Founded in 1998, IZA is a non-profit limited-liability organization supported by the Deutsche Post Foundation and other national and international sources.
On March 1, 2016, the Institute for the Study of Labor was restructured by Klaus Zumwinkel, CEO of the Deutsche Post Stiftung and President of IZA. A new institute on behavior and inequality research was founded while IZA will put more emphasis on policy-relevant research. Founding Director Klaus F. Zimmermann, who did not accept these developments, left IZA on the 1st of March 2016.
IZA headquarters in 2008.
IZA runs the world's largest research network in economic science, comprising over 1,300 international Research Fellows and Affiliates, as well as Policy Fellows from business, politics, society and the media.
As of December 2014, the RePEc ranks IZA second of the top worldwide economic institutions in the field of labour economics as well as second of the top worldwide think tanks. In Germany it is the number one top economic institution.
In conducting labor market research, IZA cooperates closely with the Economics Department at the University of Bonn and the department's graduate education program at the Bonn Graduate School of Economics.
IZA's main focus is the economic analysis of national and international labor markets within a broad range of research areas. Furthermore IZA provides policy advice on crucial labor market issues for national and international policy institutions.
IZA's research activities currently concentrate on eleven program areas providing high-standard labor market research on a wide array of topics:
Evaluation of Labor Market Programs
Gender and Family
Behavioral and Personnel Economics
Labor Markets and Institutions
Environment and Labor Markets
Labor in the Macroeconomy
Mobility and Migration
Labor in Emerging and Post-Transition Economies
Employment and Development
To promote research on labor markets in developing countries, IZA launched in 2006, together with the World Bank, a joint research program on "Employment and Development". In addition, in its special research area "Growth and Labor Markets in Low Income Countries", IZA coordinates for the UK Department for International Development a substantial research program to promote growth and employment in low income countries.