The Institute of Economics (FGN-HSG) was founded in 1952 by professors Walter Adolf Jöhr, Theo Keller and Emil Küng. It was the first of more economics institutes to follow.
A key task is provided by article 1 in the bylaws agreed on when the institute was founded:
'The institute fosters and supports basic research in the field of economics and looks for synergies and a synthesis with other social sciences.'
The activities of the founding directors give proof of a broad understanding of basic research. For them it was not theorizing and debating in the ivory tower, but scientific work that ignites policies, the economy and teaching, and also receives impulses from these areas.