The economist Armin Falk will not become head of the Bonn Institute for the Future of Work (IZA) after all. This was announced by the Deutsche Post Foundation on Monday afternoon. After nearly 700 economists wrote an open letter of protest against his appointment last week, threatening to resign from the IZA research network if Falk was appointed head of IZA, the donor announced that Falk had asked that his appointment be withdrawn.
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The foundation is complying with this request "with regret and great respect for his outstanding scientific achievements", according to the statement. What the future management team of the economic research institute will look like seems unclear at the moment. The current CFO, Martin T. Clemens, will continue to be responsible for the administrative management.
The appointment of Armin Falk had caused resentment among economists: Falk was accused of how the Briq Institute, which he heads, reacted last year to allegations of sexual misconduct and abuse of power against him. In an initial response to allegations on social media, the institute had written that "legal action for defamation" was being considered.
In its announcement, the Swiss Post Foundation now refers to the fact that in March 2023, after an investigation, the University of Bonn came to the conclusion that Armin Falk had been "fully exonerated of the allegations made". The threat of the approximately 700 economists with their mass resignation has now apparently brought about a rethink: "The unique selling point of IZA is its excellent global research network," according to the press release. Its continuous maintenance and expansion is an integral part of IZA's mission.