Professor Dr. Simon Wiederhold

Professor Dr. Simon Wiederhold
Aktuelle Position

seit 1/24

Leiter der Forschungsgruppe Bildung, Kompetenzen und Arbeitsmarkt

Leibniz-Institut für Wirtschaftsforschung Halle (IWH)

seit 4/23

Senior Research Advisor der Abteilung Strukturwandel und Produktivität

Leibniz-Institut für Wirtschaftsforschung Halle (IWH)

seit 4/23

Professor für Arbeitsmarktökonomik


Martin-Luther-Universität Halle-Wittenberg

Forschungsschwerpunkte

  • Arbeitsmarktökonomik
  • Bildungsökonomik
  • Verhaltens- und Experimentalökonomik

Simon Wiederhold ist seit April 2023 Senior Research Advisor am IWH und Professor für Arbeitsmarktökonomik an der Martin-Luther-Universität Halle-Wittenberg. In seiner Forschung beschäftigt er sich insbesondere mit den Ursachen und Folgen der Ungleichheit im Bildungswesen. Außerdem forscht er zur Zukunft des Arbeitsmarktes.

Simon Wiederhold studierte und promovierte an der Friedrich-Schiller-Universität Jena. Zwischen 2011 und 2017 war er Post-Doc am ifo Institut München. Bevor er ans IWH kam, war er als Professor für Makroökonomik an der Katholischen Universität Eichstätt-Ingolstadt tätig. Er absolvierte mehrmonatige Forschungsaufenthalte an der Duke University und der Harvard University.

Ihr Kontakt

Professor Dr. Simon Wiederhold
Professor Dr. Simon Wiederhold
- Abteilung Strukturwandel und Produktivität
Nachricht senden +49 345 7753-840 Persönliche Seite

Publikationen

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Can Mentoring Alleviate Family Disadvantage in Adolescence? A Field Experiment to Improve Labor-Market Prospects

Sven Resnjanskij Jens Ruhose Simon Wiederhold Ludger Woessmann Katharina Wedel

in: Journal of Political Economy, im Erscheinen

Abstract

We study a mentoring program that aims to improve the labor-market prospects of school-attending adolescents from disadvantaged families by offering them a university-student mentor. Our RCT investigates program effectiveness on three outcome dimensions that are highly predictive of later labor-market success: math grades, patience/social skills, and labor-market orientation. For low-SES adolescents, the mentoring increases a combined index of the outcomes by over half a standard deviation after one year, with significant increases in each dimension. Part of the treatment effect is mediated by establishing mentors as attachment figures who provide guidance for the future. Effects on grades and labor-market orientation, but not on patience/social skills, persist three years after program start. By that time, the mentoring also improves early realizations of school-to-work transitions for low-SES adolescents. The mentoring is not effective for higher-SES adolescents. The results show that substituting lacking family support by other adults can help disadvantaged children at adolescent age.

Publikation lesen

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Skill Mismatch and the Costs of Job Displacement

Frank Neffke Ljubica Nedelkoska Simon Wiederhold

in: Research Policy, Nr. 2, 2024

Abstract

Establishment closures have lasting negative consequences for the workers displaced from their jobs. We study how these consequences vary with the amount of skill mismatch that workers experience after job displacement. Developing new measures of occupational skill redundancy and skill shortage, we analyze the work histories of individuals in Germany between 1975 and 2010. We estimate difference-in-differences models, using a sample of displaced workers who are matched to statistically similar non-displaced workers. We find that displacements increase the probability of occupation change eleven-fold. Moreover, the magnitude of post-displacement earnings losses strongly depends on the type of skill mismatch that workers experience in such job switches. Whereas skill shortages are associated with relatively quick returns to the earnings trajectories that displaced workers would have experienced absent displacement, skill redundancy sets displaced workers on paths with permanently lower earnings. We show that these differences can be attributed to differences in mismatch after displacement, and not to intrinsic differences between workers making different post-displacement career choices.

Publikation lesen

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Males Should Mail? Gender Discrimination in Access to Childcare

Henning Hermes Philipp Lergetporer Fabian Mierisch Frauke Peter Simon Wiederhold

in: American Economic Association Papers and Proceedings, May 2023

Abstract

This study investigates discrimination against women when searching and applying for childcare in a nationwide field experiment. We send emails from fictitious parents to 9,313 childcare centers in Germany inquiring about access to childcare. We randomize whether the email is sent by the child's mother or father. Our results show that women receive shorter and less positive responses than men. The probability of receiving a response does not differ by gender, highlighting the importance of going beyond response rates to detect discrimination. We provide suggestive evidence that regional differences in gender discrimination are related to gender norms.

Publikation lesen

Arbeitspapiere

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Early Child Care, Maternal Labor Supply, and Gender Equality: A Randomized Controlled Trial?

Henning Hermes Marina Krauß Philipp Lergetporer Frauke Peter Simon Wiederhold

in: IWH Discussion Papers, Nr. 14, 2024

Abstract

We provide experimental evidence that enabling access to universal early child care increases maternal labor supply and promotes gender equality among families with lower socioeconomic status (SES). Our intervention offers information and customized help with child care applications, leading to a boost in child care enrollment among lower-SES families. 18 months after the intervention, we find substantial increases in maternal full-time employment (+160%), maternal earnings (+22%), and household income (+10%). Intriguingly, the positive employment effects are not only driven by extended hours at child care centers, but also by an increase in care hours by fathers. Gender equality also benefits more broadly from better access to child care: The treatment improves a gender equality index that combines information on intra-household division of working hours, care hours, and earnings by 40% of a standard deviation, with significant increases in each dimension. For higher-SES families, we consistently observe negligible, insignificant treatment effects.

Publikation lesen

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Application Barriers and the Socioeconomic Gap in Child Care Enrollment

Henning Hermes Philipp Lergetporer Frauke Peter Simon Wiederhold

in: IWH Discussion Papers, Nr. 13, 2024

Abstract

Why are children with lower socioeconomic status (SES) substantially less likely to be enrolled in child care? We study whether barriers in the application process work against lower-SES children — the group known to benefit strongest from child care enrollment. In an RCT in Germany with highly subsidized child care (N = 607), we offer treated families information and personal assistance for applications. We find substantial, equity-enhancing effects of the treatment, closing half of the large SES gap in child care enrollment. Increased enrollment for lower-SES families is likely driven by altered application knowledge and behavior. We discuss scalability of our intervention and derive policy implications for the design of universal child care programs.

Publikation lesen

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Does Information about Inequality and Discrimination in Early Child Care Affect Policy Preferences?

Henning Hermes Philipp Lergetporer Fabian Mierisch Guido Schwerdt Simon Wiederhold

in: IWH Discussion Papers, Nr. 2, 2024

Abstract

We investigate public preferences for equity-enhancing policies in access to early child care, using a survey experiment with a representative sample of the German population (n ≈ 4, 800). We observe strong misperceptions about migrant-native inequalities in early child care that vary by respondents’ age and right-wing voting preferences. Randomly providing information about the actual extent of inequalities has a nuanced impact on the support for equity-enhancing policy reforms: it increases support for respondents who initially underestimated these inequalities, and tends to decrease support for those who initially overestimated them. This asymmetric effect leads to a more consensual policy view, substantially decreasing the polarization in policy support between under- and overestimators. Our results suggest that correcting misperceptions can align public policy preferences, potentially leading to less polarized debates about how to address inequalities and discrimination.

Publikation lesen

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Does Information about Inequality and Discrimination in Early Child Care Affect Policy Preferences?

Henning Hermes Philipp Lergetporer Fabian Mierisch Guido Schwerdt Simon Wiederhold

in: CESifo Working Paper, Nr. 10925, 2024

Abstract

We investigate public preferences for equity-enhancing policies in access to early child care, using a survey experiment with a representative sample of the German population (n ≈ 4, 800). We observe strong misperceptions about migrant-native inequalities in early child care that vary by respondents’ age and right-wing voting preferences. Randomly providing information about the actual extent of inequalities has a nuanced impact on the support for equity-enhancing policy reforms: it increases support for respondents who initially underestimated these inequalities, and tends to decrease support for those who initially overestimated them. This asymmetric effect leads to a more consensual policy view, substantially decreasing the polarization in policy support between under- and overestimators. Our results suggest that correcting misperceptions can align public policy preferences, potentially leading to less polarized debates about how to address inequalities and discrimination.

Publikation lesen

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Why Is the Roy-Borjas Model Unable to Predict International Migrant Selection on Education? Evidence from Urban and Rural Mexico

Stefan Leopold Jens Ruhose Simon Wiederhold

in: IWH Discussion Papers, Nr. 16, 2023

Abstract

The Roy-Borjas model predicts that international migrants are less educated than nonmigrants because the returns to education are generally higher in developing (migrant-sending) than in developed (migrant-receiving) countries. However, empirical evidence often shows the opposite. Using the case of Mexico-U.S. migration, we show that this inconsistency between predictions and empirical evidence can be resolved when the human capital of migrants is assessed using a two-dimensional measure of occupational skills rather than by educational attainment. Thus, focusing on a single skill dimension when investigating migrant selection can lead to misleading conclusions about the underlying economic incentives and behavioral models of migration.

Publikation lesen

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Do Role Models Matter in Large Classes? New Evidence on Gender Match Effects in Higher Education

Stephan Maurer Guido Schwerdt Simon Wiederhold

in: IWH Discussion Papers, Nr. 14, 2023

Abstract

It is well established that female students perform better when taught by female professors. However, little is known about the mechanisms explaining these gender match effects. Using administrative records from a German public university, which cover all programs and courses between 2006 and 2018, we show that gender match effects are sizable in smaller classes, but are absent in larger classes. These results suggest that direct and frequent interactions between students and professors are crucial for gender match effects to emerge. In contrast, the mere fact that one’s professor is female is not sufficient to increase performance of female students.

Publikation lesen

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Where Do STEM Graduates Stem from? The Intergenerational Transmission of Comparative Skill Advantages

Eric A. Hanushek Babs Jacobs Guido Schwerdt Rolf van der Velden Stan Vermeulen Simon Wiederhold

in: IWH Discussion Papers, Nr. 13, 2023

Abstract

The standard economic model of occupational choice following a basic Roy model emphasizes individual selection and comparative advantage, but the sources of comparative advantage are not well understood. We employ a unique combination of Dutch survey and registry data that links math and language skills across generations and permits analysis of the intergenerational transmission of comparative skill advantages. Exploiting within-family between-subject variation in skills, we show that comparative advantages in math of parents are significantly linked to those of their children. A causal interpretation follows from a novel IV estimation that isolates variation in parent skill advantages due to their teacher and classroom peer quality. Finally, we show the strong influence of family skill transmission on children’s choices of STEM fields.

Publikation lesen

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Discrimination in Universal Social Programs? A Nationwide Field Experiment on Access to Child Care

Henning Hermes Philipp Lergetporer Fabian Mierisch Frauke Peter Simon Wiederhold

in: IWH Discussion Papers, Nr. 12, 2023

Abstract

Although explicit discrimination in access to social programs is typically prohibited, more subtle forms of discrimination prior to the formal application process may still exist. Unveiling this phenomenon, we provide the first causal evidence of discrimination against migrants seeking child care. We send emails from fictitious parents to > 18, 000 early child care centers across Germany, inquiring about slot availability and application procedures. Randomly varying names to signal migration background, we find that migrants receive 4.4 percentage points fewer responses. Replies to migrants contain fewer slot offers, provide less helpful content, and are less encouraging. Exploring mechanisms using three additional treatments, we show that discrimination is stronger against migrant boys. This finding suggests that anticipated higher effort required for migrants partly drives discrimination, which is also supported by additional survey and administrative data. Our results highlight that difficult-to-detect discrimination in the pre-application phase could hinder migrants’ access to universal social programs.

Publikation lesen

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The Value of Early-Career Skills

Christina Langer Simon Wiederhold

in: CESifo Working Paper, Nr. 10288, 2023

Abstract

We develop novel measures of early-career skills that are more detailed, comprehensive, and labor-market-relevant than existing skill proxies. We exploit that skill requirements of apprenticeships in Germany are codified in state-approved, nationally standardized apprenticeship plans. These plans provide more than 13,000 different skills and the exact duration of learning each skill. Following workers over their careers in administrative data, we find that cognitive, social, and digital skills acquired during apprenticeship are highly – yet differently – rewarded. We also document rising returns to digital and social skills since the 1990s, with a more moderate increase in returns to cognitive skills.

Publikation lesen

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Early Child Care and Labor Supply of Lower-SES Mothers: A Randomized Controlled Trial

Henning Hermes Marina Krauss Philipp Lergetporer Frauke Peter Simon Wiederhold

in: CESifo Working Paper, Nr. 10178, 2022

Abstract

We present experimental evidence that enabling access to universal early child care for families with lower socioeconomic status (SES) increases maternal labor supply. Our intervention provides families with customized help for child care applications, resulting in a large increase in enrollment among lower-SES families. The treatment increases lower-SES mothers' full-time employment rates by 9 percentage points (+160%), household income by 10%, and mothers' earnings by 22%. The effect on full-time employment is largely driven by increased care hours provided by child care centers and fathers. Overall, the treatment substantially improves intra-household gender equality in terms of child care duties and earnings.

Publikation lesen

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Individualism, Human Capital Formation, and Labor Market Success

Katharina Hartinger Sven Resnjanskij Jens Ruhose Simon Wiederhold

in: CESifo Working Paper, Nr. 9391, 2021

Abstract

There is an ongoing debate about the economic effects of individualism. We establish that individualism leads to better educational and labor market outcomes. Using data from the largest international adult skill assessment, we identify the effects of individualism by exploiting variation between migrants at the origin country, origin language, and person level. Migrants from more individualistic cultures have higher cognitive skills and larger skill gains over time. They also invest more in their skills over the life-cycle, as they acquire more years of schooling and are more likely to participate in adult education activities. In fact, individualism is more important in explaining adult skill formation than any other cultural trait that has been emphasized in previous literature. In the labor market, more individualistic migrants earn higher wages and are less often unemployed. We show that our results cannot be explained by selective migration or omitted origin-country variables.

Publikation lesen

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Behavioral Barriers and the Socioeconomic Gap in Child Care Enrollment

Henning Hermes Philipp Lergetporer Frauke Peter Simon Wiederhold

in: CESifo Working Paper, Nr. 9282, 2021

Abstract

Children with lower socioeconomic status (SES) tend to benefit more from early child care, but are substantially less likely to be enrolled. We study whether reducing behavioral barriers in the application process increases enrollment in child care for lower-SES children. In our RCT in Germany with highly subsidized child care (n > 600), treated families receive application information and personal assistance for applications. For lower-SES families, the treatment increases child care application rates by 21 pp and enrollment rates by 16 pp. Higher-SES families are not affected by the treatment. Thus, alleviating behavioral barriers closes half of the SES gap in early child care enrollment.

Publikation lesen

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The Effects of Graduating from High School in a Recession: College Investments, Skill Formation, and Labor-Market Outcomes

Franziska Hampf Marc Piopiunik Simon Wiederhold

in: CESifo Working Paper, Nr. 8252, 2020

Abstract

We investigate the short- and long-term effects of economic conditions at high-school graduation as a source of exogenous variation in the labor-market opportunities of potential college entrants. Exploiting business cycle fluctuations across birth cohorts for 28 developed countries, we find that bad economic conditions at high-school graduation increase college enrollment and graduation. They also affect outcomes in later life, increasing cognitive skills and improving labor-market success. Outcomes are affected only by the economic conditions at high-school graduation, but not by those during earlier or later years. Recessions at high-school graduation narrow the gender gaps in numeracy skills and labor-market success.

Publikation lesen
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