Job polarization on local labor markets
22 August 2014
The labor markets of most industrialized countries are polarized. This means that employment has grown in jobs at the upper and lower tails of the wage distribution, while employment in the middle part of the distribution has stagnated or declined. However, there exists no measure that allows a quantitative comparison across different labor markets as yet. The author propose a straightforward way to measure the actual magnitude of job polarization. To demonstrate its application, he use this measure to compare polarization across German local labor markets. Job polarization almost exclusively occurs in urban areas where the hypothesis of routine biased technological change is most likely to prevail.
IAB-Discussion Paper 18/2014
Industry space and skill-relatedness of economic activities
21 August 2014
The resilience and growth prospects of a region depend crucially on the extent to which industry-specific human capital can be redeployed across the industries of a regional economy. To this end, the authors present a toolbox to analyse a region’s industrial structure, development prospects and economic resilience. With the help of this toolbox human capital similarities, or skill-relatedness, among industries are highlighted. The core of these analyses is the so-called industry space, a network that connects industries with similar human capital requirements. For the time period 1999 to 2008, a regional comparative analysis of three eastern German automobile regions, namely south-west Saxony (SWS), Eisenach region (EIS) and Leipzig region (LEI), is conducted.
Techniques for asking sensitive questions in labor market surveys
29 July 2014
Standard surveying techniques are usually not suited to collect valid information on the prevalence of undeclared work or receipt of basic income support. Respondents often misreport their behavior and adjust their answer in accordance with the social norm. In the social sciences alternative strategies have been developed, particularly targeted to increase respondent anonymity in the interview situation and thus reduce misreporting on sensitive topics. Antje Kirchner investigates whether these special techniques lead to higher reports of undeclared work and receipt of basic income support. Furthermore, this work presents the Item Sum Technique, a novel questioning technique that shows more promising results compared to direct questioning.
Labour hoarding in Germany
02 July 2014
During the crisis (2008-09) Germany experienced a huge decrease in GDP. Employment, however, remained surprisingly stable. A whole strand of literature has aimed at quantifying the contribution of short-time work to the German labour market miracle. In the course of this literature we estimate the treatment effect of short-time work on employment at establishment level using a dynamic propensity score matching approach. The analysis is based on data from the IAB Establishment Panel combined with administrative data on short-time work establishments from the Federal Employment Agency. Our results do not indicate any treatment effect of short-time work on employment.
IAB-Discussion Paper 17/2014
Forecasting with a mismatch-enhanced labor market matching function
27 June 2014
This paper investigates the role of mismatch between job seekers and job openings for the forecasting performance of a labor market matching function. In theory, higher mismatch lowers matching efficiency which increases the risk that the vacancies cannot be filled within the usual period of time. We investigate whether and to what extent forecasts of German job findings can be improved by a mismatch-enhanced labor market matching function. For this purpose, we construct so-called mismatch indicators that reflect regional, occupational and qualification-related mismatch on a monthly basis. In pseudo out-of-sample tests that account for the nested model environment, we find that forecasting models enhanced by the mismatch indicator significantly outperform their benchmark counterparts for all forecast horizons ranging between one month and a year. This is especially pronounced in the aftermath of the Great Recession where a low level of mismatch improved the possibility of unemployed to find a job again.
IAB-Discussion Paper 16/2014