke) and Franco Malerba (Bocconi), Guido Buenstorf has co-edited a special issue of Industrial and Corporate Change honoring the late Steven Klepper. The special issue brings together a set of articles discussing and extending Klepper's pioneering work on industry evolution, entrepreneurship and economic geography. Contributors include Ashish Arora, Ron Boschma, Serguey Braguinsky, Cristobal Cheyre, Wesley Cohen, Constance Helfat, Jon Kowalski, David Mowery, and Francisco Veloso. A hitherto unpublished paper by Michael Dahl and Steven Klepper is also included. The editors' intoductory essay can be found here.




The Long Run Gets Slightly Shorter

"in the long run we are all dead" Team Foto

After 3:45:59 h, the Economic Policy Research Group's relay running team "In the Long Run We Are All Dead" (Guido Buenstorf, Dominik Heinisch, Johannes Koenig and Andreas Rehs) crossed the finish line of the 2015 Kassel Marathon. 


This means we were about nine minutes faster than in 2014. Extrapolating this trend, we should be competitive by about 2025... 



Ann-Kathrin Blankenberg Defends Dissertation

On April 20, 2015, Ann-Kathrin Blankenberg successfully defended her doctoral dissertation. Focusing on the German solar cell and laser industries, the dissertation studied the roles of innovation, public policy and university research in industry evolution. Ann-Kathrin Blankenberg graduated from the University of Kassel and has been a member of the Economic Policy Group since May 2011.



BMBF-sponsored project on labor markets for junior researchers

Research and teaching are the traditional tasks of universities. At their interface lies the education of junior researchers. During their doctoral and post-doctoral studies, junior researchers acquire the knowledge and the competences required to engage in independent research and teaching activities. At the same time, the academic system reproduces itself by recruiting freshly minted junior researchers.

How has this process of academic reproduction changed over time? Empirical answers to this question are the objective of our project WISKIDZ (German title: „Wissenschaftliche Karrieredynamiken in Deutschland im Zeitablauf:  Disziplinäre Muster und Effekte der Arbeitsmarktsituation bei der Rekrutierung des akademischen Nachwuchses“) which is funded by the German Federal Ministry for Education and Research (BMBF) for a three-year period.

In this project, career trajectories and recruitment patterns of junior researchers in selected fields of science, engineering, social science and the humanities will be reconstructed for the period from 1945 to the present. Various types of information will be aggregated at the individual level. Based on this long-term approach, we can, e.g., investigate how the career relevance of the Habilitation, being educated at high-reputation universities or being part of prominent “schools” has developed over time. The investigation is conducted for Germany.

Given that many junior researchers end up pursuing careers outside academe, WISKIDZ will also study how differences between conditions in academic and non-academic labor markets affect individual career choices. To what extent do subsequent career choices reflect early self-selection into different environments, e.g., more or less research-oriented schools and departments? To what extent are they shaped by learning and socialization in the chosen environment (e.g., based on advisor and peer group effects)? And how important are, in the final analysis, objective labor market conditions for future career outcomes?

Stephan Bruns to Lead Group on Evidence-Based Economics

Beginning this fall, Dr. Stephan Bruns will head an independent junior research group on evidence-based economics associated with the Economic Policy Research Group. Bruns joined our group as a post-doctoral researcher in May 2014. In the new group, he will expand his current research on research synthesis in economics. The group focuses on the development of meta-regression models for the synthesis of observational studies. These methods will be also applied to issues in energy economics and innovation studies contributing to a reliable foundation for evidence-based economic policy.

INCHER Seminar on Retractions with Jeff Furman

Jeff Furman, Boston University

How do retractions affect fields of research and the careers of the involved individuals? Empirical findings on this issue are presented by Jeff Furman in his brown bag seminar at INCHER-Kassel (Thursday, July 3, 2-4 pm at the INCHER seminar room, Mönchebergstrasse 17). Jeff Furman is Associate Professor of Strategy & Innovation at Boston University and a Faculty Research Fellow at the NBER. His research has been published, among others, in the American Economic Review, Journal of Economic Behavior and Organization, Research Policy, Industrial & Corporate Change, as well as Nature (Photo credits: ZEW).



Beyond Spillovers? Workshop on Universities and the Region

Arvids Ziedonis, Stanford University

Despite a growing body of scholarly work, many aspects of knowledge transfer from universities to the private sector are only imperfectly understood. What relationships exist between individual transfer channels such as publications, academic entrepreneurship, R&D collaboration, or graduate and researcher mobility? Under which conditions and to what extent is knowledge transfer geographically bounded, and how broad is its geographic reach? When does knowledge transfer result in knowledge spillovers (i.e., externalities)? And finally, what can and should public policy do to ensure that society can benefit from the new knowledge created at universities as best possible? These questions were in the focus of the workshop “Beyond Spillovers? Channels and Effects of Knowledge Transfer from Universities” that the Economic Policy Research Group (EPRG) and the INCHER-Kassel organized on March 6 and 7, 2014. The workshop was part of our RE-BILD project on regional effects of higher education sponsored by the German Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF).

In the two-day workshop, leading scholars from Europe and the U.S. engaged in intensive discussions about a range of topics including, for example, effects of licensing on the diffusion of knowledge (Arvids Ziedonis, Stanford University; photo), geographic effects of large-scale research facilities (Christian Helmers, Santa Clara University) and international differences in the returns to academic entrepreneurship (Thomas Astebro, HEC Paris). Individual mobility as a conduit of knowledge transfer was the subject of several talks. Dietmar Harhoff (Max Planck Institute Munich) focused on inventor mobility, and Cornelia Lawson (Universities of Nottingham and Torino) presented results on researcher mobility. Patterns and determinants of the mobility of graduates in the Netherlands and in Denmark were discussed by Sjerdjan Koster (University of Groningen) and by Ina Drejer, Jacob Holm and Kristian Nielsen (Aalborg University). For the German context, Matthias Geissler and Nicolas Winterhager (University of Kassel) presented findings on graduate mobility from the EPRG’s own RE-BILD project.

Completed Dissertation: Scientists’ Competition for Third-Party Funding

How do scientists from different disciplines perceive and react to an increasing pressure to compete for third-party funding? This question was in the focus of Nico Winterhager’s dissertation project, which was successfully defended on February 6, 2014. In his dissertation, Nicolas reports findings from an extensive set of interviews with researchers from biotechnology and medieval historiography, as well as members of the departmental and university leadership. He shows that competing for third-party funding needs not be motivated by financial needs, but may also be used to signal competitiveness and societal relevance within the university. Scientists from the two studied disciplines substantially differed in their conception of the competitive process. Nicolas has been a member of INCHER-Kassel since November 2009. In 2011, he joined the team of RE-BILD, a joint project by the Economic Policy Research Group and INCHER-Kassel.

Completed Dissertation: Firm Dynamics and Organizational Capabilities in the Evolution of the German Laser Industry

On the 27th of November, Matthias Geissler, research associate at the Economic Policy Research Group, successfully defended his dissertation project (“Firm Dynamics and Organizational Capabilities in the Evolution of the German Laser Industry”) at the Friedrich Schiller University Jena. In his work Matthias draws on the concept of organizational capabilities to explain changes in the activities of firms within an industry, between different stages of the value chain, among industries and across regional boundaries. Moreover, the dissertation project touched the Economics of Science by exploring capability transfer through face-to-face learning among different generations of laser scientists. Matthias was a member of the DFG Research Training Group 1411 "The Economics of Innovative Change" at the University of Jena and the IIDEOS PhD program (“Innovation, Industrial Dynamics, Entrepreneurship, Organisation and Space”) hosted jointly by the Philipps-University Marburg and the University of Kassel. He is looking forward to deepen his understanding of the Economics of Science through the recently started WISKIDZ (“Wissenschaftliche Karrieredynamiken in Deutschland im Zeitablauf”) project at the Economic Policy Research Group.



Workshop: The Evolution of Networks, Industries and Clusters

Jointly with the Halle Institute of Economic Research (IWH) and the Chair of Innovation Economics at the University of Hohenheim, the Economic Policy Research Group co-organized a workshop on "The Evolution of Networks, Industries and Clusters (ENIC)". The workshop provided an opportunity for senior and junior researchers to discuss recent developments, ideas, frameworks and theories, and takes place in Halle on July 18 and 19. Keynote lectures were given by Stefano Breschi (Università Bocconi, Milano), Paolo Saviotti (Université Pierre Mendès-France, Grenoble) and Bart Verspagen (UNU-MERIT, Maastricht).

In Memoriam: Steven Klepper

We have received the sad news that Steven Klepper, Arthur A. Hamerschlag Professor of Economics and Social Science at Carnegie Mellon University, passed away on May 27, 2013. Steven Klepper pioneered the research on industry evolution and made path-breaking contributions to the understanding of employee entrepreneurship and the regional concentration of industries. The conceptual foundations, theoretical models and empirical tools developed by him guide much of the research of our group. His advice was crucial in shaping our projects, agenda and outlook. Over the past ten years, Steven Klepper and Guido Buenstorf intensely collaborated in an empirical research project studying the evolution of the U.S. tire industry. With Steve, the Economic Policy Research Group has lost an eminent teacher and role model, a wonderful person, and a good friend.

Steven Klepper’s outstanding contributions were celebrated by the Consortium for Competitiveness and Collaboration on March 22, 2013.

Two articles in same issue of Research Policy

Two articles on technology transfer co-authored by members of the Economic Policy Research Group have been published in the March 2013 issue of Research Policy. Stefan Krabel is part of a group of leading European scholars discussing prior findings on processes and outcomes of academic engagement with private-sector partners in a survey article. (Perkman, M. et al.: “Academic engagement and commercialisation: A review of the literature on university–industry relations”, Research Policy, 42 (2013): 423– 442).

Together with Alexander Schacht (FSU Jena), Guido Buenstorf has explored the effects of geographic distance on commercialization outcomes in technology transfer from public research (Buenstorf, G. and A. Schacht: “We need to talk - or do we? Geographic distance and the commercialization of technologies from public research”, Research Policy, 42 (2013): 465– 480.)

Seminar with Michael S. Dahl on Employee Stress and Organizational Change

Michael S. Dahl, Professor of Entrepreneurship and Organizations at Aalborg University (Denmark), was the guest speaker of the Economics Research Seminar on February 13, 2013. He presented new findings on how HRM measures moderate the effects of organizational change on employee stress. Professor Dahl's research is located at the boundaries of economics and management. It uses unique empirical strategies to match linked employer-employee datasets with detailed individual-level information. His work has been published, among others, in Administrative Science Quarterly, Management Science, Research Policy and the Journal of Urban Economics. Michael Dahl's research in the media (in German)

DETROPIA Shown at DokFest Kassel

Detroit, once the birthplace of the industrial middle class, is now a symbol of de-industrialization, population loss and catastrophic urban blight. But as it is shown by the award-winning documentary DETROPIA, present-day Detroit is also a place of new visions and - literally - creative destruction.

The movie demonstrates how new life emerges from the ruins of mass production, how opportunities and possibly the seeds of urban renewal are created from urban decline.

DETROPIA has won critical praise and several awards at U.S. film festivals. It had its first German screening during the DokFest Kassel on Thursday, November 15, 2012.

The Economic Policy Research Group is proud to have helped bring this important movie to Kassel. More information about DETROPIA is available here (in German)

Evolution, Organization and Economic Behavior

A new book edited by Guido Buenstorf has been published by Edward ElgarEvolution, Organization and Economic Behavior brings together ten papers exploring the interfaces between Evolutionary Economics, Behavioral Economics and Management.

Chapter authors include Zakaria Babutsidze, Markus Becker, Ron Boschma, Thierry Burger-Helmchen, Uwe Cantner, Christian Cordes, Michael Dahl, Herbert Dawid, Koen Frenken, Pernille Gjerlov-Juel, Werner Güth, Philipp Harting, Hartmut Kliemt, Stefan Krabel and Patrick Llerena.