25 Years IWH

Dr Walter Hyll

Dr Walter Hyll
Current Position

since 3/12

Head of the Research Group The Impact of Institutions and Social Norms on Preferences and Behavior

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

since 10/10

Economist in the Department of Structural Change and Productivity

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

Research Interests

  • applied microeconomics
  • theory of the firm
  • institutional economics
  • behavioral economics

Walter Hyll is a post-doctoral researcher in the Department of Structural Change and Productivity. He coordinates the research group "The Impact of Institutions and Social Norms on Preferences and Behavior."

Walter Hyll studied at the University of Graz and received his doctoral degree from the University of Klagenfurt. He worked as a research assistant at the University of Klagenfurt, the Institute for Advanced Studies Carinthia, and as a project assistant at the University of Graz and the Austrian Institute of Economic Research.

Your contact

Dr Walter Hyll
Dr Walter Hyll
Mitglied - Department Structural Change and Productivity
Send Message +49 345 7753-850



Gender Quotas and Human Capital Formation: A Relative Deprivation Approach

Walter Hyll

in: German Economic Review , No. 3, 2017


We study a quota's effect on individual human capital investment incentives beyond merely altering individual's overall probability of being promoted. We assume that individuals sense relative deprivation from unfavorable (income) comparisons within their reference group and that comparisons take place within the same gender. The introduction of a female quota increases (decreases) the number of women (men) holding top positions. On one hand, the relative deprivation to which female individuals are subjected to increases. These female individuals respond to an increase in their relative deprivation by acquiring additional human capital which, because it enables them to increase their earnings, reduces their relative deprivation. On the other hand, male individuals invest less in human capital in response to a decrease in relative deprivation. We show that the human capital formed by women who are encouraged to do so by the quotas is larger than the human capital that men who are discouraged by the quotas refrain from forming. However, the positive human capital accumulation effect hinges on a certain level of ability by gender and on how much individuals perceive relative deprivation.

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On the Simultaneity Bias in the Relationship Between Risk Attitudes, Entry into Entrepreneurship and Entrepreneurial Survival

Matthias Brachert Walter Hyll Mirko Titze

in: Applied Economics Letters , No. 7, 2017


We consider the simultaneity bias when examining the effect of individual risk attitudes on entrepreneurship. We demonstrate that entry into self-employment is related to changes in risk attitudes. We further show that these changes are correlated with the probability to remain in entrepreneurship.

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Types of Cooperation Partners as Determinants of Innovation Failures

Walter Hyll Gunnar Pippel

in: Technology Analysis & Strategic Management , No. 4, 2016


In this paper we analyse if specific R&D cooperation partners are related to an increase in the probability of innovation failures in terms discontinuing innovation projects. We distinguish between seven different R&D cooperation partner types, and we discriminate between product innovation failures and process innovation failures. Using German Community Innovation Survey data we find that, firstly, each type of R&D cooperation partner has a different effect on innovation failures. Secondly, we show that product innovation failures and process innovation failures are not affected in equal measure by the same type of R&D cooperation partner. Our results suggest that while R&D cooperation with public research institutes is significantly and negatively related to the probability to cancel a process innovation project, the coefficient is positive but insignificant for product innovation failures. Firms conducting partnerships with suppliers, however, run the risk of both product and process innovation failures. In turn, cooperation with competitors is positively correlated only to process innovation failures.

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Working Papers


Social Distress and Economic Integration

Walter Hyll Lutz Schneider

in: IWH Discussion Papers , No. 21, 2016


We analyze whether social distress from income comparisons affects attitudes towards the integration of economies. Using Germany’s division as natural experiment, we find that East Germans’ feelings of relative deprivation with respect to better-off West Germans led to significantly more support for the upcoming German re-unification.

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Financial Literacy and Self-employment

Aida Ćumurović Walter Hyll

in: IWH Discussion Papers , No. 11, 2016


In this paper, we study the relationship between financial literacy and self-employment. We use established financial knowledge-based questions to measure financial literacy levels. The analysis shows a highly significant correlation between selfemployment and financial literacy scores. To investigate the impact of financial literacy on being self-employed, we apply instrumental variable techniques based on information on economic education before entering the labour market and education of parents. Our results reveal that financial literacy positively affects the probability of being self-employed. As financial literacy is acquirable, findings suggest that entrepreneurial activities may be raised via enhancing financial knowledge.

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Social Comparisons and Attitudes towards Foreigners. Evidence from the ‘Fall of the Iron Curtain’

Walter Hyll Lutz Schneider

in: IWH Discussion Papers , No. 12, 2016


We exploit the natural experiment of German re-unification to address the question whether distress from social (income) comparisons results in negative attitudes towards foreigners. Our empirical approach rests upon East German individuals who have West German peers. We use the exogenous variation of wealth of West German peers shortly after the fall of the Berlin Wall as an instrument to identify the effect of distress from social comparisons on East Germans’ attitudes. We find robust evidence that East Germans expose strong negative attitudes towards foreigners, particularly from low-wage countries, if they worry about their economic status compared to better-off peers.

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