Firm Dynamics and Employment Outcomes
This research group belongs to the IWH Research Cluster Productivity and Innovation. In a market economy, firm foundations and closures are important drivers of resource (re)allocation, structural change, and economic development which is particularly important with respect to the economic transformation of East Germany from a state-directed to a market economy. At the same time, job displacement coming along with structural change may have serious consequences for affected employees, such as unemployment, earnings losses, or lower job quality in a new job. This research group uses microeconometric methods to analyze foundation, evolution, and failure of firms, the amount and quality of jobs created by new firms and the consequences of firm closures for employees, in particular in terms of labor market outcomes such as employment and wages.
Research ClusterProductivity and Innovation
Betriebsräte und andere Formen der betrieblichen Mitarbeitervertretung – Substitute oder Komplemente
in: Industrielle Beziehungen , forthcomingread publication
Coming to Work While Sick: An Economic Theory of Presenteeism With an Application to German Data
in: Oxford Economic Papers , forthcoming
Presenteeism, i.e. attending work while sick, is widespread and associated with significant costs. Still, economic analyses of this phenomenon are rare. In a theoretical model, we show that presenteeism arises due to differences between workers in (healthrelated) disutility from workplace attendance. As these differences are unobservable by employers, they set wages that incentivise sick workers to attend work. Using a large representative German data set, we test several hypotheses derived from our model. In line with our predictions, we find that bad health status and stressful working conditions are positively related to presenteeism. Better dismissal protection, captured by higher tenure, is associated with slightly fewer presenteeism days, whereas the role of productivity and skills is inconclusive.
Do Employers Have More Monopsony Power in Slack Labor Markets?
in: Industrial and Labor Relations Review , forthcoming
This article confronts monopsony theory’s predictions regarding workers’ wages with observed wage patterns over the business cycle. Using German administrative data for the years 1985 to 2010 and an estimation framework based on duration models, the authors construct a time series of the labor supply elasticity to the firm and estimate its relationship to the unemployment rate. They find that firms possess more monopsony power during economic downturns. Half of this cyclicality stems from workers’ job separations being less wage driven when unemployment rises, and the other half mirrors that firms find it relatively easier to poach workers. Results show that the cyclicality is more pronounced in tight labor markets with low unemployment, and that the findings are robust to controlling for time-invariant unobserved worker or plant heterogeneity. The authors further document that cyclical changes in workers’ entry wages are of similar magnitude as those predicted under pure monopsonistic wage setting.
Why is there resistance to works councils?
in: Economic and Industrial Democracy , forthcomingread publication
Kosten und Nutzen der Ausbildung an Tertiärbildungsinstitutionen im Vergleich
in: Perspektiven der Wirtschaftspolitik , No. 2, 2010
We compare German institutions of tertiary education (universities and polytechnics) with respect to the cost of and the returns to their educational degrees. Based on cost data from two different sources we find that on average the expenditures of universities are lower than those of polytechnics when we consider expenditures per potential enrollee and per student enrolled during the regular education period. We apply data from the German Socio-economic Panel (2001–2007) to estimate the private returns to tertiary education and find higher returns to university than polytechnic training. These results are robust to a variety of alternative procedures.
Losing Work, Moving Away? Regional Mobility After Job Loss
in: IWH Discussion Papers , No. 26, 2016
Using German survey data, we investigate the relationship between involuntary job loss and regional mobility. Our results show that job loss has a strong positive effect on the propensity to relocate. We also analyze whether the high and persistent earnings losses of displaced workers can in part be explained by limited regional mobility. Our findings do not support this conjecture as we find substantial long lasting earnings losses for both movers and stayers. In the short run, movers even face slightly higher losses, but the differences between the two groups of displaced workers are never statistically significant. This challenges whether migration is a beneficial strategy in case of involuntary job loss.
Plant-level Employment Development before Collective Displacements: Comparing Mass Layoffs, Plant Closures, and Bankruptcies
in: IWH Discussion Papers , No. 27, 2016
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.
Survival of Spinoffs and Other Startups: First Evidence for the Private Sector in Germany, 1976-2008
in: IZA Discussion Paper Series, No. 7542 , No. 7542, 2013
Using a 50 percent sample of all establishments in the German private sector, we report that spinoffs are larger and initially employ more skilled and more experienced workers than other startups. Controlling for these and other differences, we find that spinoffs are less likely to exit than other startups. We show that in West and East Germany and in all sectors investigated pulled spinoffs (where the parent company continues after they are founded) generally have the lowest exit hazards, followed by pushed spinoffs (where the parent company stops operations). The difference between both types of spinoffs is particularly pronounced in the first three years. Contrary to expectations, intra-industry spinoffs are not found to have lower exit hazards in our sample.
Who Buffers Income Losses After Job Displacement? The Role of Alternative Income Sources, the Family, and the State
in: IWH Discussion Papers , No. 28, 2016
Using survey data from the German Socio-Economic Panel (SOEP), this paper analyses to what extent alternative income sources, reactions within the household context, and redistribution by the state attenuate earnings losses after job displacement. Applying propensity score matching and fixed effects estimations, we find high individual earnings losses after job displacement and only limited convergence. Income from selfemployment slightly reduces the earnings gap and severance payments buffer losses in the short run. On the household level, we find substantial and rather persistent losses in per capita labour income. We do not find that increased labour supply by other household members contributes to the compensation of the income losses. Most importantly, our results show that redistribution within the tax and transfer system substantially mitigates income losses of displaced workers both in the short and the long run whereas other channels contribute only little.
Paternal Unemployment During Childhood: Causal Effects on Youth Worklessness and Educational Attainment
in: IWH Discussion Papers , No. 8, 2016
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.