DIW Berlin (the German Institute for Economic Research) calls itself one of the leading economic research institutes in Germany. It was founded in 1925 and explores economic and social sciences in relevant areas, to base advice on politics and society on. The Institute, networked nationally and internationally, provides worldwide research infrastructures and promotes young scientists. Independent, as a member of the Leibniz Association, it is financed mainly by public funds. It has recently issued a number of publications about the German economy in the context of the Eurozone.
Though the publications are in German, an interesting summary has been written in English. The article by Bill Mitchell, Professor in Economics and Director of the Centre of Full Employment and Equity (CofFEE), concludes that the DIW study reveals that while Germany has been able to expand its total employment rate, the quality of work has declined and income inequality has risen. The incidence of poverty and severe poverty has risen sharply, amounting to what Mitchell describes as:
“a concerted attack on the German ‘middle class’ as the distribution of jobs has polarised. Fewer people now enjoy the benefits and security of regular employment. More Germans are now vulnerable to precarious employment, income insecurity and single-income families, in particular, are exposed to a much higher risk of poverty.“
It is an indication of how poorly the Eurozone is doing, that its touted strongest member, Germany, has an economic model that does not generate a sound outcome for the bulk of its citizens: those in the lower- and middle-class.