Peer-reviewed Publications:

Earnings Inequality and Working Hours Mismatch (with Carsten Schröder). Labour Economics 76 (2022): 102184

Based on data from the German Socio-Economic Panel, we document a significant rise in monthly earnings inequality between 1993 and 2018. The main contributors are inter-temporal increases in working hours inequality and increases in the covariance between working hours and hourly wages, while changes in the distribution of hourly wages play a minor role. Applying a novel double decomposition technique reveals that these results are particularly pronounced in the growing groups of female employees and service sector employees. If employees had been able to realize their desired optimal working hours, the increase in inequality would have been more moderate. This is mainly due to the fact that employees with low hourly wages work less than desired, a finding that is reinforced over time—even after controlling for various covariates. 


Inspections and Compliance: Enforcement of the Minimum-Wage Law (with Alexandra Fedorets) FinanzArchiv: Public Finance Analysis 77.1 (2021): 1-58

This paper is the first to empirically study the relationship between spatial distributions of labor market inspections and noncompliance with Germany's minimum-wage law. Combining novel administrative data with large-scale longitudinal survey data, we document that the inspection probability is higher in regions with higher noncompliance. This implies risk-based allocation of the inspection efforts and, hence, its endogeneity. Using fixed effects and an instrumental-variable approach, we show that higher inspection efforts have a limited effect on compliance. Based on a theoretical framework and international evidence, we discuss challenges for law enforcement, the political importance of compliance, and possible improvement measures. 

Recent Working Papers

Out For Good: Labor Market Effects of Transitory and Persistent Health Shocks (with Johannes König)

Health shocks limit individuals’ participation in the labor market and pose a major risk to household welfare. In this paper, we derive two novel health shock indicators using machine learning based on sick days and hospitalizations: one for transitory and one for persistent shocks. In an event study framework, we show their respective effects on employment, yearly working hours, and labor earnings, but also partner earnings and household net income. Persistent shocks induce large negative employment effects that end up impacting household net incomes. In contrast, transitory shocks induce only minor employment effects that leave household net incomes unaffected.

Is There a Desired Added Worker Effect? Evidence from Involuntary Job Losses (with Rick Glaubitz)

Existing research has found little to no evidence for an added worker effect. However, studies to date have only analysed individuals' actual labor supply responses to their partners' job loss, neglecting to consider a potential mismatch between desired and actual labor supply adjustments. Using data from the German Socio-Economic Panel (SOEP), we study individuals' changes in actual and desired working hours after their partners' involuntary job loss in an event study design. Our results show that neither desired nor actual working hours change significantly. Thus, we provide first evidence that the absence of the added worker effect is in line with individuals' stated labor supply preferences and is not the result of an inability to realise desired working hours.

Further Work in Progress

Job Tasks and Workers' Health

Technological progress and automation are rapidly changing the task composition of jobs. In this paper, I analyze the impact of occupational routine task intensity on workers' mental and physical health. By combining individual-level health information of German workers with data on occupational task profiles and applying an instrumental variable strategy, I find that male and female workers are oppositely affected by occupational routine task intensity. For women routine tasks are more likely cognitive routine tasks that negatively affect mental health. For men, routine tasks are more likely manual routine tasks, that negatively affect physical health but have a positive effect on mental health. When considering the overall workforce, the effects on mental health balance out, but a significant negative effect of routine task intensity on physical health remains.