The Economy in Germany

Among the institutions supporting the festival “Theatre across the Nation” are the Mercator and the Körber Foundation; © Franziska Albrecht/Stiftung Mercator

Sought-after partners – how foundations promote culture

Foundations make an important contribution to the promotion of culture in Germany. But the competition to gain their support is hard and funding is usually of limited duration.More ...
Zollverein coal mine in Essen; © Matthias Duschner/Stiftung Zollverein

The responsibility of property – foundations in Germany

Germany is a country of foundations; in recent decades their number has multiplied. Some examples, their goals, projects – and problems.More ...

The Foundation Boom – “More Engagement”

Whether they serve cultural, environmental or other purposes, the number of foundations in Germany has risen sharply since the 1990s. The sociologist Helmut Anheier studies the causes and effects of the “foundation boom”.More ...
Promoting democracy is one of the focal points of the Körber Foundation, which was early engaged in Central and Eastern Europe; © Körber-Stiftung/David Ausserhofer

Regaining strength – foundations in Central and Eastern Europe

Under socialism, there was no place for civic engagement based on self-determined purposes. In the meantime, the foundation system in many countries of Central and Eastern Europe has been awakened to new life.More ...
A common currency stabilizes peace in Europe; © EZB

“The euro is a stabilizer of European peace” – an interview with Matthias von Hellfeld

On 1 January 2014, the euro will be introduced in Latvia. Many people in the country fear that, with this, part of the Latvian identity will be lost. What was it like in Germany?More ...
Wolfgang Streeck; © juergen-bauer.com

“The Monetary Union is Driving the Countries of Europe Apart” – Four Questions for Wolfgang Streeck

The euro is in crisis, a crisis that some say threatens to break up the European Union itself.More ...
Auszubildende im Betrieb; © BIBB / Edmud Schenk

Dual Vocational Training in Europe – An Export Winner “Made in Germany”

The dual vocational training system “Made in Germany” is enjoying an amazing comeback – all over Europe.More ...
Alone among men; © Tyler Olson / Fotolia.com

Women in Management Positions – Five Portraits

Women are still somewhat underrepresented when it comes to management positions.More ...
Berlin, Friedrichstraße; © claudecastor86/Fotolia.com

Young, creative, international – the creative industries in Berlin

Berlin is teeming with artists and creative people who come to the city from every corner of the globe. Young entrepreneurs wax lyrical about the unique vibes that Germany’s capital give off.More ...
Gabriele Fischer; Photo: Frank Siemer, © brand eins

“Some of the truths in economics are rather banal!” – an interview with Gabriele Fischer

The editor-in-chief of the “brand eins” business magazine talks about her magazine's success and about what good business journalism is all about.More ...

The Creative Industries: Indispensable But Risky

In Germany, the creative industries have evolved over the past five years to become one of the most dynamic branches of industry.More ...
Mobility in Europe; © Colourbox

Mobility in Europe – Improved Opportunities and New Paths

“Make it in Germany” is a joint website of the German Ministries of Economics and Labour. Its task is to recruit young skilled workers. It’s not the only european attempt to promote mobility.More ...
Professor Martin Jänicke; © oekom

“We do not need high growth rates” – Martin Jänicke talks about environmental policy in the financial crisis

The financial and sovereign debt crises appear to be pushing environmental, climate and energy policy to the bottom of the political agenda.More ...
The residence of the german chancellor in Berlin; © Colourbox.com

“Model Germany”: Path out of the Crisis?

So far Germany has been better able to master the crisis than have other countries in Europe. This raises the question whether Germany might not serve as a model for others.More ...
Richard Münch; Photo: Bamberg University

“Cultures form capitalism and are formed by capitalism” – an interview with Richard Münch

The economic sociologist Richard Münch makes a plea for the preservation of cultural diversity – especially in respect to capitalism.More ...
Detail of the promotional poster for the degree program Philosophy & Economics; © Universität Bayreuth

“Economics and …” – Philosophical Degree Courses with the Focus on Economics

Do we see the start of a new philosophical approach to economics?More ...
The Main-Tower in Frankfurt am Main, Stefan-XP, GNU-FDL, CC BY-SA 3.0

Ethical Banking – Merely An Exotic Diversion For The World Of Finance?

Ethics as one of the decision-making criteria in banking? Does it really work? Indeed it does! And, in fact, it seems to be enjoying more and more success.More ...
Joseph Vogl; Photo: Stephanie Kiwitt

“We are relying on principles that have been practised for the last 40 years” – An Interview with Joseph Vogl

The financial and sovereign debt crisis has triggered global protest against the “dictates of the markets”.More ...
© Colourbox.com

Job Miracle with Blemishes

Europeans are surprised, the world is amazed, and experts are seeking explanations. While in many European countries unemployment has risen to ten per cent and more, it has sunk in Germany.More ...
Niko Paech; © privat

“Modern consumer societies aren’t capable of reform” – An Interview with Niko Paech

The economist Niko Paech advocates a shift from economic growth and a return to regional exchange relations.More ...
Philipp Löhle „supernova (wie gold entsteht)“, Uraufführung 2011, Mannheimer Nationaltheater; © Hans Jörg Michel

Mercantile Mentalities – The Financial Crisis and the Theater

Classics such as Chekhov’s The Cherry Orchard are currently being performed particularly often. But when it comes to the crisis, theater makers are also looking for new ways of presenting a problem.More ...
Burkard Sievers; Foto: privat

“The extreme pursuit of profit is destroying us” – An Interview with Burkard Sievers

The world of economics is a very rational one – really? Burkard Sievers has reached a different conclusion.More ...
© illuminator - Fotolia.de

Phasing Out Nuclear Power – The Engine for Modernizing the Economy

After the Japanese nuclear disaster, Germany finally resolved in 2011 to phase out nuclear power, and will benefit. An interview with energy expert Peter Hennicke.More ...
© Colourbox.com

Currency Crisis: Europe at the Crossroads

The introduction of the euro was supposed to strengthen the integration of the European Union. Now the currency crisis threatens to blow up the EU.More ...
Coverausschnitt des Buches „Das Gespenst des Kapitals“ von Joseph Vogl; © diaphanes

The Diabolical Hand – Joseph Vogl on the Demystification of the Market

In his essay Das Gespenst des Kapitals, Joseph Vogl analyses our knowledge of the economy.More ...
© Butch - Fotolia.de

The Brief Dream of a New German Economic Miracle

The numbers that were reported in the two first quarters of 2011 by many major German companies made a positive impression.More ...
Bertram Schefold; © Normative Orders

Is there no Alternative to Economic Growth? – An Interview with Economic Theorist Bertram Schefold

In Germany still seems to be an overall consensus that the German economy has to grow.More ...
© marek - Fotolia.com

The Percentage of Women in Boardrooms – Voluntary Commitment or a Law?

In Germany the debate on whether companies should be obliged by law to fill a regulated number of management positions with women continues.More ...
Climate protection is affordable. Photo: Jan Will © iStockphoto

The Price of Heat – The Costs of Climate Change

The necessary and ambitious goals of the United Nations Climate Change Conference place enormous costs on economies. The sooner countries begin to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions, the cheaper it will be.More ...
The scarcer something is, the more desirable it becomes. Photo: Gremlin © iStockphoto

Things that are hard to get provide us with satisfaction

Journalist Rainer Hank is able draw a lot of positives from these austere times. In an interview he explains why we need to distance ourselves economically and socially from this “land of milk and honey” mindset.More ...
If you want to become someone these days, you need a secondary school diploma. Photo: Scott Dunlap © iStockphoto

Competence or consumption?

Germany once again scored poorly on the latest PISA test, despite the decisive role of educational qualifications in later career success. For Christine Ax, however, this type of reasoning is precisely the problem. In her book “Die Könnengesellschaft” she puts forth an alternative.More ...
Is there a shortage of skilled specialist staff in Germany? Photo: alexey ds © iStockphoto

Germany’s Skilled Labour Shortage – Bogus or Real?

The concern of companies and employers’ associations about an acute shortage of skilled specialist staff may be unfounded. In any case, those are the findings of a recent study by the German Institute for Economic Research.More ...
What happens when there is no more growth Photo: Kutay Tanir © iStockphoto

Prosperity is Possible – Even Without Economic Growth

The belief in the dependence of prosperity on economic growth is almost of a religious nature. In his book “Exit. Wohlstand ohne Wachstum”, Professor Meinhard Miegel, a leading economist, is now demanding the reverse.More ...
Professor Adelheid Biesecker Photo: Private

Professor Adelheid Biesecker: Our economic system has no future

Is a new culture of economics just wishful thinking? We discussed this topic in an interview with Professor Adelheid Biesecker, former director of the Institute for Institutional Economy and Social Economy (IISO).More ...
Ways out of the crisis: artists forming networks. Photo: airportrait © iStockphoto

Young Artists and Art Market: Art in Crisis?

According to one theory, the financial crisis is having a cleansing effect on the art market. Only artists creating high-quality works are experiencing success. So how will up-and-coming artists fare in these cash-strapped times?More ...
We must pursue economic and ecological sustainability at the same time. Photo: Chris Sadowski © iStockphoto

Making green money: Investments in the environment make sense

You hear it everywhere: “Take advantage of the crisis”. But in a time of financial disaster and climate change panic, green stimulus programs really could be a way out.More ...
Barbara Unmüßig: “We need a financial sector that first and foremost serves the real economy.” Photo: Bettina Keller © Heinrich Böll Stiftung

Financial Transaction Tax – An Interview with Barbara Unmüßig

Since the financial crisis, the financial transaction tax (FTT) has been gaining traction in business and political circles. One of its ardent supporters is Barbara Unmüßig, political scientist and chair of the Heinrich Böll Stiftung.More ...
Start-Ups are mostly a difficult balancing act. Photo: Sean Locke © iStockphoto

High Risk in the Crisis: Start-Ups in the Culture Business

Organisational talent, networks, staying power and, ideally, plenty of start-up capital – these are important prerequisites for a business start-up. But for new businesses in the culture industry the vital thing is to have a unique idea.More ...
Sustainability is also an economic principle Photo: redmal © iStockphoto

Economic Sustainability? The Inability to Think About Tomorrow

The Deepwater Horizon oil drilling rig could become the writing on the wall for a society that is devouring itself. Bad as the oil spill may be, is it not the price that we are willing to pay for our lifestyle?More ...
We need a seal of quality that takes any sense of skepticism out of the equation Photo: alxpin © iStockphoto

The consumer seal of quality

Skeptical voices claim that consumer protection essentially “dumbs down consumers” by denying them the scope of experiences they would otherwise enjoy – or suffer – on their own. But independent sources of information have become indispensable.More ...
Is art to become a tradable item? Photo: Robert Kyllo © iStockphoto

Canned fish and oil paintings: Links between art and the market

What is the difference between a can of sardines and a work of art? The price! At least, that seems to be the inevitable answer when one looks at the latest developments in the art scene. The higher the price, the greater the art.More ...
Why do we enjoy buying things that we don’t really need? Photo: Anastasia Pelikh © iStockphoto

Consumer culture: “A product can be just as subtly designed as work of sculpture”

We talked with Wolfgang Ullrich, professor of Fine Arts and Media Theory as well as the author of “Habenwollen. Wie funktioniert die Konsumkultur?”.More ...
Money is not the problem, but it causes a number of problems Photo: Achim Prill © iStockphoto

More money! – An Interview with Ralph and Stefan Heidenreich

“Money makes the calls,” say Stefan and Ralph Heidenreich in their new book. And the call is, “More!” Given the financial crisis, we thought it would be a good idea to talk more with the authors about money and its destructive dynamics.More ...
How do we know today how much our money is worth? Photo: Michael DeLeo © iStockphoto

The ABCs of money

Being able to handle your money is a matter of course in any country. Still, most people know as little about the financial system as they do about the interplay between banks, companies, private citizens and governmental budgets.More ...
An interview with professor Gisela Schmalz Photo: © Joachim Gern

The Internet economy: “No provider should get too big”

The Internet – a virtual El Dorado for music, information and games, and nearly all of it for free! So who is paying for it and where does the money go? Professor Gisela Schmalz, media economist and author, explains developments.More ...
A town of 2,500 inhabitants provides customers around Germany with clean, ecologically friendly electricity Photo: © EWS Schönau

Rebel energy from the Black Forest

In one German town, committed citizens are winning the battle against powerful energy companies. Their “Rebellenstrom” (Rebel Electricity) is generated exclusively from renewable resources.More ...
“This crisis has most certainly changed the world.” Photo: Sabine Braun

“We can’t afford another crisis” – an interview with Claudia Kemfert

Professor Claudia Kemfert is Germany’s leading economics expert in the areas of energy research and climate protection. Her second book, “Jetzt die Krise nutzen” (lit. “Exploit the crisis now”), was published in 2009.More ...
"A green economic stimulus package would have immediate and sustainable advantages." Copyright: iStockphoto - John Keith

Climate change: a great opportunity for the world economy?

The world is groaning under the pressure of a widespread financial crisis. But the crisis is also an opportunity. According to one study, the fight against climate change would contribute greatly to a robust economic recovery.More ...
The idea of shared offices is growing and thriving in Germany’s big cities Copyright: iStockphoto - Jacob Wackerhausen

A Desk, a Laptop, a Mobile: Shared Offices are Creative Industry Hothouses

Coworking is all the trend. Graphic designers, journalists, architects all work alone and in a team, on large or small storeys of converted factory buildings.More ...
Pharmacy chains continue to be banned in Germany Copyright: iStockphoto - Diego Cervo

Germany’s Pharmacy Scene Remains a Patchwork

The German Pharmacies Act, which gives pharmacists a monopoly position, is more than 800 years old. The centuries weigh so heavy that even the European Court of Justice did not want to overturn this law.More ...
Opel car from 1899 Copyright: GM Corp

The Strength of Innovation: The Growing Value of Patents

Brilliant ideas do not always have to be born in the proverbial garage. In the spring of 1863, a cowshed on the outskirts of Adam Opel’s home town of Rüsselsheim sufficed for the serial production of his first sewing machine.More ...
Kiosks and corner shops having a comeback Copyright: iStockphoto - Kristian Septimius Krogh

The Return of Kiosk Culture

They are in demand once again –kiosks around the corner and corner shops. Small shops offer more than everyday commodities: human contact, time to listen and bite-sized product.More ...
Small loans with great effect: Microloans Copyright: iStockphoto - Tomaz Levstek

Microloans: Development Aid for Germany

In developing countries, microloans are regarded as the golden path to self-help. In industrialised countries, too, however, the great effect of small loans has been recognised. In Germany, the idea is still having start-up problems, however.More ...
Time to say goodbye to the belief in economic growth? Copyright: iStockphoto - Johannes Norpoth

The Economic Miracle in Germany or Why Growth and Consumption Are Not Infinite

In Germany, belief in economic growth has taken on almost religious dimensions. That is hardly surprising, given the fact that prosperity in this country stems from the economic miracle in the late 1940s. The current crisis gives cause for reflection.More ...
Active senior citizens: retired business mentors Copyright: Die Wirtschaftspaten e. V.

Senior Citizens Provide Mentoring Services: Wise Old Owls Help Spring Chickens

As the American philosopher Ralph Waldo Emerson recognised, “The years teach much which the days never know.” This is the starting point of the “Alt hilft Jung” (The old help the young) network. Retired business experts, pass on their experience and knowledge without red tape.More ...
Closure of a fashion shop of the chain `Kult` (i.e.`cult`); © Thomas Köster

“Capitalism Is Still Divine”. An Interview with Cultural Scholar Thomas Macho

Capital as the master of worlds, shopping as cult, the debtor as believer in a message of economic salvation: the economy likes to don a quasi-religious, unassailable visage. Will the taboos collapse along with the markets? An interview with cultural scholar Thomas Macho.More ...
Der Euro – a puzzle; © Maik Blume - Fotolia.com

“Euroland” Tested To Its Limits

Ten years after the birth of the single currency, the European Monetary Union is struggling to survive. The current crisis is exposing the fiscal omissions of the past. Weak countries like Greece, Ireland, Portugal and Italy are being forced to pay high risk premiums on bonds and on the capital markets, bets are already being taken on the breakup of Euroland.More ...
Peter Schaar; © Der Bundesbeauftragte für den Datenschutz und die Informationsfreiheit

“Protection of the Private Sphere at the Workplace Is Inadequate” – an interview with the Federal Commissioner for Data Protection, Peter Schaar, about harmonising data protection in Europe

The Federal Commissioner for Data Protection, Peter Schaar, demands more sensitivity from multi-national businesses for the personal rights of their employees. The international exchange of data between state authorities also appears to be too lax. In an interview with goethe.de he discusses the most critical points.More ...
Dramatic decrease in population in the new Federal Länder  Copyright: iStockphoto - Yvonne Jimenez

A Good Collective – Eastern Germans Seek Their Fortune in the West

Nearly 20 years after the fall of the Wall, some 50,000 people in eastern Germany still pack their cases each year and turn their backs on their home region. A high unemployment rate and frequently also the lack of prospects of economic recovery have led to a dramatic decrease in population in some parts of the new Federal Länder. The causes of the unbroken trend towards moving elsewhere are just as varied as the fates and lives of the people themselves.More ...
It is still a long road to the complete integration Copyright: istockphoto - Christoph Achenbach

Turkish Migrants in Germany: Completely Integrated?

Cem Özdemir is a co-citizen of Turkish descent, and as the Chairman of the Green Party he holds an influential top position. This example might lead one to believe that people of Turkish descent are completely integrated in our society. But what is the real situation concerning the integration of our Turkish co-citizens?More ...
Hannah Arendt Copyright: Hannah Arendt Preis für politisches Denken e. V.

Work is Half of Life? Hannah Arendt and the Disease of the Modern Age

We live in a democracy where, according to the Basic Law, the people rule. But do they really? In the mid-twentieth century, Hannah Arendt attested that modern society had lost its political freedom. Today, leisure is the dominant priority. But, one asks anxiously, who rules then?More ...
More than 1,000 members of staff from Deutsche Telekom demonstrating in 2007 in Hamburg against the planned outsourcing of c. 50,000 company employees
Copyright: picture-alliance/dpa

Outsourcing: A Trend for Difficult Times

Companies and organisations hope to lower costs by shifting operational activities to external service providers. However, outsourcing can also have disadvantages – many are already shifting jobs back.More ...
The Renaissance of Erhard's visions Copyright: istockphoto - Brasil2

The Honourable Merchant – The Return of the Social Market Economy

Are the collapse of the financial markets and the looming recession also threatening the disintegration of Germany’s successful model, the social market economy? After the economic miracle of the post-war period and the hard years of social-security cutbacks, politicians and their critics are calling for a return to the virtues of the young Federal Republic.More ...
Gurken; © colourbox.com

Downsizing Bureaucracy: Freedom for Europe’s Cucumbers

The European Union has declared war on the regulatory craze in Brussels. Among the first to profit from this new spirit of freedom are fruits and vegetables. Twenty-six sorts may now again be sold in curved and bumpy form.More ...
Adjunct Lecturer Dr. Ludger Heidbrink Copyright: Private

Philosopher Regards Crisis as Opportunity

The Cultural Scientist and Adjunct Lecturer Dr. Ludger Heidbrink states: The western lifestyle has proven to be a vice. Consumers are currently determining new paths to chart for the economy.More ...

Titelbild foodwatch-Report `Klimaretter Bio?´; Copyright: foodwatch

Europe’s Powerful Agricultural Lobby Hobbles Consumer Protection.

Consumer advocacy groups in Europe are ineffective in countering the agricultural lobby. Thilo Bode, founder of the consumer advocacy organization foodwatch, sees massive economic and financial interests at work in Brussels.More ...
Wind power station in the northwest of Schleswig-Holstein; Copyright: Siemens

Renewable Energy – "Made in Germany" technology

Renewable energy is a building block for a sustainable energy supply. In Germany, it accounts for only a small percentage of primary energy production, though German companies are global leaders in this segment.More ...
Copyright: Colourbox.com

The Euro's First Decade – A Decade of Monetary Union

Ten years ago, on 1 June 1998, the European Central Banks began to make practical preparations for European monetary union. Euro banknotes and coins were issued by the participating central banks for the first time on 1 January 2002. The euro's first decade – what do the Germans think about it?More ...
Main offices of the Öko-Instituts in Freiburg, Sonnenschiff; Copyright: Öko-Institut

From Accuser to Strategic Advisor

The relationship between ecology and commerce has changed, as the example of the Freiburg Institute for Applied Technology (das Öko-Institut) shows.More ...
Campaign `Demonstrate Values´; Copyright: Wertekommission

Values Commission – Young Managers Still Have Ideals

"You don't earn yourself respect with your elbows, but with sincerity", believes Andreas Kuhn, a manager with Capgemini who makes his conviction public in a campaign run by the Values Commission. The appeal is for a strengthening of values, as these "give reassurance, increase efficiency and represent a significant economic factor."More ...
Copyright: www.adpic.de

“So Much Has Been Done in Germany Over the Last Ten Years”

An interview with the political scientist, Ulrich von Alemann, about corruption in Germany.More ...
Copyright: Colourbox

"How Innovative is Germany?"

Middling. That, at least, is how the German Institute for Economic Research rates Germany's innovative capacity. In an international ranking, Germany is in eighth place.More ...
Coffee beans as we know them are the two halves of the `seed´ of the coffee cherry. The cherries of the coffee plant change colour from green to yellow to red as they ripen and are ready for harvesting nine to twelve months after flowering. Copyright: TransFair Deutschland e.V.

Fair Trade Products Are in Fashion

Fairly traded products are exchanging their unsophisticated ‘muesli bar’ image for one of lifestyle products.More ...
Organic apple; Copyright: www.adpic.de

Organic Boom in the Supermarket – Growth and Collapse

The times when organic food shops smelt of wood and muesli and the tofu sausages tasted of it are past. Eco chic is in, and tasty. Just like organic bananas, organic milk, organic meat and organic ready-to-serve pizza. Not only is there plenty of talk on this subject in Germany – organic is being bought. Everywhere and more every year.More ...
Q-Cells AG main building; Copyright: Q-Cells AG

Economic Development in East Germany

"Reconstruction in the East" is going ahead – despite poor growth rates and the fact that unemployment is only falling slowly. The boom is sustained by so-called industrial clusters, regional networks of innovative growth sectors. One new growth industry is the solar sector.More ...

Rolf Langhammer: The Image of "Fortress Europe" is Outdated

Interview with Professor Rolf Langhammer, Vice-President of the Kiel Institute for the World Economy, about the external impacts of European integration on the global economyMore ...

Inter-Culture Award 2013: Economic Sciences

The Goethe-Institut is again announcing its international Inter-Culture Award, this year for young researchers of Economic Sciences. Apply now!

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