Sectoral studies

Main research focus

Enterprises and sectors are the basis of economic activity and are thus at the core of wiiw research. wiiw activities comprise the analysis of how enterprises and sectors cope with the new challenges emerging today. These encompass the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, the take-up of new technologies, increased digitalization and the strive to meet climate goals, protect the environment, and foster a green economy. We focus on industries in the CEE, SEE and CIS countries but often take a comparative perspective, both at the overall European or global level.

New directions

The COVID-19 pandemic has accelerated digitalisation in all parts of the economy. Thus our work concentrates on the effects of digitalisation as well as new technologies (AI, robots, big data) on production processes, employment, competitiveness and value chains.

An important area in our research in the field of industrial economics is the analysis of productivity developments, the dynamics of capital intensity in production and innovation patterns and dynamics, with particular attention paid to intangible capital goods.

In the field of sectoral development, we focus on the analysis of innovative and sustainable sectors. A prime research topic here is the automotive industry, which is facing major global challenges. Especially in CEEC countries, with their strong specialization on the automotive industry, major changes are approaching and thus closely watched. The COVID-19-pandemic has in addition disrupted global value chains, thus possibilities for nearshoring for the CEECs and in particular the Western Balkan countries are monitored.


Our work is based on the use of industry-level statistics which is increasingly complemented with firm-level information. We model industry developments in terms of future trends (e.g. in technology, changing patterns of demand, etc.), the impact upon other industries and the overall economy, and analyse the impact of changing global patterns of competition, of integration and of trade policy environments upon industrial developments in CEE, SEE and CIS economies.