I am a PhD Student and research assistant at the University of Heidelberg. I work at the chair for Labor Economics and New Political Economy.
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Governments across Europe have liberalized temporary contracts to stimulate employment. However, due to worries about the long-term outcomes of these reforms, there are several recent policy proposals advocating renewed restrictions of fixed-term employment. This paper evaluates the effects of a 2001 reform in Germany, which has changed the ability of smaller firms to establish fixed-term employment contracts. After the reform hiring employees on fixed-term contracts became relatively harder for firms below the employment protection threshold of 5 employees. Using a basic differences- in-differences approach that compares firms below and above the official employment protection threshold, I find that the reform has led to a decrease in the use of fixed-term contracts by small firms but has not markedly changed their employment behavior. Furthermore, for post-reform labor market entrants who joined affected firms, I note an increase in cumulated wages and a reduction in the time ouf of work in the first 5 years as well as suggestive evidence that implies a reduced likelihood to remain fixed-term employed.Evolution of the East German Wage Structure (with Christina Gathmann)
We analyze the evolution of the wage and employment structure in East Germany over the past two decades and compare it to West Germany. Our results suggest that wage inequality in the East exceeds that in the West, especially at the top of the wage distribution. We also show that wage inequality is no longer rising in Germany and even declining in East Germany after 2009. Third, unemployment rates have been declining drastically over the past decade in all of Germany but even more so in East Germany. Changes along the supply side seem to play some role for the evolution of wages, especially in the 1990s. Yet, institutional changes, esp. the introduction of sectoral minimum wages, seem to be an important driver of the recent declines in wage inequality in East Germany; in West Germany in tun, demand shifts and esp. routinization are important to explain recent wage changes.A Novel Approach to Estimate Labor Supply Elasticities: Combining Data from Actual and Hypothetical Choices (with Christina Gathmann)
We propose a novel approach to estimate labor supply elasticities and to separate preferences for leisure from frictions. To identify preferences for leisure, we present respondents of a representative panel survey with a sequence of hypothetical labor supply choices. We then combine our estimates with data on observed labor supply choices to identify the size of frictions. Our preliminary results show that preferences for leisure from hypothetical choices are larger than those from observed choices pointing to the importance of optimization errors. We also document that preferences for leisure differ substantially along observable and unobservable dimensions. These results suggest that estimates from local variation might not be a good proxy for labor supply responses in the broader population.