IRES is a research center of the Université Catholique de Louvain (UCL). The center was founded in 1928 with a mission to analyze economic data and unravel the essential mechanisms behind them. It has been located in Louvain-la-Neuve since the mid-1970s.
In its early years, the focus of the center was on the analysis of the business cycle and on the productive structure of the economy. A major shift occurred in 1990, with a marked increase in the international character of IRES, a more active support to academic research, and further developments of the policy aspects of this research.
With the Center for Operations Research and Econometrics (CORE) and the Institut de Statistique, Biostatistique et Sciences Actuarielles (ISBA), IRES now belongs to the Institute of multidisciplinary research for quantitative modeling and analysis (IMMAQ).
Within IMMAQ, IRES has its own research policy, affiliated researchers and administrative staff. IRES has 11 faculty members, a few postdoctoral researchers and about 25 doctoral students.
Since its inception, IRES has always promoted deep interactions between fundamental research, applied research and policy recommendations in economics. Our members publish articles in leading international journals but also have a solid experience in popularizing the results of their research, and advising private and public decisions makers.
IRES Research activities are mainly organized around four domains:
These rely on a variety of methodologies, such as applied theory, quantitative theory, applied econometrics, randomized control trials, and natural experiments.
Through a set of events such as conferences, workshops, seminars, IRES provides a forum for discussion of the latest research. Our events bring together IRES staff, other faculty members, policymakers, students, and members of other interest groups
Several members of IRES are involved in editorial activities for international journals. In addition, IRES together with Cambridge University Press publishes the Journal of Demographic Economics, which welcomes papers in the field of study that lies at the intersection of economics and population studies.
Interactions with decision makers
Some members have a solid experience in advising policy makers and international institutions on a varied set of issues related to the labor market, the business cycle and macroeconomic policies, growth and development, migration or trade policy.
In addition to occasional reports written for international or national institutions, IRES provides two products that are of direct relevance for policy and decision makers out of the university: