Research project is (co)funded by the Slovenian Research Agency and by the Ministry of the Economy, Tourism and Sport.


Member of University of Ljubljana

University of Ljubljana, School of Economics and Business




Convergence of Slovenia towards Austria and Germany with the meausres of modern development policy


1.10.2023 - 30.9.2024

Range on year

0,4 FTE in year 2024


doc. dr. Denis Marinšek, CFA

Research activity

Social sciences/Economics

Research Organisation

University of Ljubljana, Faculty for Public Administration


Since 2009, Slovenia has faced the challenge of low labor productivity growth, which has led to a development crisis and a decline in the prosperity of the population. Low labor productivity growth, which was primarily the result of low investment in physical capital by both the state (lack of large infrastructure projects) and the corporate sector (credit crunch), a decline in public investment in research, development, and innovation, low investment in other forms of intangible capital (e.g., education and training, development of new business models), and the lack of an adequate development policy with clearly defined priorities and implementation plans, led to the deterioration of the competitive position of Slovenian companies in global markets. The rapid aging of the population, the green transition, and new technologies requiring large private and public financial investments have exacerbated the problem of unambitious development policies in the past and threaten Slovenia with serious economic stagnation and acceptance of compromises in maintaining the current level of the welfare state in the coming decades without serious reforms (Mramor and Sambt, 2019). In 2020, a group of researchers developed a set of measures to reduce the gap in labor productivity relative to the reference countries of Austria and Germany, with the goal of halving the gap by 2030. The researchers identified 15 areas in which Slovenia lags significantly behind Austria and Germany and developed concrete measures to reduce said gap. It was found that progress was made in 2021 in the area of planned investments in critical public infrastructure, but the main challenge remains in soft productivity factors, which require action in the area of de-bureaucratization, management of public institutions, and at the level of education and R&D collaboration (Mramor et al., 2022), and that productivity continues to deteriorate due to relatively low investment in intangible capital.

In line with the starting points and the problem definition, the aim of the research project is to conduct a comparative study between Slovenia and the reference countries Austria and Germany in the field of development and innovation policies and measures to strengthen the economy. With the help of a literature review and an empirical study (in-depth comparative analysis of the institutional system of Austria and Germany, also with a focus on the legal system; comparative quantitative analysis of the development of labor productivity by individual industries in Austria, Germany and Slovenia based on the data series EU KLEMS and AJPES data; qualitative analysis of deficits according to identified productivity factors; qualitative analysis of implemented measures and directions in the period between 2020 and 2023 based on a review of legal acts and in-depth interviews with development policy makers), we will elaborate a renewal of development policy and corresponding implementation measures. Based on the conducted microeconometric study, we will prepare a methodological framework for conducting qualitative research in which we will gain insights into the impact of spillovers of intangible capital along value chains and the situation of lifelong learning in a sample of companies through in-depth interviews. We will develop a methodological framework for evaluating development interventions and establish a set of measurable indicators for monitoring performance. We will provide an overview of the implementation of directions and actions proposed in 2022 and 2020 (Mramor et al.), and report on the identification of shortfalls in individual areas critical to productivity growth. We will identify key areas for investment of public resources from the perspective of the greatest impact on increasing added value in the economy and communicate the results of the analysis with various stakeholders, as social consensus must be achieved for effective implementation of development policy.



The phases of the project and their realization

Phase 1

Oct. 2023 - Sep. 2024

Project management and coordination.


Pahse 2

Oct .2023 - Mar. 2024

Review and analysis of existing theoretical and empirical studies on the impact of public policies on business productivity, review of the institutional framework in the EU and Slovenia.


Pahse 3

Oct. 2023 - Mar. 2024

A comparative study of the institutional system between Austria, Germany and Slovenia, with a focus on the legal system.


Pahse 4

Oct. 2024 - Mar. 2024

Data preparation and quantitative empirical research on productivity trends.


Pahse 5

Feb. 2024 - Aug. 2024

Conducting qualitative research among development policy actors and analyzing deficits in individual areas that are crucial for productivity growth.


Pahse 6

Apr. 2024 - Aug. 2024

Elaboration of a proposal for the renewal of development policy and implementation measures.


Pahse 7

Jun. 2024 - Aug. 2024

Definition of measurable indicators for the subsequent evaluation of the effectiveness of policies and measures in practice, preparation of summaries and formulation of recommendations.


Pahse 8

Mar. 2024 - Sep. 2024

Dissemination of project results.

Citations for bibliographic records


Dodatne informacije

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