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    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



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