Work in Progress

Employing the unemployed of Marienthal: Evaluation of a guaranteed job program
(joint with Maximilian Kasy)
Experiment in progress, 2020-2023, registered as AEARCTR-0006706
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Selected media coverage (English): CNN, Financial Times, Forbes, Business Insider, Independent
Selected media coverage (German): Die Zeit 1, 2, Der Standard 1, 2, 3, 4, ORF 1, 2, 3, Kurier 1, 2, 3
TV & radio coverage: ARTE, ZDF, ORF, Ö1 1, 2.
Policy impact: OECD 1, 2, ILO 1, 2, Minister of Labour of Austria, Parliament of Austria.

Reframing active labor market policy: Experimental evidence of training vouchers for unemployed
(joint with Anna Schwarz)
Experiment in progress, 2021, registered as AEARCTR-0007141. code
Selected media coverage: Der Standard, Die Presse, Kurier.

Under Review

Begging thy coworker - Labor market dualization and the slow-down of wage growth in Europe, INET Oxford Working Paper No. 2022-04
(joint with Paul Ramskogler and Aleksandra Riedl)
Awarded the Barnett Prize for the best paper of the year by a research student at the Department of Social Policy and Intervention, University of Oxford.

Abstract Does the structure of labor markets – and the possibility to employ temporary workers – affect aggregate wage growth? After the global financial crisis (GFC) a rich debate had ensued about the reasons for the delayed pick up of wage growth. However, structural labor market aspects remained strangely absent from this discussion. We contribute by incorporating labor market dualization into the standard Phillips curve model to explain wage growth in 30 European countries in the period 2004-2017. We find that the presence of workers with temporary contracts in Europe’s labor markets slows down aggregate wage growth due to the competition that temporary workers exert on permanent workers. This competition effect is most pronounced in countries, where trade union density is low. Moreover, we establish that labor market dualization has been at least as important in slowing wage growth since the GFC as unemployment, i.e. the observed flattening of the Phillips curve.

Welfare state support during the COVID-19 pandemic: Change and continuity in public attitudes towards social policies in Germany
(joint with Bernhard Ebbinghaus and Elias Naumann).

Abstract Our analysis asks whether the pandemic situation affects welfare state support in Germany. The pandemic has increased the health and income risks calling for welfare state intervention. While increased need, more deservingness, and higher state responsibility during such a crisis would suggest augmented support generally and among those at risk, this might be a short-term effect and cost considerations could reverse this trend. We study public attitudes towards four key social policy areas based on the German Internet Panel (GIP). We use three waves prior and further three waves since the pandemic had been declared in March 2020. The analysis shows both, continuity in the popularity of social policies, in particular health and pensions, and some short-term increase in support for unemployment and family policies. The results after nearly two years suggest rather continuation with some thermostatic short-term boosts in support instead of any long-lasting change.

Journal Publications

Europe’s Social Model facing the Covid-19 Employment Crisis: Innovating Job Retention Policies to Avoid Mass Unemployment, Transfer: European Review of Labour and Research, forthcoming.
(joint with Bernhard Ebbinghaus)
Summary: LSE EUROPP Blog. replication data

Abstract Europe faces multiple challenges during the Covid-19 pandemic, including the problem of how to secure jobs and earnings. In our comparative analysis, we explore to what degree European welfare states were capable to respond to this crisis by stabilizing employment and income for working people. While short-time work was a policy tool already partly used in the Great Recession, job retention policies were further expanded or newly introduced across Europe due to the pandemic in 2020. However, cross-national variations persist in the way in which these schemes were designed and implemented across European welfare states, aiming more or less towards labour hoarding to avoid mass dismissal throughout the employment crisis. We distinguish between business support and labour support logics in explaining the variation in job retention policies across Europe. Continental, Mediterranean and Liberal welfare states fostered more labour hoarding than Nordic or Central and Eastern European countries.


A Reversing Case within Trajectories of Liberalisation: The revival of neo-corporatism in Austria since 2008, Momentum Quarterly - Journal for Societal Progress, 2017, 6(4), 210-229.
Summary: LSE NETUF Blog, Arbeit und Wirtschaft Blog.

Abstract The overall dominating trend of liberalisation, deregulation and privatisation has accelerated since the global economic crisis in 2008. Under the paradigm of competitiveness, a major policy goal has been the implementation of ‘structural reforms’ replacing neo-corporatist practices with market coordination. However, Austria’s coordinating institutions have been strengthened since 2008, contrasting the EU-wide liberalising trend. To explain this puzzle, government members’ biographies since 1983 were analysed, seven elite interviews conducted and official government documents evaluated. Under the logic of access, social partner organisations made active use of a ‘revolving door effect’, placing their employees as ‘interlocking directorates’ in government positions to gain influence on policies. For this ‘power-policy exchange’ social partners defended political compromises of the government and supported the weakened social democratic (SPÖ) and the conservative (ÖVP) party leadership. Such a ‘tactical alliance’ is fragile, as it depends on the interest constellation of actors involved, but outlines the remaining scope for domestic politics in an age of increased liberalising pressures from globalisation and EU integration.