Professor Dr Steffen Müller

Professor Dr Steffen Müller
Current Position

since 10/14

Head of the Department of Structural Change and Productivity

Halle Institute for Economic Research (IWH) – Member of the Leibniz Association

since 10/14

Professor in Economics: Productivity and Innovations

Otto von Guericke University Magdeburg

Research Interests

  • applied econometrics
  • empirical labour economics
  • firm entry and exit dynamics

Since October 2014, Steffen Mueller is professor at the University of Magdeburg and head of the Department of Structural Change and Productivity at the Halle Institute for Economic Research (IWH). He is member of the standing committees for education economics, population economics, and social policy of the German Economic Association.

Steffen Müller studied economics at the University of Leipzig. At the Friedrich-Alexander-University Erlangen-Nuremberg, he worked as a research assistant for Professor Riphahn from 2005 till 2014 and received his doctoral degree in Economics in November 2009. During his PhD studies, Steffen Müller stayed for several months at the University of California in Davis. Following an invitation by David Card, he visited the University of California in Berkeley from September to December 2012. He finished his habilitation in June 2014.

Your contact

Professor Dr Steffen Müller
Professor Dr Steffen Müller
Leiter - Department Structural Change and Productivity
Send Message +49 345 7753-708

Publications

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Paternal Unemployment During Childhood: Causal Effects on Youth Worklessness and Educational Attainment

Steffen Müller Regina T. Riphahn Caroline Schwientek

in: Oxford Economic Papers , No. 1, 2017

Abstract

Using long-running data from the German Socio-Economic Panel (1984–2012), we investigate the impact of paternal unemployment on child labour market and education outcomes. We first describe correlation patterns and then use sibling fixed effects and the Gottschalk (1996) method to identify the causal effects of paternal unemployment. We find different patterns for sons and daughters. Paternal unemployment does not seem to causally affect the outcomes of sons. In contrast, it increases both daughters’ worklessness and educational attainment. We test the robustness of the results and explore potential explanations.

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The Dynamic Effects of Works Councils on Plant Productivity: First Evidence from Panel Data

Steffen Müller Jens Stegmaier

in: British Journal of Industrial Relations , No. 2, 2017

Abstract

We estimate dynamic effects of works councils on labour productivity using newly available information from West German establishment panel data. Conditioning on plant fixed effects and control variables, we find negative productivity effects during the first five years after council introduction but a steady and substantial increase in the councils’ productivity effect thereafter. Our findings support a causal interpretation for the positive correlation between council existence and plant productivity that has been frequently reported in previous studies.

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Transferability of Skills across Sectors and Heterogeneous Displacement Costs

Moises Yi Steffen Müller Jens Stegmaier

in: American Economic Review: Papers and Proceedings , No. 5, 2017

Abstract

We use rich German administrative data to estimate new measures of skill transferability between manufacturing and other sectors. These measures capture the value of workers' human capital when applied in different sectors and are directly related to workers' displacement costs. We estimate these transferability measures using a selection correction model, which addresses workers' endogenous mobility, and a novel selection instrument based on the social network of workers. Our results indicate substantial heterogeneity in how workers can transfer their skills when they move across sectors, which implies heterogeneous displacement costs that depend on the sector to which workers reallocate.

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Working Papers

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Plant-level Employment Development before Collective Displacements: Comparing Mass Layoffs, Plant Closures, and Bankruptcies

Daniel Fackler Steffen Müller Jens Stegmaier

in: IWH Discussion Papers , No. 27, 2016

Abstract

To assess to what extent collective job displacements can be regarded as unanticipated exogenous shocks for affected employees, we analyze plant-level employment patterns before bankruptcy, plant closure without bankruptcy, and mass layoff. Utilizing administrative data covering all West German private sector plants, we find no systematic employment reductions prior to mass layoffs, a strong and long-lasting reduction prior to closures, and a much shorter shadow of death preceding bankruptcy. Our analysis of worker flows underlines that bankruptcies seem to struggle for survival while closures follow a shrinking strategy. We conclude that the scope of worker anticipation of upcoming job loss is smallest for mass layoffs and largest for closures without bankruptcy.

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Paternal Unemployment During Childhood: Causal Effects on Youth Worklessness and Educational Attainment

Steffen Müller Regina T. Riphahn Caroline Schwientek

in: IWH Discussion Papers , No. 8, 2016

Abstract

Using long-running data from the German Socio-Economic Panel (1984-2012), we investigate the impact of paternal unemployment on child labor market and education outcomes. We first describe correlation patterns and then use sibling fixed effects and the Gottschalk (1996) method to identify the causal effects of paternal unemployment. We find different patterns for sons and daughters. Paternal unemployment does not seem to causally affect the outcomes of sons. In contrast, it increases both daughters‘ worklessness and educational attainment. We test the robustness of the results and explore potential explanations.

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Size of Training Firms and Cumulated Long-run Unemployment Exposure – The Role of Firms, Luck, and Ability in Young Workers’ Careers

Steffen Müller R. Neubäumer

in: IWH Discussion Papers , No. 5, 2016

Abstract

This paper analyzes how life-cycle unemployment of former apprentices depends on the size of the training firm. We start from the hypotheses that the size of training firms reduces long-run cumulated unemployment exposure, e.g. via differences in training quality and in the availability of internal labor markets, and that the access to large training firms depends positively on young workers’ ability and their luck to live in a region with many large and medium-sized training firms. We test these hypotheses empirically by using a large administrative data set for Germany and find corroborative evidence.

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