The Kiel Institute for the World Economy is an economics research center and a think tank that is located in Kiel, Germany. In 2013, it was ranked as one of the top 20 research centers in the world for International Trade and one of the top four think tanks in the world for economic policy. With more than four million publications in printed or electronic format and subscriptions to 31,970 periodicals and journals, the Institute has the world's largest specialist library for economics. It is affiliated with the University of Kiel where it cooperates closely with the Department of Business, Economics, and Social Sciences. It is nevertheless legally and academically independent of the University of Kiel. Since 1 January 2007, it has been an independent, nonprofit organization . It is a member of an association of research institutions, museums, and service centers called the Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz Scientific Community or Leibniz Association and is ranked as one of the top six leading economics research institutions in the Leibniz Association. Like all the institutions that are members of the Leibniz Association, it is funded 50% by the German federal government and 50% by the German states. It employs approximately 160 people, of whom more than 80 are economists. It is headed by a president, currently Dennis J. Snower.
The Kiel Institute was founded under the name of Königliches Institut für Seeverkehr and Weltwirtschaft an der Christian-Albrechts-Universität zu Kiel on 18 February 1914, and opened two days later at the address Schlossgarten 14. With the help of its Sponsors' Association, it was to acquire new premises in 1919, a hotel called the Seebadeanstalt, which was owned by the Krupp family. It moved into these new premises in the spring of 1920, and changed its name to its current German name in 1934. Its mission as part of the University of Kiel was to study the world economy, which was a unique mission, as other economics institutes at the time studied only national economies. The founding director and first head of the Kiel Institute, Bernhard Harms, directed the establishment of a research library, which was systematically expanded by Wilhelm Gülich, the head of the library for a number of years as of 1924, into the world's largest economics library. Harms also established several journals and an economics-related press archive. Further, he attached great importance to linking research to practical economics and to teaching research findings to economics students. The Institute, at the time, conducted international research for the benefit of Germany, which led to the establishment of a war archive and to the expansion of the Institute during World War I. During the Weimar Republic, the Institute established a reputation for competence in international economics. In 1926, the Institute established a department for statistical economics and business cycle research, which gave the Institute a new profile in business cycle theory and business cycle policies. The new department was headed by Adolph Lowe and staffed by such researchers as Gerhard Colm, Hans Neisser, Jacob Marschak, and Wassily Leontief, all of whom published highly acclaimed research findings.
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