The staff of the Economics Department aims to achieve excellence in research, teaching as well as advisory activity, in order to make it a prominent scientific authority in all relevant fields of investigation. Members of this Deparment have a long record of peer-reviewed publications in leading journals of world-wide reputation in their own specific areas of econimic analysis. They are also active as consultants for interantional institutions (such as the Organization for Econmic Cooperation and Development, the World Bank, and the Council of Europe) as well as for the Swiss cantons and Confederation. Among the staff, there is also a member of the Council of Economic Analysis of the Prime Minister in France.

Recent examples:

Empirical evaluations of health promotion and part time work schemes in companies

In two recent articles, Prof. M. Huber (University of Fribourg), Prof. M. Lechner (University of St. Gallen), and Prof. C. Wunsch (University of Basel) used a large German data set containing linked employer-employee information over time to investigate the effectiveness of company-provided health promotion measures and part time work schemes for elderly employees. Applying flexible statistical evaluation methods, their results suggest that the provision of health courses or health circles increases job stability and tenure (time spent with the current employer) of employees across various age groups. A further finding is that health circles/courses strengthen the labour force participation of elderly employees (51–60).  Finally, also part time work schemes for elderly workers, which can be regarded as phased retirement options, appear to increase the labour force participation (employment and earnings) of the targeted elderly employees in the transition period from working to full retirement. However, the timing of (full) retirement remains largely unchanged.  Both types of company-provided measures thus imply potential cost savings for public transfer schemes such as unemployment insurance payments. The articles are currently in press in the “Journal of Health Economics” and the “Industrial and Labor Relations Review”, respectively.


Departement of economics  -   Bd de Pérolles 90    -   1700 Fribourg   -  Tel +41 26 / 300 82 66    -   Fax +41 26 / 300 96 78    -   -   Swiss University