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    Does Online Search Improve the Match Quality of New Hires?

    17 February 2021

    This paper studies the effects of the high-speed internet expansion on the match quality of new hires. We combine data on internet availability at the local level with German individual register and vacancy data. Results show that internet availability has no major impact on the stability of new matches and their wages. We confirm these findings using vacancy data, by explicitly comparing match outcomes of online and non-online recruits. Further results show that online recruiting not only raises the number of applicants and the share of unsuitable candidates per vacancy, but also induces employers to post more vacancies.

    IAB-Discussion Paper 2/2021


    Professorship for Macroeconomics and Labor Market Research (Assistant Professor)

    15 February 2021

    Co-Working office spaceThe Faculty of Business, Economics, and Law invites applications for a W1 Professorship for Macroeconomics and Labor Market Research (Assistant Professor). The professorship is to be filled by the earliest possible starting date for an initial period of three years. The position is to be filled as part of a joint call for applications made by the University in conjunction with the Institute for Employment Research (IAB) of the Federal Employment Agency.

    Update: The application deadline has expired.


    Strong demand and sound labour market integration

    12 February 2021

    Construction workers on a buildingCitizens of the Western Balkan countries can take up employment in Germany due to the Western Balkans regulation without having to provide proof of adequate professional qualifications. So far, the regulation has been in high demand among both German companies and potential workers. We analyse the labour market integration of these employees, the experience of the employers and also the administrative implementation of the Regulation.

    IAB-Kurzbericht (IAB Brief Report) 16/2020


    European Labour Market Barometer: Dry spell for the job market in Europe

    02 February 2021

    The European labour market barometer provides an outlook for the development of the European labour market in the next three months. In January 2021, component A (unemployment) stands at 98.3 points; component B (employment) stands at 98.1 points; the European labour market barometer averages both components and stands at 98.2 points. Values above 100 signal a positive outlook, values below 100 signal a negative outlook.At the beginning of the year, the European Labour Market Barometer fell by 0.5 points compared to December. At 98.2 points, the indicator is at its lowest level since August 2020. In contrast to last spring, however, the leading indicator of the European Network of Public Employment Services and IAB is only moderately negative.

    Press release

    European Labour Market Barometer


    Smoothing labour market transitions in times of crisis and beyond

    25 January 2021

    Podium with screen and participants During Germany’s EU Council Presidency in 2020, the Institute for Employment Research (IAB) hosted the interdisciplinary conference “Labour Market Transitions: Challenges for Public Policies and Research” from 7 to 9 September 2020. This conference focussed on labour market transitions and on the evaluation of policies that governments have implemented to smooth such transitions. In view of the COVID-19 pandemic, the IAB broke new grounds by choosing a hybrid conference format with keynote speakers and participants on site at the famous Meistersingerhalle in Nuremberg and online guests in the virtual conference world.

    The article can be found in our Magazine IAB-Forum.

     


    Matching for three: big data evidence on search activity of workers, firms, and employment Service

    14 January 2021

    We generate measures for search intensity of employers and job seekers and – as a novel feature – for placement intensity of employment agencies. For this purpose, we tap big data on online activity from the job exchange of the German Federal Employment Agency and ist internal placement-software. We use these data to estimate an enhanced matching function where the efficiency parameter varies with the search and placement intensities. The results show that the intensity measures significantly contribute to the variation in job findings.

    IAB-Discussion Paper 1/2021


    European Labour Market Barometer: No new slump in Europe’s job market

    07 January 2021

    The European labour market barometer provides an outlook for the development of the European labour market in the next three months. In December 2020, component A (unemployment) stands at 99.2 points; component B (employment) stands at 98.6 points; the European labour market barometer averages both components and stands at 98.9 points. Values above 100 signal a positive outlook, values below 100 signal a negative outlook.Compared to the previous month, the European Labor Market Barometer rose by 0.5 points in December concluding the year at 98.9 points. The leading indicator of the European Network of Public Employment Services and the IAB thus points to a likely moderate, negative development of the European labor market in the coming months.

    Press release

    European Labour Market Barometer


    Job Futuromat: New design, more content, updated data

    23 December 2020

    Image of the IAB Job-Futuromat robot showing 50%The IAB's Job Futuromat has not only been redesigned. It now also offers additional content and updated data. Among other things, the new occupations that have emerged since 2016 have been included; the occupational profiles and the substitution potential of occupations for technological opportunities in 2019 have been updated. more…

    Direct access to IAB Job-Futuromat


    Bernd Fitzenberger: „Health protection will help creating new jobs for unskilled workers“

    21 December 2020

    Bernd Fitzenberger giving an interviewWith every crisis comes opportunity. According to IAB director Bernd Fitzenberger, some positive developments can actually be identified as an accompanying effect of the COVID-19 pandemic. There are even opportunities for those disadvantaged on the labour market.

    You can find the video on the IAB YouTube channel. Watch the  YouTube-Video


    The post-pandemic labour market. Video interviews with IAB Director Bernd Fitzenberger

    21 December 2020

    Several game cubes stand next to each other and together form the word 2021 CoronaThe whole world is talking about COVID-19. The hard lockdown in December this year threatens to send the German economy into recession. But this crisis too will pass. In a three-part interview series conducted in early November, IAB Director Bernd Fitzenberger risked a glance at the post-pandemic labour market.

    The full article can be found in our Magazine IAB-Forum.

    Click the following link for more articles in the series

    Series “COVID-19 Crisis: Consequences for the Labour Market"

    Short-time work, layoffs, and new hires in Germany: how the corona crisis differs from the financial crisis of 2009

    16 December 2020

    Folders standing in a rowThe spread of the coronavirus has plunged the German economy into the worst recession in its post-war history. The corona crisis has impacted the German economy and labour market much more heavily than the financial crisis of 2009: Significantly more sectors are affected today than in 2009. Nevertheless, the number of layoffs has so far been limited compared to the number of workers on short-time work. The fact that, to date, all sectors have relied much more on short-time work than on layoffs shows that the majority of companies have – thus far – been willing to keep their staff.

    The full article can be found in our Magazine IAB-Forum.

    Click the following link for more articles in the series: Series “COVID-19 Crisis: Consequences for the Labour Market”


    The role of unemployment and job change when estimating the returns to Migration

    16 December 2020

    Estimating the returns to migration from East to West Germany, we focus on pre-migration employment dynamics, earnings uncertainty, and job change. Migrants are found to be negatively selected with respect to labor market outcomes, with a large drop in earnings and employment during the last few months before migration. We find sizeable positive earnings and employment gains of migration both in comparison to staying or job change. The gains vary considerably with pre-migration earnings and with the counterfactual considered. Future migrants have worse expectations for their labor market prospects in the East and migrants show a greater openness to mobility.

    IAB-Discussion Paper 37/2020


    Bernd Fitzenberger: “Even in this crisis firms are looking desperately to fill positions”

    14 December 2020

    IAB director Bernd Fitzenberger in an interviewAs a consequence of the COVID-19 crisis, IAB director Bernd Fitzenberger expects an aggravating shortage of skilled labour due to declining migration and student exchange.

    The video is available in the IAB Youtube-channel.

    Watch the video


    Distributional Effects of Macroeconomic Shocks in Real-Time: A Novel Method Applied to the COVID-19 Crisis in Germany

    10 December 2020
    The highly dynamic nature of the COVID-19 crisis poses an unprecedented challenge to policy makers around the world to take appropriate income-stabilizing countermeasures. To properly design such policy measures, it is important to quantify their effects in real-time. However, data on the relevant outcomes at the micro level is usually only available with considerable time lags. In this paper, we propose a novel method to assess the distributional consequences of macroeconomic shocks and policy responses in real-time and provide the first application to Germany in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic. Specifically, our approach combines different economic models estimated on firm- and household-level data: a VAR-model for output expectations, a structural labor demand model, and a tax-benefit microsimulation model. Our findings show that as of September 2020 the COVID-19 shock translates into a noticeable reduction in gross labor income across the entire income distribution. However, the tax benefit system and discretionary policy responses to the crisis act as important income stabilizers, since the effect on the distribution of disposable household incomes turns progressive: the bottom two deciles actually gain income, the middle deciles are hardly affected, and only the upper deciles lose income.

    IAB-Discussion Paper 36/2020

    Bernd Fitzenberger: “Short-time working scheme is a huge safety net for the labour market”

    08 December 2020

    Bernd Fitzenberger giving an interviewIn a video interview, Bernd Fitzenberger, PhD, gives his opinion on how Germany is handling the COVID-19 crisis. In view of the demographic development, the IAB director advises to be careful not to neglect the losers of the crisis. Since according to him, Germany will need them as the future labour force, especially in view of the decreasing migration.

    You can find the video on the IAB YouTube channel. Watch the  YouTube-Video


    European Labour Market Barometer: Slightly subdued outlook due to second corona wave

    03 December 2020

    The European labour market barometer provides an outlook for the development of the European labour market in the next three months. In November 2020, component A (unemployment) stands at 99.1 points; component B (employment) stands at 98.0 points; the European labour market barometer averages both components and stands at 98.5 points. Values above 100 signal a positive outlook, values below 100 signal a negative outlook.In November, the European Labour Market Barometer stands at 98.5 points. The leading indicator published by the European Network of Public Employment Services and the IAB thus points to a moderately negative development of the European labour market in the coming months.

    Press release

    European Labour Market Barometer


    Video “Labour Market Transitions and the challenges of the Corona Crisis” by Bernd Fitzenberger

    23 November 2020

    Bernd Fitzenberger spricht zum PublikumIn this video IAB-Director Bernd Fitzenberger highlights some worrying developments of the vocational training system in Germany. In addition, he summarizes three exemplary IAB-studies on labour market transitions, focussing on lower-qualified youth, high school students during school-closings, and occupational mobility. Fitzenberger held his speech on 7 September 2020 at the IAB-conference “Labour Market Transitions: Challenges for Public Policies and Research” in Nuremberg.

    The Video is available at: Youtube

    More videos of the conference are available at: the IAB Youtube-channel


    To work or not to work? A case study on the structure of student employment and its possible effects on students’ jobs during the Corona crisis

    20 November 2020

    Young girl looking at a cpmputer screen with a tired expressionThe consequences of the Covid-19 pandemic affect gainfully employed students in two ways. On the one hand, their academic progress might slow down due to the cancellation of on-site classes and the transition to online teaching. On the other hand, they might lose their student jobs, and as a result run into financial distress. However, up to now we know little about how high students’ risk of losing their job actually is. Analysing the structure of student employment at the University of Regensburg between 2011 and 2016, we estimate that such job loss might potentially affect about 20 percent of the students.

    The full article can be found in our Magazine IAB-Forum.


    Care-Arrangements and Parental Well-Being during the COVID-19 Pandemic in Germany

    17 November 2020

    This study examines the short-term consequences for care-arrangements and resulting changes in well-being among parents, who were affected by the closure of schools and institutional child-care during the COVID-19 pandemic in Germany. By applying multinomial logistic regression models to novel panel data from the National Educational Panel Study (NEPS-Corona_CAWI_C2), the study finds that mothers play a key role in the ad-hoc care-arrangements during the COVID-19 pandemic confirming the traditional division of family work in German couples. Moreover, the results illustrate the importance of working conditions, especially the possibility of remote work, in the bargaining processes of parents. However, contrary to our assumptions, parents’ well-being was not influenced by the chosen care-arrangement during the first months of the crisis.

    IAB-Discussion Paper 35/2020


    Personality Traits and Further Training

    05 November 2020

    The notion of lifelong learning is gaining importance, not only in the labor market but also in other areas of modern societies. Previous research finds variation in occupation-related training participation by worker and workplace characteristics, gender, and education. However, evidence on the individual’s socio-emotional skills creating favorable conditions for overall further training is scarce. To close this research gap, we analyze the role of personality for further training participation. First, we compare how the Big Five Personality Dimensions relate to different training types by differentiating between non-formal and informal training measures. Second, we investigate how personality traits affect further training chosen for occupational and private reasons separately.

    IAB-Discussion Paper 34/2020


    European Labour Market Barometer catching up

    02 November 2020

    The European labour market barometer provides an outlook for the development of the European labour market in the next three months. In October 2020, component A (unemployment) stands at 100.3 points; component B (employment) stands at 98.2 points; the European labour market barometer averages both components and stands at 99.2 points. Values above 100 signal a positive outlook, values below 100 signal a negative outlook.The European Labour Market Barometer has risen in October. The leading indicator for the European labour market generated by the European Network of Public Employment Services and the IAB increased by 0.5 points. Reaching 99.2 points the indicator is still in the negatives but has now recovered a significant part of the sharp decline in April.

    Press release

    European Labour Market Barometer


    Keynote video “Protecting jobs and incomes in the pandemic crisis” by Professor Lázló Andor, former EU Commissioner

    02 November 2020

    Lázlo Andor, Professor at the Corvinus University in Budapest and former EU-Commissioner for Employment, Social Affairs and InclusionThe video shows Professor Lázlo Andor’s keynote speech “Protecting jobs and incomes in the pandemic crisis”. Lázlo Andor is Professor at the Corvinus University in Budapest and former EU-Commissioner for Employment, Social Affairs and Inclusion. In his keynote, Professor Andor stresses how different the European Union’s response to the COVID-19 crisis was compared to the crisis of 2008/09. In order to be even better prepared for challenges in the future, Professor Andor recommends a further development of the European macroeconomic toolkit, the introduction of a unemployment reinsurance, and EU-level legislation to support the young and precarious workforce.  Professor Andor spoke at the IAB conference “Labour Market Transitions: Challenges for Public Policies and Research” in Nuremberg on 9 September 2020.

    watch the video on the IAB Youtube channel


    Keynote video “Youth Guarantee Programme” by Dennis Radtke, Member of the European Parliament

    02 November 2020

    Dennis Radtke,  Member of the European ParliamentThe video shows the keynote “Youth Guarantee Programme” by Dennis Radtke, MEP. In his speech, Mr Radtke outlines the issue of youth unemployment in Europe and how the fallout from the COVID-19 pandemic affects young job seekers. He summarises the success of the European „Youth Guarantee Programme“, making a case for a revised relaunch. Mr Radtke spoke at the IAB conference “Labour Market Transitions: Challenges for Public Policies and Research” in Nuremberg on 8 September 2020.

    The keynote video is available to watch here: watch the video on the IAB Youtube channel


    IAB-Database on Corona containment measures

    28 October 2020

    Young people are sitting in a park, keeping distance from each other.The IAB complied a day-by-day data overview, which Corona containment measures had been introduced when and where in Germany, broken down by federal state and in some cases by district. The database is updated by the IAB regularly. The data are freely available for researchers. Here, you find the current version of the database:

    IAB-Database on Corona containment measures

    Competing for jobs: How COVID-19 changes search behaviour in the labour market

    26 October 2020

    Little is known so far about how the corona crisis has changed search processes in the labour market. We provide insights on labour market competition, reallocation of applications and potential sullying effects by analysing data from the LinkedIn professional network for Germany. We find that competition among workers for jobs strongly increased. The data allow us to trace that back to additional job seekers rather than higher search intensity. Furthermore, the LinkedIn data show that people from industries particularly affected by the crisis apply much more frequently and there has been a substantial shift in the target industries for applications. Finally, we find that dur-ing the crisis applications are made significantly more often below and significantly less often above a person’s level of seniority.

    IAB-Discussion Paper 33/2020


    Unemployment insurance for the self-employed: a way forward post-corona

    21 October 2020

    With the COVID-19 crisis as background, the underlying paper elaborates on setting up an unemployment insurance for self-employed. While a comprehensive approach would have clear advantages, it is crucial to adapt the rules of existing insurances for wage earners appropriately addressing the specific needs of self-employed. Therefore, we discuss key rules and conditions with regard to self-employed and derive conclusions on how unemployment insurance for them should be designed. In this, we investigate the key elements of such an insurance.

    IAB-Discussion Paper 32/2020


    New European Labour Market Barometer shows: prospects on the labour market are stabilising

    20 October 2020

    The European labour market barometer provides an outlook for the development of the European labour market in the next three months. In September 2020, component A (unemployment) stands at 99.5 points; component B (employment) stands at 98.0 points; the European labour market barometer averages both components and stands at 98.7 points. Values above 100 signal a positive outlook, values below 100 signal a negative outlook.A European Labour Market Barometer, published for the first time on Tuesday, shows: The prospects on the labour market are stabilising in many European countries. The European Labour Market Barometer was 98.7 points in September. Compared to the previous month, it has risen by 0.8 points. After the labour market indicator fell by 6.9 to 93.6 points in April, a considerable part of the decline has now been offset. "The situation on the labour market in Europe is stabilising, but the crisis is not over yet", explains Enzo Weber, who initiated the European project. Risks lie in the infection dynamics and economic transformation.

    Press release

    European Labour Market Barometer

    More about the European Labour Market Barometer can be found at www.iab-forum.de/en/launch-of-the-european-labour-market-barometer

    To work or to study? Postmigration educational investments of adult refugees in Germany – evidence from a choice experiment

    19 October 2020

    In this article, we analyze individual factors and situational conditions under which immigrants are more or less likely to invest in host country-specific human capital. Theoretically, we root our expectations in a strand of the immigrant human capital investment model combined with a basic model of educational decisions. Using a choice experiment, we simulate a decision process among refugees in Germany and examine the determinants of investment decisions into host country-specific credentials such as vocational education. The choice experiment was introduced in the IAB-BAMF-SOEP Survey of Refugees (2020), a representative longitudinal survey of recently arrived refugees in Germany. We find that refugees’ probability of investing in vocational education is guided by the transferability of foreign human capital, the time horizon to reap investments, and rational cost-benefit considerations. The probability of success is influential on its own but also bolsters the relevance of costs and benefits in educational choices.

    IAB-Discussion Paper 31/2020


    Keynote-video “The effects of changes in business taxation on firms, workers and local labour markets” by Professor Christian Dustmann

    07 October 2020

    The photo shows Professor Christian Dustmann, PhD, Professor of Economics at the University College London and Director of the Centre for Research and Analysis of Migration (CReAM), during a keynote speech.The video shows the keynote speech “The effects of changes in business taxation on firms, workers and local labour markets” by Professor Christian Dustmann, PhD, Professor of Economics at the University College London and Director of the Centre for Research and Analysis of Migration (CReAM). Dustmann investigates how changes in local business taxes affects local labour markets, extablishments, and workers. He held his speech on 7 September 2020 at the IAB-conference “Labour Market Transitions: Challenges for Public Policies and Research” in Nuremberg.

    The video of the keynote speech is available at: https://youtu.be/XyZhIySqRdI.


    Keynote-video “Life course trajectories in times of COVID-19. A first assessment” by Professor Jutta Allmendinger is now online

    05 October 2020

    The photo shows Professor Dr h. c. Jutta Allmendinger, PhD, President of the WZB Berlin Social Science Center, during a keynote speech.The video shows the keynote speech “Life course trajectories in times of COVID-19. A first assessment” by Professor Dr h. c. Jutta Allmendinger, PhD, President of the WZB Berlin Social Science Center. Allmendinger introduces some key analytical developments of the life course research, explains in what way not everyone is treated equally, traces challenges in times of COVID-19, and draws interferences for policy and research. Allmendinger held her speech on 8 September 2020 at the IAB-conference “Labour Market Transitions: Challenges for Public Policies and Research” in Nuremberg.

    The video of the keynote speech is available at: https://youtu.be/MrzFyiBMwUU.


    Germany’s trade with China at the beginning of the global COVID-19 pandemic

    02 October 2020

    The picture shows several Li-ion batteries in a heapThe COVID-19 pandemic has affected the world economy in an unprecedented way, with international trade being no exception. Studying trade flows between China and Germany in February 2020 gives a clear picture of what happens when a major shock affects a single trading partner. It helps us learn what to expect from similar future, more geographically limited crisis situations. Studying this particular time window also gives a glimpse into the beginning of a global crisis, which holds the potential to lead to long-lasting changes in the international production networks and division of labour.

    The article can be found in our Magazine IAB-Forum

    Click the following link for more articles in the series: Series “COVID-19 Crisis: Consequences for the Labour Market”


    Wind of Change? Cultural Determinants of Maternal Labor Supply

    02 October 2020
    Does the culture in which a woman grows up influence her labor market decisions once she has had a child? To what extent might the culture of her present social environment shape maternal labor supply? To address these questions, we exploit the setting of German reunification. A state socialist country, East Germany strongly encouraged mothers to participate in the labor market full-time, whereas West Germany propagated a more traditional male breadwinner-model. After reunification, these two cultures were suddenly thrown together, with consequent increased social interactions between East and West Germans through migration and commuting. A comparison of East and West German mothers on both sides of the former Inner German border within the same commuting zone shows that culture matters. Indeed, East German mothers return to work more quickly and for longer hours than West German mothers even two decades after reunification. Second, in exploiting migration across this old border, we document a strong asymmetry in the persistence of the culture in which women were raised. Whereas East German female migrants return to work earlier and work longer hours than their West German colleagues even after long exposure to the more traditional West German culture, West German migrants adjust their post-birth labor supply behavior nearly entirely to that of their East German colleagues. Finally, taking advantage of differential inflows of East German migrants across West German firms in the aftermath of reunification, we show that even a partial exposure to East German colleagues induces 'native' West German mothers to accelerate their return to work after childbirth, suggesting that migration might be a catalyst for cultural change.

    IAB-Discussion Paper 30/2020

    TippingSens: An R Shiny Application to Facilitate Sensitivity Analysis for Causal Inference Under Confounding

    01 October 2020
    Most strategies for causal inference based on quasi-experimental or observational data critically rely on the assumption of unconfoundedness. If this assumption is suspect, sensitivity analysis can be a viable tool to evaluate the impact of confounding on the analysis of interest. One of the earliest proposals for such a sensitivity analysis was suggested by Rosenbaum/ Rubin (1983). However, while it is straightforward to obtain estimates for the causal effect under specific assumptions regarding an unobserved confounder, conducting a full sensitivity analysis based on a range of parameter settings is unwieldy based on the simple forking tables which Rosenbaum and Rubin used. To tackle the multiple parameter problem of the Rosenbaum-Rubin approach, we present an interactive R Shiny application called TippingSens, which visualizes the impact of various parameter settings on the estimated causal effect. Borrowing from the literature on tipping point analysis, the flexible app facilitates manipulating all parameters simultaneously. We demonstrate the usefulness of our app by conducting a sensitivity analysis for a quasi-experiment measuring the effect of vocational training programs on unemployed men. The online supplement accompanying this paper provides a step-by-step introduction to the app using the original illustrative example from Rosenbaum/Rubin (1983).

    IAB-Discussion Paper 29/2020

    Training, wages and a missing school graduation cohort

    16 September 2020
    This study analyzes the effects of a missing high school graduation cohort on firms’ training provision and trainees’ wages. An exogenous school reform varying at the state and year level caused the missing cohort to occur. Using administrative social security data on all trainees and training firms, we show that firms provide less training by reducing their overall number of hired apprentices. We also show that the pool of firms that offer training in the year of the missing cohort shifts towards a higher share of low wage firms. After keeping firm characteristics constant, the findings indicate that the missing cohort increases training wages measured at the start of training. Further analyses shed light on the opposite case of dual cohorts, which we find to increase training provision and to decrease training wages. The evidence also shows that high and low wage firms differ in how they adjust training provision in response to a dual cohort.

    IAB-Discussion Paper 28/2020

    Employment Subsidies for Long-Term Welfare Benefits Recipients: Reconciling Programmes’ Goals with Needs of Diverging Population Groups

    10 September 2020

    We discuss the design and examine the inflow of participants in two new subsidised employment programmes (§ 16 e/i German Social Code II) that aim to help long-term welfare recipients in Germany to find a job and increase their social participation. We describe the programmes in terms of goals and eligibility criteria and proceed to analyse recent inflows into the programmes using Latent Class (Cluster) Analysis in an exploratory manner. Our findings provide evidences on the considerable heterogeneity in the programmes’ inflows. The resulting typology does not only connect individual biographical and socioeconomic characteristics with greater sociohistorical processes, but give strong hints towards different needs of the various participant groups which could be treated differently in the programmes. Keeping up and improving social integration through subsidized labour is a high priority treatment to be considered for some participant groups, while others should be considered more for improvements of education and professional training, even if their biographies so far show most distance to both. Our results provide first guidance on how to adjust programme’s design to the needs and capabilities of heterogeneous groups of long-term unemployed and welfare benefit recipients.

    IAB-Discussion Paper 27/2020


    Daughters of migrants often participate in further training

    20 August 2020

    Several young women are shown studying in a classroom, one of them is raising her handDigitisation, demography and ever increasing international interdependence require life-long learning of employees. Yet, participation in vocational further training has so far been unequally distributed among different groups. This is also obvious for the employees with a migration background: Men who immigrated themselves seldom take part in further training, whereas women whose parents had come as immigrants often do so.

    The article can be found in our Magazine IAB-Forum


    The IAB announces the conference “Labour Market Transitions: Challenges for Public Policies and Research”

    13 August 2020

    A speaker is giving a presentation in front of an audienceIn the light of Germany’s EU Council Presidency in 2020, the Institute for Employment Research (IAB) is happy to announce an interdisciplinary labour market conference. This conference will focus on various topics concerning labour market transitions and the evaluation of policies that governments implement to smooth such transitions. Along with profound scientific insights, this conference additionally aims at fostering the valuable exchange between scholars and policymakers. Thus, it also considers the relevant perspective of high-level actors engaged in the European labour market policy.

    The conference will take place as a hybrid conference. For more information, visit our event website. For further information on the conference programme and to register as an online guest, please visit our XING Events website.


    On the foreign to native wage differential in Germany: Does the home country matter?

    12 August 2020

    The German labour force is expected to shrink in the next two decades due to a decline in population. Therefore, the immigration of workers from abroad could compensate potential negative effects of such decline. Is Germany competitive for immigration – i. e., do German employers pay enough to make it attractive as a destination country? We explore the wage gap between foreigners and German employees in particular and focus on different countries of origin to better understand issues related to wage setting among these groups. For this purpose, a threefold Oaxaca-Blinder decomposition is performed using a comprehensive data with a vast amount of information on a large number of workers and firms. The results suggest that most of the wage gap can be explained by observed characteristics, and in most cases, very little difference remains unexplained. We provide evidence on differences specific to the country of origin which could be taken in into consideration to attract people from abroad to better integrate them into the German labour market.

    IAB-Discussion Paper 26/2020


    Cash-for-care, or caring for cash? The eects of a home care subsidy on maternal employment, childcare choices, and children’s development

    10 August 2020

    How parents respond to changes in the price of childcare is an important, though not fully understood, public policy question. Our paper provides new comprehensive evidence on how a home care subsidy jointly affects maternal labour market outcomes, childcare choices, and children’s development. We examine a German reform from 2013 which introduced a home care subsidy of initially 100 Euros per month for families who do not use subsidised childcare. Exploiting a date-of-birth cut-off in eligibility and using administrative data on employment and child development alongside survey data on childcare usage, we show that the reform reduced mothers’ likelihood to return to work within three years by only 1.4 percentage points, but decreased childcare enrolment for one- and two-year olds by 5 percentage points. We find no effect on children’s skill development at age six. Our findings imply that the subsidy accrued almost completely as windfall gains to families whowould not have used formal childcare anyway.

    IAB-Discussion Paper 25/2020


    The effects of foreign direct investment on job stability: Upgrades, downgrades, and separations

    05 August 2020

    We use linked employer-employee data to estimate the effect of foreign direct Investment (FDI) on workers’ job stability. Weare the first to consider firm-internal job transitions. Specifically, we examine the impact of FDI on the individual likelihood to up- or downgrade to occupations with more or less analytical and interactive tasks. To do so, we propose an iterative matching procedure that generates a homogeneous sample of firms with equal probabilities of investing. Based on this sample, we use proportional hazard models to retrieve dynamic effects on workers.

    IAB-Discussion Paper 24/2020


    Redistribution Preferences, Attitudes towards Immigrants, and Ethnic Diversity

    04 August 2020

    Ethnic diversity plays a crucial role in shaping national economic and social policy. A Change in the ethnic composition of a country affects citizens’ everyday life and social environment and may challenge present societal values, such as solidarity with and trust in fellow citizens. Based on the European Social Survey, I show that more contact with members of other ethnic groups in daily life is positively related to more open attitudes of natives towards immigrants. More interethnic contact of natives reduces their social distance to immigrants, their perception of immigrants as a threat to society, and their opposition to future immigration. In turn, an open-minded and tolerant attitude promotes mutual trust and solidarity within society.

    IAB-Discussion Paper 23/2020


    How digitalized is work in large German workplaces, and how is digitalized work perceived by Workers?

    03 August 2020
    Digitalization of work has been made responsible for an increase in labor market inequalities, not only with respect to job loss, but also concerning an increased polarization of the remaining jobs due to processes of devaluation and upgrading of jobs and occupations. However, the discussion about possible consequences is quite polarized and not very sophisticated regarding different technologies and different implementations of the same technology. To understand changes due to digitalization processes, we suggest measuring the implementation of digitalized work both at the individual employee and at the workplace level, because decisions about how digital assistance systems are implemented are made by the latter. Existing representative surveys in Germany so far miss to provide such a comprehensive overview of digitalized work in different occupations and workplaces, as well as their implications for workers. The aim of this paper is to present a newly developed multi-dimensional measurement of digitalized work implemented in a representative linked employer-employee study design. The instrument aims at measuring the prevalence of various dimensions of digitalized work (the use of digital communication, digital information, digital regulation and control, working with robots) and how those are perceived by workers.

    IAB-Forschungsbericht 8/2020

    Why digitisation affects some German federal states more than others

    30 July 2020

    A map of the Federal Republic of Germany with several glowing dotsThe number of jobs in a German federal state (Bundesland) which could be replaced by digital technologies largely depends on the sectoral and occupational structures within this region. In this article, selected occupational segments are analysed to show that the federal states differ greatly in this regard.

    The article can be found in our Magazine IAB-Forum


    Dismissal Protection and Long-term Sickness Absence – First Evidence from Germany

    23 July 2020

    This paper analyses the causal effects of weaker dismissal protection on the incidence of long-term sickness (> six weeks). We exploit a German policy change, which shifted the threshold exempting small establishments from dismissal protection from five to ten workers. Using administrative data, we find a significantly negative reform effect on transitions into long-term sickness in the second year after a worker has entered an establishment. This response is due to a behavioural, rather than a compositional effect and is particularly pronounced among medium-skilled males. Our results further indicate that the reform did not alter the probability of involuntary unemployment after sickness.

    IAB-Discussion Paper 22/2020


    The Spatial Decay of Human Capital Externalities – A Functional Regression Approach with Precise Geo-Referenced Data

    22 July 2020

    This paper analyzes human capital externalities from high-skilled workers by applying functional regression to precise geocoded register data. Functional regression enables us to describe the concentration of high-skilledworkers aroundworkplaces as continuous curves and to efficiently estimate a spillover function that depends on distance. Furthermore, our rich panel data allow us to address the sorting of workers and to disentangle human capital externalities from supply effects by using an extensive set of time-varying fixed effects.

    IAB-Discussion Paper 21/2020


    The Labor Market Impacts of Employer Consolidation: Evidence from Germany

    15 July 2020

    We use detailed administrative data to study how acquisitions — specifically the Acquisition of a plant by a firm with a similar plant in the same local labor market—aectworkers. Using an event study framework with a control group of workers at unaected plants, we find that acquisitions lead to employment losses for workers initially employed at the acquired (or “target”) firm, associated with labor force withdrawals by older female workers. At the same time we find evidence of a rise in wages for workers initially employed at targets and at the acquiring (or “buyer”) firm who remain with the combined enterprise, concentrated among lower-wage workers. We interpret these findings as suggesting that consolidations lead to a reduction in overall employment but a rise in rents per worker that lead to a pattern of losers and winners in the labor market.

    IAB-Discussion Paper 20/2020


    “Acceptance of social- and labor market programs and regulations”: Methodological report on the first survey wave

    14 July 2020

    The FIS-funded project “Acceptance of social- and labor market programs and regulations” asks citizens about their assessment of specific design alternatives for social and labor market policies in Germany. This report describes the design and the field organization of the first online survey conducted by the project. Furthermore, it presents a selectivity analysis of contact and participation probabilities as well as for consent to merge the survey data with administrative data.

    IAB-Forschungsbericht 7/2020


    What helps the “ka-boom”? Five elements of a sound economic stimulus programme for Germany

    09 July 2020

    A person stacking up coinsPolitical plans aimed at kick-starting national economies have been introduced in many countries worldwide. The German Bundestag and Bundesrat passed a Coronavirus Tax Relief Act on 29 June 2020 that involves the first key elements of a large scale recovery programme. It is designed to get the German economy out of the crisis “with a ka-boom” as Germany’s Finance Minister Olaf Scholz put it. Some thoughts on the Government’s programme by IAB Director Bernd Fitzenberger.

    The article can be found in our Magazine IAB-Forum

    Click the following link for more articles in the series: Series “COVID-19 Crisis: Consequences for the Labour Market”


    Short-time work in Europe: Rescue in the coronavirus crisis? An interview with IAB researcher Regina Konle-Seidl

    25 June 2020

    A person is holding a blue safety helmet unter the arm.The coronavirus pandemic is keeping the economy on edge. To overcome the crisis, 33 of 36 OECD countries are now using short-time working schemes. All are pursuing the same goal of avoiding redundancies and retaining jobs. While the objective is the same in all countries, each country nevertheless tries to balance out a high use of the instrument and low deadweight effects and abuse. In an interview, the IAB researcher Regina Konle-Seidl explains the most important differences, discusses the advantages and disadvantages of short-time work, draws lessons from the use of this instrument in earlier times of crisis, and depicts first developments of short-time work and unemployment figures.

    The article can be found in our Magazine IAB-Forum

    Click the following link for more articles in the series: Series “COVID-19 Crisis: Consequences for the Labour Market”

    See also: IAB-Forschungsbericht (IAB Research Report) 4/2020


    IAB sponsors two events at the Virtual EALE SOLE AASLE World Conference

    24 June 2020

    About 700 labour economists from all over the world will meet at the “5th EALE SOLE AASLE World Conference” on 25-27 June 2020. The virtual conference is jointly organised by the European Association of Labour Economists (EALE), the Society of Labor Economists (SOLE) and the Asian and Australasian Society of Labour Economics (AASLE).

    The international conference offers two IAB-sponsored events: a Plenary Lecture by James Heckman (University of Chicago) and a Panel on “COVID-19 and the Female Labor Market”, hosted by Marianne Bertrand (University of Chicago Booth School of Business), featuring Michele Tertilt (University of Mannheim), Lena Hensvik, (Uppsala University) and Teodora Boneva (University of Zurich).

    EALE SOLE AASLE World Conference 2020

    What do we know about the employment of refugees in Germany? Answers to some frequently asked questions.

    18 June 2020

    Two workers wearing orange vests

    In 2015, the highest number of refugees arrived in Germany since the end of the Second World War. The overall number of refugees in Germany increased by 1.2 million people until the end of 2018. A recent analysis implies faster labour market integration of refugees who arrived in Germany between 2013 to 2016 than was the case for refugees from previous years. The results show that the employment rate increases with the duration of stay. These figures are an important indicator for the integration of refugees into the labour market and have therefore been widely discussed in Germany. In this interview, the authors Herbert Brücker and Yuliya Kosyakova answer key questions about the study, which was co-authored with Eric Schuß.

    The article can be found in our Magazine IAB-Forum


    Short-time Work in Europe: Rescue in the Current COVID-19 Crisis?

    16 June 2020

    More countries than ever are using short-time work as a labour market policy instrument to secure employment and limit the social costs of the current COVID-19 Crisis. Highlighting the economic rationality of short-time work the report classifies European short-time work programmes into different clusters and describes significant changes in the programme design since March 2020. It further discusses possible effects against the background of empirical findings on short-time work from past times of crisis.

    IAB-Forschungsbericht 4/2020


    Is there a Wage Curve with Regional Real Wages?

    09 June 2020

    Do wages react to regional unemployment, as proposed by the theory behind the regional wage curve, if regional price differences are taken into account? This paper applies regional price indexes to assess the wage curve, whereas in the literature only nominal wages are used for wage curve regressions. In order to test the impact of regional prices on the wage curve we apply a variety of methodological approaches. With individual data from the US Census and the Polish Labor Force Survey we find a wage curve. However, in both countries, the local unemployment elasticity and spatial spillovers decrease significantly once regional price deflators are applied.

    IAB-Discussion Paper 17/2020


    The world after the coronavirus crisis – more supportive, more digital, more sustainable?

    28 May 2020

    A question mark on a blackboard with arrows pointing away from it

    In times of coronavirus, politics is relying on scientific evidence more than ever. At the same time, the crisis offers the opportunity for a more supportive and more sustainable social and economic model – if we learn the right lessons. Some thoughts on this subject by IAB Vice Director Ulrich Walwei.

    The article can be found in our Magazine IAB-Forum

    Click the following link for more articles in the series: Series “COVID-19 Crisis: Consequences for the Labour Market”


    The Unemployment Impact of the COVID-19 Shutdown Measures in Germany

    27 May 2020

    This paper evaluates the short-term labour market impact of the COVID-19 shutdown measures in Germany. We take the closure of economic sectors such as restaurants and retail as a treatment, which enables difference-in-difference estimation. Additionally considering input-output linkages between the sectors, we find that 60 percent of the considerably increased inflows from employment into unemployment in April 2020 were due to the shutdown measures. In a second approach, we make use of the fact that sector closures and curfews were implemented at different times by the German state governments. In a regional regression setup based on treatment intensity,we find that the hiring margin accounted for additional 82 percent of the unemployment effect coming from the separations margin. In sum, the shutdown measures increased unemployment in the short run by 117,000 persons.

    IAB-Discussion Paper 16/2020


    Recruitment Policies, Job-Filling Rates and Matching Efficiency

    25 May 2020

    Recruitment behavior is important for thematching process in the labormarket. Using unique linked survey-administrative data, we explore the relationships between hiring and recruitment policies. Faster hiring goes along with higher search effort, lower hiring standards and more generous wages. To analyze the mechanisms behind these patterns, we develop a directed search model in which firms use different recruitment margins in response to productivity shocks. The calibrated model points to an important role of hiring standards for matching efficiency and for the impact of labor market policy, whereas search effort andwage policies play only a minor role.

    IAB-Discussion Paper 15/2020


    Persistence of commuting habits: Context effects in Germany

    20 May 2020

    Based on the geo-referenced data, I analyse the commuting behaviour of employees in Germany. With the help of a behavioural economic approach, which is based on the investigation of Simonsohn (2006) for the US, I can show that it is not only the wage and the individual heterogeneity that shape commuting decisions. Instead, the commuting behaviour depends on the context individuals observe in the past. In particular, I demonstrate that the commuting behaviour is influenced by past-observed commutes: Worker choose longer commuting times in a region they just moved to, the longer the average commute was in the region they moved away. This effect applies especially for older employees, but is the same for men and women.

    IAB-Discussion Paper 14/2020


    School closings during the COVID-19 pandemic: findings from German high school students

    15 May 2020

    The inside of an empty classroom

    School closings are a core policy to slow down the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic all over the world. In Germany, all schools were closed within a few days after 13 March 2020. As in other countries, Germany currently observes a countrywide, growing debate regarding the reopening of schools. Part of that debate focuses on the graduation exams at German high schools (upper secondary track of the German “Gymnasium”), which are due within the next few weeks. Although schools support their students by providing learning material on a regular basis, students in their final year of school spend limited time on school-related activities. At the same time, students worry about their academic performance and their future occupational careers.

    The article can be found in our Magazine IAB-Forum

    Click the following link for more articles in the series: Series “COVID-19 Crisis: Consequences for the Labour Market”


    “Trust is the glue that holds it all together.” An interview with the teleworking expert at the International Labour Organization Jon C. Messenger

    07 May 2020

    Woman working from home

    Since COVID-19 runs rampant, many employees have withdrawn to their home for work in order to help contain the virus. Teleworking enables them to fulfil work duties, while avoiding personal contact with colleagues. For some, teleworking has been a common situation on a part-time or an occasional basis for years. However, working full-time in a home office poses a different challenge. Others are breaking new ground with telework. Jon C. Messenger, Team Leader of the Working Conditions Group at the International Labour Office (ILO) in Geneva, presents his research results on effective teleworking strategies, shows the risks of the current development, and promotes the European Framework Agreement on Telework.

    The article can be found in our Magazine IAB-Forum.


    Evidence on job search models from a survey of unemployed workers in Germany

    06 May 2020

    The job finding rate of Unemployment Insurance (UI) recipients declines in the initial months of unemployment and then exhibits a spike at the benefit exhaustion point. A range of theoretical explanations have been proposed, but those are hard to disentangle using data on job finding alone. To better understand the underlying mechanisms, we conducted a large text-messa ge-based survey of unemployed workers in Germany.

    IAB-Discussion Paper 13/2020


    German Exports to the UK: declining since the Brexit referendum in 2016

    15 April 2020

    Trucks molded from plasticine and the word BrexitThe rules defining trade between Germany and the United Kingdom (UK) have not changed despite Brexit. Nevertheless, there is a clear downward trend in German exports of goods to the UK since the referendum in June 2016. The strongest reductions are visible in the motor vehicle and pharmaceutical industries. In contrast, German exports to its other main export destinations and to the world as a whole have been on the rise for the same period up until the COVID-19 pandemic.

    The article can be found in our Magazine IAB-Forum.


    Do parents’ flexible working hours affect fathers’ contribution to domestic work? Evidence from a factorial survey

    14 April 2020

    This paper investigates the impact of fathers’ flexible working hours on their willingness to contribute to domestic work. We first hypothesize that fathers will contribute more if they have the possibility to work flexible hours. Second, fathers are assumed to contribute less if their female partners have the possibility to work flexible hours. We test our hypotheses using data from a vignette study, where fathers evaluate hypothetical job offers to their non-employed partner with regard to the contribution to domestic work they are willing to offer if their partner accepts the job. We find that fathers’ flexible hours increase their willingness to contribute to childcare but not to household work, partially supporting hypothesis one. Regarding hypothesis two, we find no effects of the female partner’s flexible working hours on fathers’ contribution to childcare or household work. We conclude our paper with some policy implications.

    IAB-Discussion Paper 12/2020


    Measurement error in minimum wage evaluations using survey data

    06 April 2020

    We assess the role of measurement error in minimum wage evaluations when the treatment variable – the bite – is inferred from a survey wage distribution. We conduct Monte Carlo experiments on both simulated and empirical distributions of measurement error derived from a record linkage of survey wages and administrative data. On the individual-level treatment effects are downward biased by more than 30 percent. Aggregation of the treatment information at the household, firm or region level does not fully alleviate the bias. In fact, the magnitude and direction of the bias depend on the size of the aggregation units and the allocation of treated individuals to such units. In cases of a strongly segregated allocation, measurement error can cause upward biased treatment effects. Besides aggregation, we discuss two possible remedies: the use of a continuous treatment variable and dropping observations close to the minimum wage threshold.

    IAB-Discussion Paper 11/2020


    Effects of population changes on the labour market in Germany

    01 April 2020

    Bild einer Menschenmenge

    Until now, high migration and participation have compensated for the demographic decline of the labour force potential in Germany. A set of scenarios for the future development leads to only one conclusion, however: The economic and social consequences of the demographic change will become more urgent in the near future – and must be tackled from different directions.

    The article can be found in our Magazine IAB-Forum.


    Decomposing the Large Firm Wage Premium in Germany

    24 March 2020

    We use an extensive, matched employer-employee dataset to analyze the employer-size wage relation and its contribution to wage inequality in Germany. Applying models with additive fixed eects for workers and establishments, we document that the large firm wage premium, which has risen over 25 years, has only recently started to decrease. Our estimates show that the recent decline is due to a decrease in the variation of establishment-specific wage premiums both across establishment size groups and within. This decline together with decreasing worker segregation at small firms account for an overall reversal in the trend of increasing wage dispersion.

    IAB-Discussion Paper 10/2020


    Parental leave reform and long-run earnings of mothers

    16 March 2020

    Paid parental leave schemes have been shown to increase women’s employment rates but decrease their wages in case of extended leave durations. In view of these potential trade-offs, many countries are discussing the optimal design of parental leave policies. We analyze the impact of a major parental leave reform on mothers’ long-term earnings.

    IAB-Discussion Paper 9/2020


    Labor in the Boardroom

    11 March 2020

    We estimate the effects of a mandate allocating a third of corporate board seats to workers (shared governance). We study a reform in Germany that abruptly abolished this mandate for new firm cohorts but locked it in for incumbents. Rejecting the canonical hold-up prediction – that increasing labor’s power reduces owners’ investment incentives – we find positive effects on capital formation. Shared governance does not measurably raise wages or rent sharing, nor does it lower profitability or debt capacity. It lowers outsourcing. The evidence is consistent with richer models of industrial relations whereby shared governance institutionalizes communication and repeated interactions between labor and capital.

    IAB-Discussion Paper 8/2020


    Family-friendly organizational arrangements – anything but “a fuss” (over nothing)!

    10 March 2020

    Eine Frau und ein Mann mit einer Wippe auf der Figuren einer Familie und die Worte Life und Work stehen

    In Germany, more and more companies are offering measures to improve the reconciliation of family and work. This carries benefits for companies and employees alike, because family-friendly measures help women to return to their previous employer faster and more frequently.

    The article can be found in our Magazine IAB-Forum.



    Robots Worldwide: The Impact of Automation on Employment and Trade

    09 March 2020

    The impact of robots on employment and trade is a highly discussed topic in the academic and public debates. Particularly, there are concerns that automation may threat jobs in emerging countries given the erosion of the labour cost advantage. We provide evidence on the effects of robots on worldwide employment, including emerging economies.

    IAB-Discussion Paper 7/2020


    Not coming in today - Firm productivity differentials and the epidemiology of the flu

    26 February 2020

    With more than four million cases in Germany every year, influenza and acute upper respiratory tract infectious diseases (henceforthURTI) exhibit the highest number of reported doctor consultations. Although the direct treatment costs for URTI are comparably low, the indirect economic costs, due to work absences and productivity impairments of sick workers who remain at work (presentism), are far more compelling.

    IAB-Discussion Paper 6/2020


    Professor Bernd Fitzenberger will be honoured with the German Economy Award

    20 February 2020

    Prof. Bernd Fitzenberger, Ph.D.The IAB Director Bernd Fitzenberger will be honoured with the German Economy Award of the Joachim Herz Foundation. The labour market economist will receive an award worth EUR 150,000 for the best research publication.

    Read more



    Prof. Dr. Ulrich Walwei has been appointed a member of the “Council of the Working World“

    20 February 2020

    Portrait von Dr. Ulrich WalweiIn January 2020, Hubertus Heil, Federal Minister for Labour and Social Affairs, introduced the independent “Council of the Working World”, whose task will be to regularly provide politics, businesses and the general public with information and counselling regarding the change in the working world. The IAB Vice Director Professor Ulrich Walwei is also part of the Council consisting of eleven representatives of the business and scientific community.



    Does the estimation of the propensity score by machine learning improve matching estimation? The case of Germany’s programmes for long term unemployed

    12 February 2020

    Matching-type estimators using the propensity score are the major workhorse in active labour market policy evaluation. This work investigates if machine learning algorithms for estimating the propensity score lead to more credible estimation of average treatment effects on the treated using a radius matching framework.

    IAB-Discussion Paper 5/2020


    Firm Productivity, Wages, and Sorting

    05 February 2020

    Increasing wage inequality is associated with changes in the degree of labor market sorting,
    i.e. the allocation of workers to firms. To measure sorting, we propose a new method
    which disentangles the respective contributions of worker and firm heterogeneity to wage
    inequality. Inspired by sorting theory, we infer firm productivity from estimating firm-level
    production functions, taking into account that worker ability and firm productivity may interact
    at the match level.

    IAB-Discussion Paper 4/2020


    Call for Applications: 7 docotoral scholarships in GradAB programme

    27 January 2020

    The Institute for Employment Research (IAB) and the School of Business and Economics of the University of Erlangen-Nuremberg (FAU) offer a joint doctoral programme in labour market research (GradAB), which prepares graduates for a career in academics and in policy consulting. We invite applications for seven doctoral scholarships beginning October 1st, 2020.

    Call for Applications

    Application Procedure


    The Effect of Social Networks on Migrants' Labor Market Integration: A Natural Experiment

    20 January 2020

    Empirically identifying the causal effect of social networks on migrants’ economic prospects is a challenging task due to the non-random residential sorting of migrants into locations with greater opportunities for (previous) connections. Our study addresses this selection-bias issue by using a unique natural-experimental dataset of refugees and other migrants that were exogenously allocated to their first place of residence by German authorities. The empirical results reveal a positive causal effect of social networks on migrants’ transition rate to the first job, but only if the networks are mobilized for the job search.

    IAB-Discussion Paper 3/2020


    Career paths of PhD graduates in eastern and western Germany: Same qualification, same labor market Outcomes?

    15 January 2020

    This paper investigates the extent to which the returns to gaining a PhD degree depend upon the region of birth, the region where the degree was earned, and the place of work. Eastern Germany serves as an interesting showcase in light of the ongoing debate surrounding the underrepresen-tation of eastern Germans in top positions in Germany. We examine the career paths of eastern and western German PhD graduates who completed their dissertations between 1995 and 2010. We estimate the returns with regard to obtaining a job suited to their skill level and with high wages.

    IAB-Discussion Paper 1/2020


    Season's Greetings

    23 December 2019

    IAB-Festtagsprognose in Form eines TannenbaumsThis year is drawing to a close, and we are looking forward to the new start in the New Year 2020. We wish you and your loved ones an enjoyable festive season and a happy and successful New Year.


    Occupational routine-intensity and the costs of job loss: evidence from mass layoffs

    23 December 2019

    This paper analyses how differences in the degree of occupational routine-intensity affect the costs of job loss. We use worker-level data on mass layoffs in Germany between 1980 and 2010 and provide causal evidence that workers who used to be employed in more routine-intensive occupations suffer larger and more persistent earnings losses after the mass layoff. Furthermore, we are able to show that, at least initially, earnings losses are primarily due to a reduction in the number of days in employment, suggesting that routine-intensive workers face considerable frictions in the adjustment to job loss. Conditional on finding a new job, routine-intensive workers are more likely to change their occupations but end up systematically in the lower end of their new occupation’s wage distribution.

    IAB-Discussion Paper 25/2019


    The sources behind the gender wage gap of university graduates

    19 December 2019

    Zwei Figuren und Münzen auf einer WippeFor every euro a man earned per hour in Germany in 2018, a woman earned on average only 0.79 euros. This amounts to a gender wage gap of 21 percent, which is even greater among high-skilled individuals. In order to develop policies to reduce the gender wage gap, one should understand the sources behind this phenomenon. This particularly pertains to the early stages of the career when graduates make long-lasting occupation-related decisions.

    The article can be found in our Magazine IAB-Forum.


    Reforming the German basic income system in international perspective: yes to new avenues, no to a fundamental change

    12 December 2019

    Four Hands hold a note with the words "basic needs"In Germany, politicians and the public have been debating for quite some time now whether the means-tested basic income scheme, colloquially referred to as Hartz IV, should be fundamentally reformed or even replaced by an unconditional basic income. Discussions, pilot projects and reform-attempts in this area can also be observed in other countries. A look beyond national borders is therefore highly instructive for the German – and international – reform debate.

    The article can be found in our Magazine IAB-Forum.


    The Quality-Weighted Matching Function: Did the German Labour Market Reforms Trade of Efficiency against Job Quality?

    04 December 2019
    In this paper we evaluate the quantity-quality trade-off on the labor market by estimating an augmented matching function weighting the matches by quality measures. We use the approach to evaluate the German labor market reforms conducted between 2003 and 2005. Indeed, we find a significant quantity-quality trade-off. However, even after controlling for job quality, a good half of the positive effect of reforms on the matching efficiency remains.

    IAB-Discussion Paper 24/2019

    Scarcity drives employment growth

    21 November 2019

    Businessman looks at red figure through magnifying glassWhat is driving Germany’s continued upturn in employment? It has been a while since Hartz reforms and business cycles have lost much of their importance for the labour market. Decisive for the upward trend is a self-reinforcing effect: in view of the increasing scarcity of labour, employers are securing valuable manpower for themselves.

    The article can be found in our Magazine IAB-Forum.


    Do informational nudges alter firms’ hiring behavior of older Workers?

    12 November 2019

    This paper analyses a local marketing campaign in Germany that provided information about unproven age-related stereotypes and the value of older workers. The campaign was designed to increase the hiring rate of older workers. Using comprehensive register data, we find that the information provided by the campaign (via banners, interviews, job fairs and information brochures) did change firms’ employment behavior. The cheap and mild intervention increased the employment rate of older workers on average by 3 percentage points. This increase, however, is attributable to an increase in job stability rather than to an increase in the hiring of older workers.

    IAB-Discussion Paper 23/2019

    Informing employees in small and medium sized firms about training: results of a randomized field Experiment

    07 November 2019
    We analyze a labor market program that subsidizes skill-upgrading occupational training for workers employed in small and medium sized enterprises. The program covers a substantial share of training costs. Nonetheless, take-up has been low. In an experimental setup, we mailed 10,000 brochures to potentially eligible workers, informing them about the importance of skill-upgrading occupational training in general and about the subsidy program in particular. Using combined survey and register data, we analyze the impact of receiving the brochure on workers’ knowledge of the program, on take-up of subsidized and unsubsidized training, and on job characteristics. 
     
    IAB-Discussion Paper 22/2019

    “Exclusion from steady employment is widespread in Denmark, Finland, and Germany.” An interview with Regina Konle-Seidl

    09 October 2019

    German, Danish, and Fnnish flagRegina Konle-Seidl explains in this video interview the concept of chronic unemployment. In many European countries considerable segments of the labour force seem to be excluded from steady employment on the regular labour market. The concept of chronic unemployment aims at capturing this exclusion and goes far beyond the common indicator “long-term unemployment”. A comparison of both indicators across Denmark, Finland, and Germany reveals astonishing differences. Konle-Seidl explains these differences and gives political recommendations how to reduce high rates of chronic unemployment.

    The article can be found in our Magazine IAB-Forum.


    The urban wage premium in imperfect labour markets

    07 October 2019
    Using administrative data for West Germany, this paper investigates whether part of the urban wage premium stems from fierce competition in thick labour markets. We first establish that employers possess less wage-setting power in denser markets. Local differences in wage-setting power predict 1.8–2.1 percent higher wages from a 100 log points increase in population density. We further document that the observed urban wage premium from such an increase drops by 1.5–1.9pp once conditioning on local search frictions. Our results therefore suggest that a substantial part of the urban wage premium roots in differential imperfections across local labour markets.

    IAB-Discussion Paper 21/2019

    Bernd Fitzenberger has been the new Director of the Institute for Employment Research since 01 September

    30 September 2019

    Prof. Bernd Fitzenberger, Ph.D.Economist Bernd Fitzenberger has been the new Director of the Institute for Employment Research (IAB) in Nuremberg since 01 September. Mr Fitzenberger is the successor of Joachim Möller, who retired after eleven years in office at the end of September 2018. Economist Ulrich Walwei remains the Vice Director. He has been the Deputy Head of the IAB since June 2002 and acted as the Interim Director after Joachim Möller's retirement.

    Read more


    Which Factors are behind Germany's Labour Market Upswing?

    27 September 2019

    The strong and sustained labour market upswing in Germany is widely recognized. In a developing literature, various relevant studies highlight different specific reasons. The underlying study, instead, simultaneously considers a broad set of factors in a unified methodological framework and systematically weighs the candidate reasons for the labour market upswing against each other on an empirical basis. The candidates are: shocks on (de)regulation of employment or job creation intensity, the efficiency of the matching process, wage determination, the separation propensity,the size of the labour force, technology, business cycle and working time. We develop a structural macroeconometric framework that leaves as many of the systematic interlinkages as possible for empirical determination while operating with a minimal set of restrictions in order to identify economically meaningful shocks.

    IAB-Discussion Paper 20/2019


    Cochran-Hansen-Prize 2019 honors paper led by Professor Joseph Sakshaug

    26 September 2019

    Professor Joseph SakshaugProfessor Joseph Sakshaug (IAB and University of Mannheim) is the lead author of the winning paper of the Cochran-Hansen-Prize of the International Association of Survey Statisticians awarded to co-author Dr. Diego Andres Perez Ruiz (University of Manchester). The prize, awarded to a young statistician from a developing or transition country, was given to Mexican researcher Dr. Perez-Ruiz for his contributions to the paper “Augmenting Probability-Based Surveys with Nonprobability Survey Information: a Bayesian Approach.” The other co-authors include Dr. Arkadiusz Wiśniowski (University of Manchester) and Prof. Dr. Annelies Blom (University of Manheim).

    More information...


    Working time accounts in the public- and private sector: flexible working hours are becoming increasingly important

    11 September 2019

    Close-up of an alarm clock on reflective deskMore and more companies and administrations offer their employees working time accounts. Between 1999 and 2016, the proportion of companies using this instrument has almost doubled. Above all, models that enable a short-term adjustment of work-input are particularly widespread. By contrast, long-term accounts, which facilitate longer leave periods including family leave, remain the exception.

    The article can be found in our Magazine IAB-Forum.


    Heterogeneity in Marginal Returns to Language Training of Immigrants

    09 September 2019

    We estimate the effect of language training on subsequent employment and wages of immigrants under essential heterogeneity. The identifying variation is based on regional differences in language training availability that we use to instrument endogenous participation. Estimating marginal treatment effects along the distribution of observables and unobservables that drive individual participation decisions, we find that immigrants with higher gains are more likely to select into language training than immigrants with lower gains.

    IAB-Discussion Paper 19/2019


    Sequential versus Non-Sequential Search among German Employers – Evidence from a Job Vacancy Survey

    19 August 2019

    In this note, we provide evidence on the extent and determinants of sequential versus non-sequential search among German employers. Using unique representative data on employers’ recruitment behavior, we exploit direct information on whether employers first formed a pool of applicants from which they chose the most suitable candidate (Non- Sequential Search), or whether they hired the first suitable applicant (Sequential Search). We show that non-sequential search is the predominant search strategy, accounting for about 75 per cent of all successful hirings.

    IAB-Discussion Paper 18/2019


    Marginal part-time employment in Germany: Live or let die?

    08 August 2019

    Miniatur-Menschen auf Bausteinen mit Schriftszug "Minijob"Marginal employment, known as mini-job, is a two-edged sword. For many mini-jobber it has not been worthwhile to work longer hours up to now. This is an avoidable obstacle for securing a sustainable supply of skilled workers. At the same time, neither a continuation of the status quo nor a complete abolition of marginal employment is a proper solution. A well-thought-out reform completed in reasonable steps aiming at the improvement of the overall situation of employees, enterprises and the state budget is feasible.

    The article can be found in our Magazine IAB-Forum.


    Do Minimum Wages Improve Self-Rated Health? Evidence from a Natural Experiment

    07 August 2019

    In this paper, we analyze whether the introduction of the general minimum wage in Germany in 2015 had an effect on workers’ self-rated health. To study this question, we use survey-data linked to administrative employment records and apply difference-in-difference regressions combined with propensity score matching. This approach enables us to control for a vast set of possibly confounding variables. We find on average significant improvements of self-rated health for individuals who are affected by the reform. Our results indicate, that a significant reduction of weekly working hours potentially drives this result.

    IAB-Discussion Paper 17/2019


    Do social networks mitigate stigma effects from long-term unemployment?

    06 August 2019

    Using data from the German Job Vacancy Survey from 2016 and 2018, which is a representative paper and pencil survey on establishments in Germany, I investigate how employers judge the work related skills of long-term unemployed and whether this group has higher chances of being hired when an employer uses his or her social contacts to find candidates. Apart from a large number of establishment-specific characteristics, the survey contains information on the recruiting process with regard to long-term unemployed. Establishments are asked whether they had applications from these persons, whether they invited them for an interview and whether they finally employed long-term unemployed individuals. For all three steps of the recruitment process, it is possible to identify employers that recruited long-term unemployed with or without recommendations.

    IAB-Discussion Paper 16/2019


    Heterogeneous displacement effects of migrant labor supply - quasi-experimental evidence from Germany

    05 August 2019

    In this paper the authors investigate the displacement effects on previous residents utilizing a quasi-experiment by a policy change that facilitated labor market access of asylum seekers.

    IAB-Discussion Paper 15/2019


    The gender wage gap in Europe: What can we learn from linked employer-employee data? A workshop report

    12 July 2019

    Frauen und Männer im Büro vor BildschirmenA recent IAB workshop on the gender wage gap in Europe stressed the importance of the workplace and the firm in explaining gender inequalities. The workshop presentations showed that linked employer-employee data of all types can help analysts and policy makers understand the mechanisms which lie behind these inequalities, giving insights that cannot be obtained from traditional surveys of individuals and households.

    The article can be found in our Magazine IAB-Forum.


    Say it like Goethe: Language learning facilities abroad and the self-selection of immigrants

    08 July 2019

    Immigration policy in most high-income countries is designed to promote qualified migration while maintaining high requirements on characteristics such as education and language skills. We rely on a standard self-selection model with heterogeneous migration costs to discuss the effect of access to language learning services in the country of origin on the skill composition of immigrants in Germany. Using individual-level survey data on immigrants from different cohorts over the period 2000–2014, combined with unique data on the presence of Goethe Institutes – a German association promoting German language and culture worldwide – in origin countries, the results of our empirical analysis show that the acquisition of the German language is fostered by the availability of language courses abroad.

    IAB-Discussion Paper 14/2019



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