Skip to main content


IfM Bonn publishes its research findings primarily in its publication series: study results are published as "IfM-Materials" - or in condensed form as a "Denkpapier" (summary). Statistical analyses and results appear in the series "Daten und Fakten". Discussion and technical papers from all research areas are published as "Working Papers".

In addition, until 2012 selected articles were published in the series "Schriften zur Mittelstandsforschung" (Gabler Verlag). Under the "External Publications" tab, you find numerous essays by IfM researchers that have appeared in (peer-reviewed) specialist journals and external publication series.

499 Results

External publication | 2023 Analysis of the income situation of founders based on the German taxpayer panel

The report is dedicated to the development of the earnings of start-up cohorts. Even if many of the surviving start-ups achieve increasing profits in the following periods, a large number of founders do not manage to generate income of more than € 5,400 a year even in the 5th year after the start-up.

External publication | 2023 Number and structure of start-ups based on the Taxpayer Panel

The Federal Government is planning to introduce an obligation to provide for old age for the self-employed who have not yet been covered by any old-age insurance system if they have been self-employed for 2 years and their income from self-employment is above the marginal income for dependent employment.

IfM-Materialien | 2023 Corporate financing of small and medium-sized enterprises during the COVID-19 pandemic

This study examines the possible impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the financing of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). At the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, we observe an increase in the number of SMEs with financing problems. This is true for SMEs in Germany as well as in other euro area countries.

Policy Brief "Unternehmertum im Fokus" | 2023 Digitalization activities in the small enterprise sector: an urban-rural issue?

The concern that rural regions and their enterprises are at a disadvantage in the use of new digital technologies compared to urban areas due to a digital divide is a recurring theme in the political debate.

Chartbooks | 2023 How companies in NRW cope with climate change

Climate change is affecting North Rhine-Westphalia (NRW) - one of Germany's largest and most densely populated federal states.

External publication | 2023 Health Economy in the Digital Transformation

The healthcare industry comprises a complex system of stakeholders with different interests and needs. For the successful digital transformation of the healthcare industry, it is therefore essential to establish appropriate governance structures that take this complexity into account.

External publication | 2023 Does innovation shape the employment growth distribution? Evidence from East European firms

Employment growth is one of the most crucial indicators for economic policy. As the literature shows that only few fast-growing firms create the most new jobs, we apply recentered influence function regression to examine whether and how innovation activities shape the employment growth distribution.

External publication | 2023 The stagnating productivity of SMEs endangers Germany's prosperity

Small and medium-sized companies are increasingly lagging behind large companies in terms of their labor productivity - the "backbone" of the German economy is in danger of falling behind.

Chartbooks | 2023 Mittelstands Future Panel: The Future Panel 2023: Increased competitive pressure challenges companies

For the third consecutive time, both medium-sized and non-owner-managed companies cited the shortage of skilled workers as their biggest challenge. The current survey also shows that the dominance of "competitive pressure" as a challenge.

External publication | 2023 The interplay of context and entrepreneurship: the new frontier for contextualisation research

The aim of this Special Issue ties in with increasing calls in the entrepreneurship literature for going beyond agent centric views towards accounts that theorise the interconnections between agency and structure.

External publication | 2023 A highly innovative SME sector needs reliable framework conditions

What general conditions are currently needed to strengthen innovation and investment in the Mittelstand?

IfM-Materialien | 2023 Influence of administrative burdens on the cross-border posting of employees by SMEs in border regions

Based on interviews with companies and experts, the study examines the extent to which administrative requirements hinder or prevent the cross-border provision of services by German and Dutch SMEs in selected border regions.

External publication | 2023 Gesellschaft mit gebundenen Vermögen – a legal form that can actually facilitate business successions in the future?

This paper analyses the suitability of the new legal form of the "Gesellschaft mit gebundenem Vermögen" planned in the coalition agreement for the context of business successions.

External publication | 2023 The attractiveness of polytechnics in Delhi and Mumbai: a study on the perception from the perspective of students and parents

This article analyses the attractiveness of Polytechnics (PTs) in India, which are part of the country’s Vocational Education and Training (VET) system, from the perspectives of individuals. PTs as institutions of Higher VET are an essential part of the Indian VET system.

Policy Brief "Unternehmertum im Fokus" | 2023 SMEs now play a larger role in trade and FDI relations between Germany and Brazil

Using new statistical data sources, this policy brief highlights a considerable and growing importance of German SMEs for the trade and FDI relations between Brazil and Germany.

IfM-Materialien | 2023 Entrepreneurship of minors: Prevalence and characteristics

Diese explorative Studie beleuchtet erstmals auf Basis des Taxpayer-Panels sowie selbst erhobener Daten die unternehmerische Selbstständigkeit von Minderjährigen.

Policy Brief "Unternehmertum im Fokus" | 2023 How young and established companies differ with regard to sustainability and digitisation efforts

The Global Entrepreneurship Monitor data from 2021 shows that new business owner-managers and established business owner-managers have different digitisation and sustainability efforts.

Facts and figures | 2023 Hybrid self-employment in the employment trajectory. Analyses based on the Taxpayer Panel 2001-2018

From a socio-political point of view, the growing number of hybrid self-employed is associated with the concern that gaps could open up in their old-age provision. However, hybrid self-employment episodes are usually of short duration, although they often occur several times in the course of employment.

Denkpapiere | 2023 “Gesellschaft mit gebundenen Vermögen” – A critical view of the legal form from an economic perspective

This paper analyses the new legal form of the "Gesellschaft mit gebundenem Vermögen" planned in the coalition agreement. It shows that the core elements of the legal form (asset lock as well as the retention of company shares in the so-called "capabilities and values family") could endanger rather than promote the continued existence of companies in the long term.

IfM-Materialien | 2023 Adapting to climate change: Exploring the specific challenges for SMEs

We investigate whether and how businesses perceive and adapt to climate change. Our survey results suggest that most German enterprises are aware of climate change and its consequences. The perception of climate risks is less driven by business size than by experience.