- Skill Demand and Wages. Evidence from Linked Vacancy Data
This study provides new evidence on skill requirements in the labor market and shows to what extent skill demand is associated with wages and vacancy duration. Using more than 1.5 million job postings administered by the Austrian public employment service, I identify the most common skill requirements mentioned in job descriptions. Because employers in Austria are legally required to state the minimum remuneration for advertised positions, it is possible to relate the skill content of jobs to wage postings. Moreover, I estimate skill associations with starting wages for a subset of vacancies which can be matched to administrative data on employment spells of eventual hires. Accounting for education, work experience, and firm and occupation fixed-effects, there exists a robust association between the number of skill requirements and wages. In particular, jobs with many skill requirements pay substantially higher wages. While I estimate large effects for managerial and analytical skills, associations with most soft skills are small. Employers also need longer to fill vacancies with many skill requirements. Robustness tests show that measurement error is unlikely to explain these results and that the estimates can be replicated using vacancy postings from another job board.
- How Does the COVID-19 Crisis Affect Labor Demand? An Analysis Using Job Board Data from
Austria (with Omar Bamieh)
This study uses data from the largest Austrian job board to examine labor-demand responses in the first months after the start of the COVID lockdown in March 2020. Our analysis shows that the number of job postings declined by a third and remained low even when implemented restrictions were loosened again. The decrease in labor demand affected all levels of education to a similar extent. For the remaining vacancies, we observe lower wage offers. Analyzing job descriptions of vacancy posts, we also find that employers became more likely to offer teleworking options. When we control for changes in occupations, estimates remain very similar, suggesting that the impact is not driven by an increase in the demand for teleworkable occupations. To test the robustness of our results, we merge two external occupation-level teleworking measures to our sample. Both measures are highly correlated with telework references in job ads and yield comparable estimates for the differential impact of the pandemic on labor demand.
- A Field Experiment on Labor Market Speeddates for Unemployed
Workers (with Bas van der Klaauw)
We conduct a field experiment to evaluate the effectiveness of labor market speeddates where unemployed workers meet temporary employment agencies. Our analysis shows that participation in such events increases immediate job finding by 6-7 percentage points. In the subsequent months, employment effects diminish again, suggesting that vacancies mediated through temporary employment agencies have no long-lasting effect on employment prospects. While the intervention is cost effective for the UI administration, higher labor earnings of treated job seekers do not fully compensate for the decline in benefit payments. Additional survey evidence shows that speeddate participation increases job search motivation and reduces reservation wages.
- Can Educational Expansion of Parents Explain Polarised Earnings
of Children? (with Martin Nybom, Erik Plug and Bas van der Klaauw)
This paper examines the impact of educational expansion on assortative mating and its effect on the earnings distribution of future generations. We show that higher college shares can lead to stronger assortative mating on the marriage market although preferences over the partner's education remain constant. If education is positively related to unobserved ability, a larger degree of educational assortative mating induces higher similarity of spouses, which can have substantial impact on the income distribution of their children. Using intergenerational data from the Panel Study of Income Dynamics, we find that the model can largely replicate observed trends in college education and earnings.
- What is the Media Impact of Research in Economics?
Many research institutions aim to have a strong public impact but little evidence exists on the extent to which research findings reach a wider audience. Using a large sample of studies released in the working paper series of the National Bureau of Economic Research, I identify online coverage of research findings in 6 major news outlets. The analysis shows significant coverage rates in most newspapers in the first month after study release. Overall, about every 11th working paper is covered at least once during this period. I also find that media reporting is correlated with several author and study characteristics. While differences in coverage between most research areas are modest, empirical as well as US-focused studies receive substantially more attention. In particular, widely cited papers are covered more frequently, showing that academic success of studies serves as a strong predictor for wider public impact.
Work in progress
- Paternity Leave: Monetary Incentives or Flexibility?
- Mismatch on the Labor Market. Benefit Schemes and Work Incentives
- Do Parental Networks Pay Off? Linking Children's Labor-Market
Outcomes to their Parents' Friends. (with Bas van der Klaauw and
Scandinavian Journal of Economics 120(1), 268-295 (2018)
This paper examines whether children are better off if their parents have more elaborate social networks. Using data on high-school friendships of parents, we analyze whether the number and characteristics of friends affect the labor market outcomes of children. While parental friendships formed in high school appear long lasting, we find no significant impact on their children's occupational choices and earnings prospects. These results do not change when we account for network endogeneity, network persistency and network measurement error. Only when children enter the labor market, friends of parents have a marginally significant but small influence on their occupational choice.