Structural Change and Productivity

The department of structural change and productivity analyses dynamics of structural change driven, for instance, by globalization or technological progress. Structural change causes prosperity and demise of regions, industries, and firms, and we use microeconometric methods to empirically assess these effects. The department staffs the secretariat of the Competitiveness Research Network (CompNet), which is a hub for research and policy analysis on competitiveness and productivity, and coordinates MICROPROD (EU Horizon 2020).

Our focus is on productivity, innovation, and labour market outcomes such as employment and wages. We devote special attention to the transformation process of the East German regions, initiated by the Fall of the Berlin Wall and the German unification. The Research Clusters "Institutions and Social Norms" and "Productivity and Innovation" build the framework for our research agenda and the corresponding policy advice.

Your contact

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

Refereed Publications

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Innovation Cooperation in East and West Germany: A Study on the Regional and Technological Impact

U. Cantner Alexander Giebler Jutta Günther Maria Kristalova Andreas Meder

in: International Journal of Computational Economics and Econometrics, forthcoming

Abstract

In this paper, we investigate the impact of regional and technological innovation systems on innovation cooperation. We develop an indicator applicable to regions, which demonstrates the relative regional impact on innovation cooperation. Applying this method to German patent data, we find that regional differences in the degree of innovation cooperation do not only depend on the technology structure of a region but also on specific regional effects. High-tech oriented regions, whether east or west, are not automatically highly cooperative regions. East German regions have experienced a dynamic development of innovation cooperation since re-unification in 1990. Their cooperation intensity remains higher than in West German regions.

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Do Start-ups Provide Employment Opportunities for Disadvantaged Workers?

Daniel Fackler Michaela Fuchs Lisa Hölscher Claus Schnabel

in: Industrial and Labor Relations Review, forthcoming

Abstract

This article compares the hiring patterns of start-ups and incumbent firms to analyze whether start-ups offer relatively more job opportunities to disadvantaged workers. Using administrative linked employer–employee data for Germany that provide the complete employment biographies of newly hired workers, the authors show that young firms are more likely than incumbents to hire applicants who are older, foreign, or unemployed, or who have unstable employment histories, arrive from outside the labor force, or were affected by a plant closure. Analysis of entry wages shows that penalties for these disadvantaged workers, however, are higher in start-ups than in incumbent firms. Therefore, even if start-ups provide employment opportunities for certain groups of disadvantaged workers, the quality of these jobs in terms of initial remuneration appears to be low.

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Does Extended Unemployment Benefit Duration Ameliorate the Negative Employment Effects of Job Loss?

Daniel Fackler Jens Stegmaier Eva Weigt

in: Labour Economics, forthcoming

Abstract

We study the effect of job displacement due to bankruptcies on earnings and employment prospects of displaced workers and analyse whether extended potential unemployment benefit duration (PBD) ameliorates the negative consequences of job loss. Using German administrative linked employer-employee data, we find that job loss has long-lasting negative effects on earnings and employment. Displaced workers also more often end up in irregular employment relationships (part-time, marginal part-time employment, and temporary agency work) than their non-displaced counterparts. Applying a regression discontinuity approach that exploits a three months PBD extension at the age threshold of 50 we find hardly any effects of longer PBD on labour market outcomes of displaced workers.

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Identifying Cooperation for Innovation―a Comparison of Data Sources

Michael Fritsch Mirko Titze M. Piontek

in: Industry and Innovation, forthcoming

Abstract

The value of social network analysis is critically dependent on the comprehensive and reliable identification of actors and their relationships. We compare regional knowledge networks based on different types of data sources, namely, co-patents, co-publications, and publicly subsidized collaborative R&D projects. Moreover, by combining these three data sources, we construct a multilayer network that provides a comprehensive picture of intraregional interactions. By comparing the networks based on the data sources, we address the problems of coverage and selection bias. We observe that using only one data source leads to a severe underestimation of regional knowledge interactions, especially those of private sector firms and independent researchers.

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Wage Delegation in the Field

Sabrina Jeworrek Vanessa Mertins

in: Journal of Economics & Management Strategy, forthcoming

Abstract

By conducting a natural field experiment, we analyze the managerial policy of delegating the wage choice to employees. We find that this policy enhances performance significantly, which is remarkable since allocated wage premiums of the same size have no effect at all. Observed self‐imposed wage restraints and absence of negative peer effects speak in favor of wage delegation, although the chosen wage premium levels severely dampen its net value. Additional experimental and survey data provide important insights into employees' underlying motivations.

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Working Papers

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Gift-exchange in Society and the Social Integration of Refugees: Evidence from a Field, a Laboratory, and a Survey Experiment

Sabrina Jeworrek Vanessa Mertins Bernd Josef Leisen

in: IWH Discussion Papers, No. 17, 2019

Abstract

Refugee integration needs broad support from society, but only a minority is actively engaged. Given that most individuals reciprocate kind behaviour, we examine the idea that the proportion of supporters is increasing as a reciprocal response to refugees’ contributions to society through volunteering. Our nationwide survey experiment shows that the intentions to contribute time and money rise significantly when citizens learn about refugees’ pro-social activities. Importantly, this result holds for individuals who have not been in contact to refugees so far. We complement this investigation by experiments in the lab and the field – which confirm our findings for actual behaviour.

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Mission, Motivation, and the Active Decision to Work for a Social Cause

Sabrina Jeworrek Vanessa Mertins

in: IWH Discussion Papers, No. 10, 2019

Abstract

The mission of a job does not only affect the type of worker attracted to an organisation, but may also provide incentives to an existing workforce. We conducted a natural field experiment with 267 short-time workers and randomly allocated them to either a prosocial or a commercial job. Our data suggest that the mission of a job itself has a performance enhancing motivational impact on particular individuals only, i.e., workers with a prosocial attitude. However, the mission is very important if it has been actively selected. Those workers who have chosen to contribute to a social cause outperform the ones randomly assigned to the same job by about 15 percent. This effect seems to be a universal phenomenon which is not driven by information about the alternative job, the choice itself or a particular subgroup.

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flexpaneldid: A Stata Command for Causal Analysis with Varying Treatment Time and Duration

Eva Dettmann Alexander Giebler Antje Weyh

in: IWH Discussion Papers, No. 5, 2019

Abstract

The paper presents a modification of the matching and difference-in-differences approach of Heckman et al. (1998) and its Stata implementation, the command flexpaneldid. The approach is particularly useful for causal analysis of treatments with varying start dates and varying treatment durations (like investment grants or other subsidy schemes). Introducing more flexibility enables the user to consider individual treatment and outcome periods for the treated observations. The flexpaneldid command for panel data implements the developed flexible difference-in-differences approach and commonly used alternatives like CEM Matching and difference-in-differences models. The novelty of this tool is an extensive data preprocessing to include time information into the matching approach and the treatment effect estimation. The core of the paper gives two comprehensive examples to explain the use of flexpaneldid and its options on the basis of a publicly accessible data set.

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Identifying Cooperation for Innovation – A Comparison of Data Sources

Michael Fritsch M. Piontek Mirko Titze

in: IWH Discussion Papers, No. 1, 2019

Abstract

The value of social network analysis is critically dependent on the comprehensive and reliable identification of actors and their relationships. We compare regional knowledge networks based on different types of data sources, namely, co-patents, co-publications, and publicly subsidised collaborative Research and Development projects. Moreover, by combining these three data sources, we construct a multilayer network that provides a comprehensive picture of intraregional interactions. By comparing the networks based on the data sources, we address the problems of coverage and selection bias. We observe that using only one data source leads to a severe underestimation of regional knowledge interactions, especially those of private sector firms and independent researchers. The key role of universities that connect many regional actors is identified in all three types of data.

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Labour Market Power and the Distorting Effects of International Trade

Matthias Mertens

in: IWH Discussion Papers, No. 18, 2018

Abstract

This article examines how trade shocks shape labour market imperfections that create market power in labour markets and prevent an efficient allocation of labour. I develop a framework for measuring such labour market distortions in monetary terms and document large degrees of those distortions in Germany’s manufacturing sector. Import competition can only exert labour market disciplining effects when firms rather than workers have labour market power. Otherwise, export demand and import competition shocks tend to fortify existing distortions by amplifying labour market power structures. This diminishes the gains from trade compared to a model with perfectly competitive labour markets.

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