Wolfgang Franz

Wolfgang Franz ( born January 7, 1944 in Nassau ) is a German economist. He was president of the ZEW and in February 2013, Chairman of the Advisory Council on the Assessment of economic development ( " farming" ).


Wolfgang Franz studied economics at the University of Mannheim and was there in 1974 received his doctorate with a thesis on labor market analyzes. This was followed by a two-year fellowship at Harvard University and the National Bureau of Economic Research in the United States. In 1981 he completed his habilitation with a thesis on youth unemployment. At the University of Mannheim was a pupil of Franz Heinz König.

He then accepted a position at the University of Mainz and joined in 1984 at the University of Stuttgart. In 1989 he was appointed professor at the University of Konstanz. From 1997 to 2013 he was president of the Center for European Economic Research (ZEW ) in Mannheim and holds a Chair in Economics at the University of Mannheim.

Franz was in 2011 a member of the Supervisory Board of EnBW Energie Baden -Württemberg, where he was the Audit Committee.


Wolfgang Franz is a member of the Heidelberg Academy of Sciences and since 1998 the German Academy of Sciences Leopoldina. Since 1 March 2003, he is member of the Advisory Council on the Assessment of economic development ( economy ), which he already belonged from 1994 to 1999, on the recommendation of the unions based on a recommendation of employers' organizations. In March 2009, he was elected as Chairman of the Advisory Council for three years and re-elected in February 2012 for a further term. He is also a member of the Scientific Advisory Board of the Ministry of Economics and Labour. Wolfgang Franz was also until March 2009 Member of the Kronberger Kreis, the scientific advisory board of the Market Economy Foundation. He was the principal consultant for economics at the German Research Foundation and is co-editor of several economics journals. His main research areas are macroeconomic economics, labor market research and empirical economic research. On these topics, he has published numerous books and scientific papers.

In January 2010, Franz explained in an interview with the newspaper Die Welt his ideas of a reform of the unemployment benefit II ( " Hartz 4"). Core point is a reduction in the standard rate for Hartz IV recipients by 30% to 251 euros a month and by improving the possibilities for additional earnings (lowering the transfer withdrawal rate from 80% to 50 %) is to be compensated. Are the regular labor market to a few spots available, local authorities or charities to provide new, state-subsidized jobs available, which must then be also adopted in the context of reasonableness. The concept was recommended as early as 2006 in an expertise of the Advisory Council. Representative of the Green Party and social organizations have criticized the proposals.

Honors and Awards

  • Honorary doctorate from the European Business School in Oestrich- angle ( September 2003)
  • Honorary doctorate from the Otto -von- Guericke University Magdeburg ( October 2003)
  • Medal of Merit of the State of Baden -Württemberg ( May 2003)
  • Medal of the University of Konstanz
  • Federal Cross of Merit 1st class (2013 )


  • Wolfgang Franz: Labor Economics. 7th edition. Springer, Berlin and others 2009, ISBN 978-3-642-02353-8.
  • Wolfgang Franz, HJ Ramser and M. Stadler (eds.): Employment contracts. In: Business Science Seminar Ottobeuren. 37, Mohr Siebeck, Tübingen 2008, ISBN 978-3-16-149793-3.
  • Wolfgang Franz: The labor market. An economic analysis. In: Meyers forum. 17 BI paperback publisher, Mannheim, inter alia, 1993, ISBN 3-411-10321-3.