25 Years IWH

Professor Florian Hoffmann, PhD

Current Position

since 12/16

Research Fellow at the Department of Structural Change and Productivity

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

since 07/10

Assistant Professor

Vancouver School of Economics

Research Interests

  • human capital
  • dynamic general equilibrium models

Florian Hoffmann is a Research Fellow at the IWH since December 2016. His research interests lie in the determinants of life-cycle earnings and career dynamics, dynamic discrete choice models of human capital formation, estimation of equilibrium search models, and the importance of student-instructor interactions for academic achievement on the post-secondary education level.

Since July 2010 Florian Hoffmann has been an Assistant Professor at Vancouver School of Economics. He received his PhD from the University of Toronto.

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Professor Florian Hoffmann, PhD
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Publications

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Complex-task Biased Technological Change and the Labor Market

Colin Caines Florian Hoffmann Gueorgui Kambourov

in: Review of Economic Dynamics, April 2017

Abstract

In this paper we study the relationship between task complexity and the occupational wage- and employment structure. Complex tasks are defined as those requiring higher-order skills, such as the ability to abstract, solve problems, make decisions, or communicate effectively. We measure the task complexity of an occupation by performing Principal Component Analysis on a broad set of occupational descriptors in the Occupational Information Network (O*NET) data. We establish four main empirical facts for the U.S. over the 1980–2005 time period that are robust to the inclusion of a detailed set of controls, subsamples, and levels of aggregation: (1) There is a positive relationship across occupations between task complexity and wages and wage growth; (2) Conditional on task complexity, routine-intensity of an occupation is not a significant predictor of wage growth and wage levels; (3) Labor has reallocated from less complex to more complex occupations over time; (4) Within groups of occupations with similar task complexity labor has reallocated to non-routine occupations over time. We then formulate a model of Complex-Task Biased Technological Change with heterogeneous skills and show analytically that it can rationalize these facts. We conclude that workers in non-routine occupations with low ability of solving complex tasks are not shielded from the labor market effects of automatization.

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Burdett–Mortensen Model of on-the-Job Search with Two Sectors

Florian Hoffmann Shouyong Shi

in: Review of Economic Dynamics, Special Issue in Honor of Dale Mortensen 2016

Abstract

The focus of this paper is on the steady state of a two-sector economy with undirected search where employed and unemployed workers can search for jobs, both within a sector and between the sectors. As in the one-sector model, on-the-job search generates wage dispersion among homogeneous workers. The analysis of the two-sector model uncovers a property called constant tension that is responsible for analytical tractability. We characterize the steady state in all cases with constant tension. When time discounting vanishes, constant tension yields the endogenous separation rate in each sector as a linear function of the present value for a worker. The one-sector economy automatically satisfies constant tension, in which case the linear separation rate implies that equilibrium offers of the worker value are uniformly distributed. Constant tension also has strong predictions for worker transitions and value/wage dispersion, both within a sector and between the two sectors. When constant tension does not hold, we compute the steady state numerically and illustrate its properties.

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Unemployment in the Great Recession: A Comparison of Germany, Canada, and the United States

Florian Hoffmann Thomas Lemieux

in: Journal of Labor Economics, S1 Part 2 2016

Abstract

This paper looks at the surprisingly different labor market performance of the United States, Canada, Germany, and several other OECD countries during and after the Great Recession of 2008–9. A first important finding is that the large employment swings in the construction sector linked to the boom and bust in US housing markets is an important factor behind the different labor market performances of the three countries. We also find that cross-country differences among OECD countries are consistent with a conventional Okun relationship linking gross domestic product growth to employment performance.

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