List of research projects

Project lead: Matthias Firgo
Digital Economy and Society Index for Upper Austria (Digital Economy and Society Index für Oberösterreich 2019 (OÖ-DESI 2019))
Completed research studies
Study by: Austrian Institute of Economic Research
Commissioned by: Business Upper Austria
Closed: 2019
DESI (Digital Economy and Society Index) is an annual index developed by the European Union at the national level to evaluate the digital performance of the member countries. The index allows for a comparison in this performance between countries and a monitoring of the developments over time. Thus, DESI is a proper instrument to guide economic policies related to the digital agenda and to support relevant policy decisions. The aim of this project is the second compilation of a regionalised version of DESI for the Land of Upper Austria as a benchmark for the progress of digital transformation in Upper Austria compared to Austria and the countries of the EU. A first DESI for Upper Austria was presented in 2017.
Project lead: Michael Böheim
Opportunities for the business location of Austria through digitization (Chancen für den Wirtschaftsstandort Österreich durch Digitalisierung)
Completed research studies
Study by: Austrian Institute of Economic Research
Commissioned by: Federal Ministry for Digital and Economic Affairs
Closed: 2018
Building on the findings of the WIFO study "Political Room for Maneuver for the Optimal Use of the Advantages of Digitisation for Economic Growth, Employment and Prosperity", the research project is interested in identifying opportunities for Austria as a business location through digitisation. From the overall result, new insights and new recommendations for action should be derived.
Project lead: Michael Peneder
Digitalisation in Austria (Stand der Digitalisierung in Österreich)
Completed research studies
Study by: Austrian Institute of Economic Research
Commissioned by: Vienna Chamber of Labour
Closed: 2019
The process of digitalisation requires comprehensive investments at the level of individual firms, sectors and the macroeconomy. The current study assesses the state of digitalisation in Austria as well as potential gaps in and barriers to investment. We also assess the feasibility of an anticipated follow-up study, which aims at a model-based quantification of the economic impacts of a hypothetical investment initiative to enhance the digital transformation. In the current study we focus on the following questions: What is the state of digitalisation in Austria in international comparison? Which sectors are particularly affected by digitalisation? And is there an investment gap relative to the digital frontrunners?
Project lead: Matthias Firgo
Employment effects of digitalization in the federal states of Austria as well as in urban and rural areas (Beschäftigungseffekte der Digitalisierung in den Bundesländern sowie in Stadt und Land)
Completed research studies
Commissioned by: Liaison Office of the Laender
Study by: Austrian Institute of Economic Research
Closed: 2018
In the context of digital change, little research has been done on the effects on different areas such as urban and rural regions. Supply and demand are increasingly no longer tied to each other in terms of space. This, together with lower labour costs and property prices, argues for a revaluation of rural areas. However, there are many indications in the international literature that despite lower costs of overcoming spatial separation cities continue to gain importance and agglomeration advantages due to the increasing complexity of human labour. Against this background, this project investigates the employment effects of digitalisation at a spatially differentiated level for Austria. The aim is to achieve results for different types of regions and the individual Länder, respectively. The project investigates these effects in different aspects: Work package 1 is dedicated to an extensive study of international literature. Work package 2 analyses the current effects of digitalisation on regional labour markets in Austria. Work package 3 illustrates at a highly disaggregated spatial level the employment effects of local broadband Internet access.
A Deficit of Broadband Demand in Austria (Österreichs Breitbandnachfragedefizit im internationalen Vergleich)
Completed research studies
Study by: Austrian Institute of Economic Research
Commissioned by: Telekom Austria Group
Closed: 2018
This economic analysis deals with the question of whether and if so why a broadband demand deficit – with a special focus on fast broadband access – is apparent in Austria. The aim of the study is to use empirical evidence to identify potential reasons for low take-up rates of broadband access, especially high-speed access.
Project lead: Matthias Firgo
Digital Economy and Society Index für Oberösterreich (OÖ-DESI) (Digital Economy und Society Index für Oberösterreich (OÖ-DESI))
Completed research studies
Study by: Austrian Institute of Economic Research
Commissioned by: Business Upper Austria
Closed: 2017
DESI (Digital Economy and Society Index) is an annual index developed by the European Union at the national level to evaluate the digital performance of the member countries. The index allows for a comparsion in this performance between countries and a monitoring of the developments over time. Thus, DESI is a proper instrument to guide economic policies related to the digital agenda and to support relevant policy decisions. The aim of this project is the first compilation of a regionalised version of DESI for Upper Austria as a benchmark for the progress of digitalisation compared to Austria and the countries of the EU.
Project lead: Michael Böheim
Evaluation of the Broadband Initiative of the BMVIT (Evaluierung der Breitbandinitiative BMVIT)
Completed research studies
Study by: Austrian Institute of Economic Research
Commissioned by: Wissenschaftliches Institut für Infrastruktur und Kommunikationsdienste GmbH
Closed: 2017
The Austrian Broadband Strategy Master Plan and the Special Guidelines provide for a first interim evaluation of the Master Plan after the completion of the first phase of the programmes. This interim evaluation identifies the need for optimisation, in particular with regard to the distribution of funds between the individual providers and between the Länder. The experiences from the first phase should be used to optimise the further phases.
Employment opportunities through digitalisation (Arbeitsmarktchancen durch Digitalisierung)
Completed research studies
Study by: Austrian Institute of Economic Research
Commissioned by: Federal Ministry of Science, Research and Economy
Closed: 2017
We start with an in-depth analysis of the Austrian labour market focussing on tasks; this approach is complemented by expert interviews to collect information on the Austrian labour market development in the recent past. Finally, we attempt to derive recommendations for measures arising employment prospects through digitalisation.
Project lead: Michael Böheim
A Policy Space for Optimising the Benefits of Digitalisation for Economic Growth, Employment and Prosperity (Politische Handlungsspielräume zur optimalen Nutzung der Vorteile der Digitalisierung für Wirtschaftswachstum, Beschäftigung und Wohlstand)
Completed research studies
Commissioned by: Federal Chancellery
Study by: Austrian Institute of Economic Research
Closed: 2017
Digital technologies fundamentally call into question existing market mechanisms, economic policy instruments, structures as well as economic and social interactions. While in traditional markets the prices of goods and services have the central allocation function, the connection between price and value in the data-driven economy is largely resolved. The reason for this lies in the specific cost structure, which is due to high fixed costs and at the same time expresses low marginal costs (near zero). This cost structure favours the monetary (almost) free scaling of digital products and services on "platform markets". In the digital economy, power over data forms the decisive competitive factor. In extreme cases, this results in (natural) monopolies. Based on six thematic analyses (Macroeconomics, Public Sector, Competition, Space, Social Security, Environment and Energy), the findings are condensed into three meta-hypotheses, which set the scope for making the most of the benefits of digitisation for economic growth, employment and prosperity: 1 The "new" economy is an economy of digital data ("digitalism"). 2. Existing structures break up ("structure break"). 3. New structures manifest in extremes ("polarisation").
Project lead: Michael Peneder
Economic Impacts of Digitalisation (Volkswirtschaftliche Effekte der Digitalisierung)
Completed research studies
Commissioned by: Telekom Austria Group
Study by: Austrian Institute of Economic Research
Closed: 2016
The ongoing process of digitalisation increasingly and ever more substantially affects different areas of production and consumption. The fascination with new technological opportunities on the one hand, and the simultaneous fear of its consequences on the other, often leads society to overestimate its impacts in the short run and underestimate them in the long run. This study provides a systematic investigation of the economic impacts of digitalisation putting special emphasis on employment and skills as well as regional development in Austria.
Project lead: Matthias Firgo
Feasibility study DESI Upper Austria (Machbarkeitsstudie OÖ-DESI)
Completed research studies
Study by: Austrian Institute of Economic Research
Commissioned by: Business Upper Austria
Closed: 2016
The IT Cluster Upper Austria advisory board recommends the composition of a Digital Economy and Society Index (DESI) for Upper Austria. As a first step, the present feasibility study provides an assessment of the range of costs for the first as well as subsequent annual index compositions.