Our publications

Gender Equality

Why the Labour Market Hasn’t Failed

Women are gaining ground in the Swiss labour market. For years, their wages have been increasing faster than men’s. Yet the public perception is one of discrimination in the workplace, because women’s salaries still average about 19% less than men’s. Avenir Suisse’s new publication, “Gender Equality: Why the Labour Market Hasn’t Failed” disproves this interpretation. Salary differentials are largely attributable to individual career and job choices.

Watch the Swiss

Insights and outlooks from abroad

What’s special about Switzerland? Where are its strengths and where are its weaknesses? For “Watch the Swiss“, Avenir Suisse’s latest book, we’ve asked people from all over the world about their opinions on Switzerland. This book is special in three ways. First, it is being published exclusively in English. Second, it has not been written by our staff, but by outsiders from around the world. And third, it does not contain recommendations for reforms, but comprises a series of essays.

Consumer choice under threat

How current and future consumer options will be curtailed

Two central institutions of Swiss consumer policy – the Office for Consumer Affairs (Büro für Konsumentenfragen, abbreviated to BFK in German, ed) and the Federal Commission for Consumer Affairs (Eidgenössische Kommission für Konsumentenfragen – EKK) celebrated their fiftieth anniversaries this year. But as Samuel Rutz, an Avenir Suisse project leader, notes in our latest “avenir

Passive voting rights for active foreigners

Possibilities for political engagement at local level

Switzerland is a country of immigrants. Just under quarter of the permanently resident population are foreigners – and, as a result, have no political voice. However, as a study by Tibère Adler, Hugo Moret, Nicole Pomezny and Tobias Schlegel shows, there has been good experience with so-called «passive» voting rights at municipal level, especially in French speaking Switzerland and partly in some German speaking regions. This could be an inspiration to others.

Staying competitive with the strong franc

An “avenir special” following the Swiss National Bank’s 15 January decision

It is mainly companies that are being challenged by the strong franc. But Swiss economic policy must now also confront the task of taking up long overdue – and familiar – improvements to Switzerland’s attractiveness as an investment centre. The latest “avenir special” sums up its findings in 10 propositions.

Capital and Capital Taxes

Facts & Figures on Wealth in Switzerland

In the aftermath of the financial crisis, discussion about disparities in wealth and about capital taxes has gained new momentum. In recent years, numerous cantonal and federal referendums have been proposed with the aim of raising taxes on capital. But how is wealth in Switzerland actually distributed? And to what extent is capital already taxed? Economist Marco Salvi answers these questions in the latest «avenir standpunkte» publication.

The Referendum

More democracy through greater focus

Not just the number, but also the success rate, of referendums has increased notably of late. But hardly any of the referendums approved have been implemented in the full spirit of their initiators. To stop the most important instrument in Switzerland’s direct democracy turning into a farce, reforms are urgently needed to improve the effectiveness of referendums while preventing their abuse.

Bad marks for Switzerland’s willingness to reform  

Edition of DA CH Reformbarometer 2015

The 2011-2015 legislative period has been disappointing for liberalisation. Avenir Suisse’s latest “D A CH Reform Barometer” shows 2014 marked another step backwards.

Impetus for Switzerland

Activity Report 2014

The core business of Avenir Suisse is thinking – using our intellect to build a positive framework for Switzerland. Individual freedom, private ownership, competition, open markets and democratic politics are essential for stimulating growth and prosperity. Good framework conditions always leave room for new ideas, with the emphasis on creativity and competition rather than controls and constraints. This attitude shapes the way we tackle all the issues.

Privacy and the Net

The new avenir spezial encloses a poster on big data

A new "avenir spezial" on privacy, data protection and the net examines the significance of data protection and data security in everyday life. It asks what lessons can be learned from the leaks by Edward Snowden, the fugitive former NSA contractor, and aims to answer what have become central questions in our relations with the internet.

Employment for the elderly in its infancy

Seniors as trump cards against skills shortages

In the latest in Avenir Suisse’s “avenir standpunkte” series, project leader Jérôme Cosandey focuses on the potential for using older workers. Seniors approaching, or just past, statutory retirement age could expand the workforce by 10,000s, avoiding the politically sensitive issue of immigration and quotas. Polls show that some 57% of workers over 60 would be prepared to continue beyond official retirement age if the conditions were right.

Citizens’ state and state-minded citizens

The “militia” system between myth and modernity

Volunteering, that pillar of Swiss politics, is crumbling. Avenir Suisse’s new book illustrates Switzerland’s “militia” system of political volunteering in its full breadth, from municipal to cantonal to federal level, and proposes reinvigorating the “militia” system with a “civic service for all.”

Of old and new privileges

How the cantons sustain monopolies instead of supporting markets

Switzerland’s federal system devolves activities as diverse as fishing, notarial work, property insurance and geothermal exploration to the cantons. Avenir Suisse’s sixth Cantonal Monitoring study, “Of old and new privileges”, reveals big room for improvement in such public sector incursions into the free market, both in terms of extent and design.