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.
Entry into Self-employment and Individuals’ Risk-taking Propensities
in: Small Business Economics, forthcoming
Most of the existing empirical literature on self-employment decisions assumes that individuals’ risk-taking propensities are stable over time. We allow for endogeneity on both sides when examining the relationship between individual risk-taking propensities and entry into self-employment. We confirm that a greater risk-taking propensity is associated with a higher probability of entering self-employment. However, we also find evidence that entering self-employment is associated with a significant and substantial increase in an individual’s propensity to take risks. Our findings add to the growing evidence that risk-taking propensities are not only inborn, but also determined by environmental factors.
Innovation Cooperation in East and West Germany: A Study on the Regional and Technological Impact
in: International Journal of Computational Economics and Econometrics, forthcoming
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.
Does Extended Unemployment Benefit Duration Ameliorate the Negative Employment Effects of Job Loss?
in: Labour Economics, forthcoming
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.
Identifying Cooperation for Innovation―a Comparison of Data Sources
in: Industry and Innovation, forthcoming
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.
Wage Delegation in the Field
in: Journal of Economics & Management Strategy, forthcoming
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.
Import Competition and Firm Productivity: Evidence from German Manufacturing
in: IWH Discussion Papers, No. 20, 2019
This study analyses empirically the effects of import competition on firm productivity (TFPQ) using administrative firm-level panel data from German manufacturing. We find that only import competition from high-income countries is associated with positive incentives for firms to invest in productivity improvement, whereas import competition from middle- and low-income countries is not. To rationalise these findings, we further look at the characteristics of imports from the two types of countries and the effects on R&D, employment and sales. We provide evidence that imports from high-income countries are relatively capital-intensive and technologically more sophisticated goods, at which German firms tend to be relatively good. Costly investment in productivity appears feasible reaction to such type of competition and we find no evidence for downscaling. Imports from middle- and low-wage countries are relatively labour-intensive and technologically less sophisticated goods, at which German firms tend to generally be at disadvantage. In this case, there are no incentives to invest in innovation and productivity and firms tend to decline in sales and employment.
Gift-exchange in Society and the Social Integration of Refugees: Evidence from a Field, a Laboratory, and a Survey Experiment
in: IWH Discussion Papers, No. 17, 2019
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.
Mission, Motivation, and the Active Decision to Work for a Social Cause
in: IWH Discussion Papers, No. 10, 2019
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.
flexpaneldid: A Stata Command for Causal Analysis with Varying Treatment Time and Duration
in: IWH Discussion Papers, No. 5, 2019
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.
Identifying Cooperation for Innovation – A Comparison of Data Sources
in: IWH Discussion Papers, No. 1, 2019
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.