Market Orientation and Gender Wage Gaps: An International Study (with Doris Weichselbaumer and Rudolf Winter-Ebmer)
Kyklos, Volume 61, Issue 4, November 2008, Pages 615-635 [article]
More market orientation may reduce gender wage gaps via its effects on competition in product and labor markets and a generally lower level of regulation in the economy. On the other hand, less regulation and state intervention – which goes along with higher market orientation – may diminish the role of legislature and institutions that influence wage setting and may therefore increase gender wage differentials. In this paper, two very different approaches are used to test the relation between market orientation and gender wage differentials in international data. The first approach employs meta-analysis data and takes advantage of the fact that many studies already exist which use national data sources to the best possible extent. The second approach uses comparable micro data from the International Social Survey Programme (ISSP), which allows calculating internationally consistent gender wage residuals in the first place. By comparing these two very different methods of data collection we get the robust result that higher levels of market orientation as proxied by the Economic Freedom Index lead to lower gender wage gaps across countries and time periods.
The employment of temporary agency workers in the UK: For or against the trade unions? (with René Böheim)
Economica, Volume 80, January 2013, Issue 317, Pages 65-95 [article]
A firm's decision to employ agency workers may be perceived as a move to directly replace employed workers (or as a way to curb union power), which trade unions would obviously oppose. Alternatively, trade unions may even encourage the employment of temporary agency workers in a firm if it leads to higher wages for their members. We analyse the relationship among hiring agency workers, trade union activity, and workers' wages at a given workplace. We use British data from the Workplace Employment Relations Surveys (WERS) of 1998 and 2004 and find no evidence for a negative association between indicators of trade union activity and hiring of agency workers. Wages are typically higher in unionised workplaces; however, the trade union premium is lower in the presence of agency workers. Our results suggest that trade unions, despite their rhetoric, cannot effectively oppose the hiring of agency workers, and their members do not earn higher wages in workplaces that hire agency workers.
Girls, girls, girls: Gender composition and female school choice (with Nicole Schneeweis)
Economics of Education Review, Volume 31, Issue 4, August 2012, Pages 482-500 [article]
Gender segregation in the labor market may be explained by women's reluctance to choose technical occupations, although the foundations for career choices are certainly laid earlier, during education. Educational experts claim that female students are doing better in math and science and are more likely to choose those subjects if they are in single-sex classes. Possible explanations are the lack of self-confidence of girls in male-dominated subjects, the dominating behavior of boys in the classroom and unequal treatment by teachers. In this paper, we identify the causal impact of gender composition in coeducational classes on the choice of school type for female students. We propose that girls are less likely to choose a female-dominated school type at the age of 14 after spending the previous years in classes with a higher share of female students. We address the problem of endogenous school choice by using natural variation in gender composition of adjacent cohorts within schools. The results are clear-cut and survive powerful falsification and sensitivity checks: Females are less likely to choose a female-dominated school type and more likely to choose the technical school type if they were exposed to a higher share of girls in previous grades. Our paper contributes to the recent debate about coeducation either in certain subjects or at the school level.
Early tracking and the misfortune of being young (with Nicole Schneeweis)
The Scandinavian Journal of Economics, accepted [paper, version October 2009]
In the Austrian (as well as the German) education system students have to choose between different school tracks at the age of 10. We argue that early tracking creates inefficiencies because the earlier the track choice has to be made, the more it is influenced by factors other than innate ability. Recent evidence suggests that the relative age of a student within a grade is related to his or her achievement, and that this effect is decreasing over grades. Thus, age-related achievement differences probably translate into age-related differences in track choice if track choice has to be made early. In this paper we estimate the effect of observed age on the track choice after grade 4 using register data for a major Austrian city for the period 1984-2006. Since observed age at track choice is endogenous, we exploit the exogenous variation in birth month to identify the causal effect of age. We find a strong and significant positive effect of age on track choice in grades 5-8. Since after grade 8, students again have to make a track choice, we use additional data from PISA 2003 and 2006 to show that the effect is long-lasting in urban areas. Therefore, the education system fails to provide a mechanism that leads to an efficient allocation of students to tracks.
The effect of health on income: Quasi-experimental evidence from commuting accidents (with Martin Halla)
This paper interprets accidents occurring on the way to and from work as negative health shocks to identify the causal effect of health on labor market outcomes. We argue that in our sample of exactly matched treated and control workers, these health shocks are quasi-randomly assigned. A fixed-effects difference-in-differences approach estimates a negative and persistent effect on subsequent employment and income. After initial periods with a higher incidence of sick leave, treated workers are more likely unemployed, and a growing share of them leaves the labor market via disability retirement. Those treated workers, who manage to stay in employment, incur persistent income losses. The effects are stronger for sub-groups of workers who are typically less attached to the labor market.
Job quality and employment of older people in Europe (with Mario Schnalzenberger, Nicole Schneeweis and Rudolf Winter-Ebmer) [paper], revise & resubmittedWe study the relationship between job quality and retirement using panel data for European countries (SHARE). While previous studies looked at the impact of bad working conditions on retirement intentions, we can use the panel dimension to study actual retirement as well as other pathways out of a job. As indicators for job quality we use three different approaches: overall job satisfaction, over- and undereducation for a particular job as well as effort-reward imbalance which measures the imbalance between a worker's effort and the rewards he or she receives in turn.
The long-term effect of school entry laws on educational attainment and earnings in an early tracking system [paper], revise & resubmit
Empirical evidence suggests that relative age, which is determined by date of birth and the school entry cutoff date, has a causal effect on track choice. Using a sample of male labor market entrants drawn from Austrian register data, I analyze whether the initial assignment to different school tracks has long-term effects on educational attainment and earnings in the first years of the career. I estimate the reduced-form effect of the school entry law on starting wages and find a wage penalty of 1.4-1.9 percentage points for students born in August (the youngest) compared to students born in September (the oldest). The analysis of educational attainment suggests that significant differences in the type of education exist. Younger students are more likely to pursue an apprenticeship and less likely to have a higher education. The analysis of short-run wage profiles shows that wages converge after three years of experience. Additional evidence suggests that this convergence is in line with human capital theory.
Health and social consequences of the Chernobyl accident in Austria (joint with Martin Halla)
Sick leave payments, absenteeism and moral hazard (joint with Martin Halla)
Occupational accidents, sorting and wages. Evidence from Austrian Register Data (joint with Martin Halla)