About IRES

Banner with IRES logo

IRES is a research center in economics of the Université Catholique de Louvain (UCLouvain). 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), the Institut de Statistique, Biostatistique et Sciences Actuarielles (ISBA), Louvain Finance (LFIN) and the SMCS platform, IRES now belongs to the Louvain Institute of Data Analysis and Modeling in economics and statistics (LIDAM). 

Within LIDAM, IRES has its own research policy, affiliated researchers and administrative staff.

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.

Research activities

IRES Research activities are mainly organized around five 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


Editorial activities

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: 

    1. Through our series Regards économiques, IRES members are involved in socio-economic debates
    2. Every quarter, the Service d’Analyse Economique produces a detailed analysis of short-term economic prospects in Belgium, complemented with forecasts,