01/12/2010: SFB 884 Spokesperson on "Stuttgart 21"

Professor Thomas König, Spokesperson to the SFB 884 "The Political Economy of Reforms", was interviewed in the Deutschlandfunk to comment on the mediation results by Heiner Geißler on "Stuttgart 21". You can read the interview or listen to it via podcast on http://www.dradio.de/dlf/sendungen/interview_dlf/1331893/


19/10/2010:New Publication


As part of the Springer Publication Series “Studies in Public Choice”, Professor Thomas König (Spokesperson to the SFB 884), Dr. Marc Debus (MZES) and Professor George Tsebelis (University of Michigan) have edited a volume on “Reform Processes and Policy Change”. The contributions to this volume critically evaluate the veto players theory of George Tsebelis and focus on the identification, interpretation, measurement and modeling of veto players as central reform actors. The volume is a result of a Conference on “Reform Processes and  Policy Change” held at the Mannheim Center for European Social Research (MZES) in May 2009.


25/03/2010: Call for Papers: International Conference on Tax Policy Decision Making

The Collaborative Research Center SFB 884, the ZEW Mannheim and the Department of Economics, University of Mannheim, jointly organize an international conference on tax policy decision making on October 14/15 2010. The starting point is the permanent contrast between tax policies recommended by normative tax theory and real world tax policy decisions. How do voters form their tax policy preferences? Which biases may distort this process of preference formation? How important are institutions, economic or constitutional constraints? Do economic advisors have an impact on political outcomes?

You are invited to hand in individual proposals answering one of these and related questions. The methodological scope of the conference is wide: We equally welcome theoretical contributions and empirical ones. Econometric analyses based on micro-data (such as population surveys, household panels or experiments) are invited as well as macro-data approaches (e.g. country panel analyses). We also encourage political scientists and psychologists to contribute.

Keynote speakers: Clemens Fuest, Oxford University; Jean-Robert Tyran, University of Copenhagen

Paper submission procedure: You are invited to hand in individual proposals for the conference. These should include an extended abstract or, preferably, the full paper. Submissions should be emailed as pdf file to taxpolicy@zew.de by July 15, 2010.


Acceptance of proposals will be notified by August 6, 2009. Completed papers will be required by September 15, 2010, and will be posted on http://www.zew.de/taxpolicy2010. The website will periodically provide updated information regarding the congress. No conference fee will be charged. We will cover accommodation and travelling expenses for presenters of accepted papers.

For further Information, contact:

ZEW, Centre for European Economic Research
Steffen Osterloh, Research Department Corporate Taxation and Public Finance
P.O.Box 10 34 43 · 68034 Mannheim · Germany
Phone: +49/621/1235-165 or -146, Fax +49/621/1235-223
E-mail: taxpolicy@zew.de

Internet: www.zew.de/taxpolicy2010


08/02/2010: Open positions!


The Collaborative Research Center (SFB 884) "Political Economy of Reforms" at the University of Mannheim, funded by the German Research Foundation (DFG) for up to 12 years, is looking as soon as possible for

 16 Doctoral Researchers (half-time)


5 Post-Doctoral Researchers (full-time)

Salary is commensurate with experience and is at least 1500 Euros per month for a doctoral researcher and at least 3000 Euros per month for a post-doctoral researcher, with additional employer benefits (according to pay scheme TV-L E13).

Applicants should hold a Master's degree (for doctoral researchers) or a doctoral degree (for post-doctoral positions) in the areas of economics, political science, political economy, social science, statistics, or mathematics.  Specific information regarding the vacancies and the projects of the SFB 884 is available at reforms.uni-mannheim.de.

The mission of the long-term and interdisciplinary SFB 884 on the Political Economy of Reforms is to gain scientific insights into success and failure of political reforms in welfare states. It draws together leading researchers in economics, political science, and sociology at the University of Mannheim. The English-speaking environment of the SFB offers an excellent opportunity to work in a team with a strong focus on quantitative research and international collaboration.  Doctoral researchers have the possibility to pursue a doctoral degree in their respective field at the University of Mannheim.

The University of Mannheim is one of the leading universities in economics and social sciences in Germany and is highly recognized internationally. The Graduate School of Economic and Social Sciences (GESS) provides doctoral training in empirical and quantitative methods and their application to economics and the social sciences. The SFB also offers participation in excellent international summer schools such as EITM and MERSS. Additionally, there is strong collaboration with established institutes such as the MZES, MEA, ZEW and GESIS.

The University of Mannheim is an equal opportunity employer. Qualified women are therefore particularly encouraged to apply. Applicants with disabilities are treated with preference given comparable qualification.

Applications will be reviewed until the positions are filled. Employment will be awarded as soon as possible. Applications should either indicate a general interest in a project group or in specific projects. Please send your application, including CV, transcripts, and a letter of motivation, to jobs@reforms.uni-mannheim.de.


08/02/2010: SFB 884 approved by DFG

The DFG has approved the establishment of the Collaborative Research Centre 884  "Political Economy of Reforms". In the next 4 years (the first of potentially three such funding periods) economists, political scientists and sociologists will collaborate in researching the factors that make reforms successful or not.