IZA was created in 1998 with a generous endowment from the Deutsche Post Foundation. Over the 20 years of its existence, IZA has issued nearly 12,000 Discussion Papers, touching on all areas of labor economics and labor issues, but also including studies dealing with appropriate statistical measurement, macroeconomic labor issues and many other areas related to labor. The IZA network of Research Fellows and Affiliates contains over 1,500 members from more than 60 countries. It includes many labor economists, but also specialists in labor issues in sociology and labor policy more generally.
Each year IZA has held or co-sponsored around 30 conferences covering such areas as education, migration, program evaluation, environmental issues and many others. It has also held an annual meeting, its Transatlantic Conference, bringing together one dozen researchers from each side of the Atlantic to exchange ideas and present their research. At the IZA Summer School, each year around 30 advanced European Ph.D. students discuss each other’s research, hear lectures on cutting-edge topics by world-renowned scholars, and, moreover, become acquainted with each other, fostering a cadre of European scholars of the next generation.
It seemed appropriate to commemorate these achievements by holding a large conference open to researchers from around the world. From over 600 submissions, 192 papers were selected and organized into 48 sessions on June 28-29 in Berlin. The World Labor Conference was also the venue for awarding the biennial IZA Prize in Labor Economics.