TRACE comprises five work packages (WPs)

  • the acquisition and preparation of the data (WP1)
  • the analysis of firm performance under the ETS and the EEG (WP2), in particular effects on sales, employment, and energy use
  • the analysis of the relationship between electricity costs and firm performance (WP3)
  • the analysis of changing tasks in different occupations (WP4), in particular the effect of lowcarbon policies on job tasks and occupations at plant and regional level
  • and finally the coordination and dissemination of results (WP5)

WP1 consists of collecting and preparing the datasets for analysis. To this end, the work package links existing datasets in novel ways. The analyses for the project is mainly based on the State and Federal Statistics Offices’ official firm data for Germany (AFiD) as well as the Establishment History Panel (BHP) and the Integrated Employment Biographies (IEB) of the IAB. The resulting datasets are used for the analyses in WP2, WP3 and WP4. A long-term objective of the WP is to make the new datasets available for future research through the IAB Research Data Centre.

This WP focuses on the impact of two important climate and energy policies, the EU ETS and the EEG, on the manufacturing sector. The WP addresses three main research questions: (1) How effective are these policies at reducing energy use and associated CO2 emissions? (2) How do these policies affect economic performance, especially labour market outcomes? (3) How does the interaction between the two policy instruments affect the above-mentioned outcomes?

Working Paper „Energy Tax Exemptions and Industrial Production”

The analysis in WP3 aims to identify the impact of changes in electricity costs on economic performance and employment at both the intensive and extensive margin in the manufacturing sector. Several research questions are addressed: (1) How do electricity prices affect energy use and associated CO2 emissions? (2) How do electricity prices affect economic performance and labour market outcomes? (3) How does electricity price variation affect plant openings and closures? The WP thereby assesses the economic vulnerability of specific regions as well as industrial sectors and different types of employees to changing electricity costs over time and across space.

ZEW Discussion Paper 20-008 “Energy Use Patterns in German Manufacturing Since 2003”

ZEW Discussion Paper 21-027 “What Drives Carbon Emissions in German Manufacturing: Scale. Technique oder Composition?”


WP4 delivers an in-depth analysis of the transformation of tasks and occupations due to climate protection measures. Climate policies may lead to changes within tasks and occupations. This phenomenon is characterized by the increase of tasks dedicated to reducing CO2. The following research questions are addressed: (1) How many employees have ‘low-carbon’ occupations and where do they work? How have these indicators changed over time? (2) Does regulation under the EU ETS and the EEG influence the change of tasks and occupations at the plant and regional level? (3) How do electricity costs influence the tasks and occupations in local labour markets?


The aim of WP 5 is to secure that communication runs smoothly between partners, stakeholders, and policy makers. An important aspect is to ensure that the advisory board is continually involved over the course of the project (e.g. through workshops) and that a scientific exchange takes place with other project teams working on related topics funded under the same call. To this end, one of the key objectives of the WP is to gather and prepare the results of each of the WPs for further dissemination and discussion in a variety of formats.