• Klaus F. Zimmermann is Founding Director of IZA; Founding Editor-in-Chief of the IZA World of Labor; and Founding Editor-in-Chief of the five IZA Journals
  • In April 1998, he founded the Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA) in Bonn in cooperation with the Deutsche Post Foundation and Bonn University.
  • Under his directorship, the institute expanded into the largest research network in economics (over 1500 Fellows and Affiliates in more than 50 countries), with a globally leading position in the field of labor economics.
  • Acting Director, April 1998 – Februar 2016
  • March 1, 2016: Klaus F. Zimmermann left IZA and the network (see about IZA restructuring below).

Outstanding products have been

  • IZA Discussion Paper series with about 10,000 papers in early 2016
  • Global Network of 1500 Fellows and Affiliates in more than 50 countries
  • IZA Prize in Labor Economics
  • IZA World of Labor (created together with Alexander Kritikos as the Founding Managing Editor)
  • IZA Journal series
  • IZA Summer School
  • IZA – Worldbank Conference on Employment and Development
  • IZA – Migration Program Area
  • IDSC Data Bank Center
  • Frozen Zimmermann IZA Bio of February 2016.

IZA Ranking

RePEc Institution Rankings December 2015

# 1: TOP 25% Economic Institutions Germany

# 1: TOP 10% Institutions in the Economics of Human Migration                        

# 2: TOP 10% Worldwide Economic Institutions in Labor Economics

# 2: TOP 25% Wordwide Think Tanks

# 5: TOP 12.5% Economic Institutions Europe

# 10: TOP 10% (Worldwide) Economic Institutions

IZA Restructuring (December 15, 2015)

I had been informed about what I understood as the following, (i) research and policy advise cannot be in one hand, and (ii) IZA has been too global and should focus on Germany.

On December 15, 2015 the Deutsche Post Foundation declared (IZA Press Release of December 15, 2015):

“As part of the restructuring, the Deutsche Post Foundation will establish an additional non‐profit institution: The Behavior and Inequality Research Institute will be dedicated to behavioral economics and inequality research with a particular focus on labor market issues. At the same time, the restructured Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA) will concentrate on the future of labor, especially with regard to the design of national and international labor market policies.”

In response, in an email to the IZA network on December 15, 2016, I have written:

“The Deutsche Post Foundation has decided to restructure IZA with a quite different orientation that I cannot support. Hence, my operational role as the Director of IZA will end on March 1, 2016. I am grateful for 17 good years, during which IZA and its network was established as one of the leading organizations in labor economics around the world. Its global orientation and unique combination of academic research and policy advise has made IZA an authoritative advocate of modern evidence-based policy making. I wish to thank the staff and all the friends of IZA for great support and help over the many years.”

IZA Restructuring (November 10, 2023)

On November 10, 2023 IZA declared in a Press Release:

“Reorganization of the Deutsche Post Foundation’s research institutes

The Deutsche Post Foundation is undergoing a period of change and has decided to reorganize its research institutes. This involves changes in the strategic direction of both the IZA Institute of Labor Economics and the briq Institute on Behavior & Inequality as well as in the funding of the research institutes. As part of this transformation, the briq Institute will be integrated into IZA, and the Berlin location of IZA will be closed down.

As a consequence of these developments, the current CEO of IZA, Simon Jäger, has decided to depart from his leadership role at IZA by the end of 2023 in mutual agreement with the Deutsche Post Foundation. Both IZA and the Deutsche Post Foundation regret this decision and would like to express their gratitude to Simon Jäger for his exceptional work and his contributions to the further development of IZA.

Effective January 1, 2024, Armin Falk, the current CEO of the briq Institute, will take over the leadership of IZA.