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News Archive

Office hours during the Summer Semester 2020

Please be advised that the Chair of International Public Economics' office will not maintain its regular office hours during the Summer Semester 2020. The Chair may be reached by phone (030/838-51244, Monday thru Thursday from 9 to 12 am) or by email to ls-schoeb@wiwiss.fu-berlin.de.

Eine neue solidarische Grundsicherung: A new policy proposal by Ronnie Schöb has been published in Perspektiven der Wirtschaftspolitik

Ronnie Schöb identifies weaknesses of the dated Hartz reforms. These weaknesses notably occur in the intersections of its different instruments. Thus, he proposes a new solidary basic security system. Three columns characterize the new system. (1) A taxable guaranteed child allowance, that supports families more strongly than before, (2) a security for housing requirements and (3) a security proportionate to the needs of the employed. The benefits of the new basic security system are interlinked in a way that the problems in the intersections do not arise any loger. Yet, compared to before the incentives for self-help are increased substancially.

The paper can be accessed here: Perspektiven der Wirtschaftspolitik.

Study by Clemens Hetschko and Adrian Chadi: „How Job Changes Affect People’s Lives - Evidence from Subjective Well-being Data” accepted for publication

Working life determines subjective well-being on an essential level. This becomes most obvious by means of the extraordinary misery of the unemployed, since hardly any other life event worsens well-being as dramatically. Despite the existence of numerous studies on the single circumstances of employment, much less is known about the life satisfaction consequences of changing jobs. A new study by Clemens Hetschko and Adrian Chadi, which has recently been accepted by the British Journal of Industrial Relations  for publication, attempts to fill this gap.

In “How Job Changes Affect People’s Lives - Evidence from Subjective Well-being Data“, the authors find that job mobility turns out to be harmful for satisfaction based on German Socio-Economic Panel Study (SOEP) data.

This study complements research on the well-being impact of labour mobility, suggesting some positive welfare effects of flexible labour markets, but also a previously undocumented potential for negative implications

Workshop: Berlin Network for Wellbeing Research

The Workshop for Wellbeing Research, led by Ronnie Schöb and Clemens Hetschko will take place for the first time on 18 October 2019 at Freie Universität Berlin. Together with researchers from other Universities in Berlin and the surrounding area, the aim is to foster engagement between Sociologists, Psychologists and Economists in the interdisciplinary field of wellbeing research. The main objective of the Berlin Network for Wellbeing Research is to facilitate joint projects of researchers from different Universities. Tom Günther is presenting and discussing his work "Aging and experiental well-being: large-scale longitudinal evidence from Germany" at 9:40 a.m. The Workshop takes place at Conference room II, Henry-Ford-Bau, Freie Universität Berlin, Garystraße 35, starting at 9:30 a.m.

Teaching in the winter semester of 2019/20

In the upcoming winter term, the following lectures will be offered by our chair:

Bachelor students will be introduced to the fundamentals of their future economic education in "Einführung in die VWL". The first lecture will be held on 24 October 2019 at 8:30 am at HFB/C Hörsaal (Garystr. 35-37). There will be a complementary tutorial, further information can be found on the Blackboard.

For Master students of our Economics and Public Economics programs we offer the lectures  „Staat und Beschäftigung“ and "Ökonomie des Glücks".

In the lecture "Staat und Beschäftigung" the extent to which state interventions affect employment positively and negatively will be analyzed. The lectue begins on 10 December 2019 at 2 pm at HS 106 (Garystr. 21). The complementary tutorial begins on 12 December 2019 at 10:00 am at HS 106 (Garystr.21).

"Ökonomie des Glücks" introduces the students to economic research on wellbeing. The first lecture will be held on 15 October 2019 at 2 pm at HS 108a (Garystr. 21). The complementary tutorial begins on 22 January 2020 at 4 pm at PC-Pool 2 (Garystr. 21).

As the majority of our Bachelor and Master lectures is held in German, please visit our German website for further information.

New publication by Clemens Hetschko and Malte Preuß: Income in Jeopardy: How Losing Employment Affects the Willingness to Take Risks

The Journal of Economic Psychology published a paper by Clemens Hetschko and Malte Preuß, which addresses the effect of losing work on individual risk-taking. Using German panel data, the economists find that losing work correlates to increased risk-aversion. Neither income loss nor non-monetary effects of losing employment seem to reason this effect. However, the more future income is at stake, the more strongly risk aversion increases. Moreover, increased risk-aversion already manifests itself, before the actual job loss occurs. Hetschko and Preuss conclude that the effect of job loss on risk attitude may be explained by lower future income expectations and more uncertainty about future incomes.

New publication by Ronnie Schöb, Louisa von Reumont and Clemens Hetschko in internationally leading statistics journal: Embedding effects in the OECD Better Life Index

By means of an experiment with students from all over Germany, Clemens Hetschko, Louisa Reumont and Ronnie Schöb show that survey-based welfare indicators may suffer from so-called embedding effects. For this purpose, they use the example of the OECD Better Life Index whose validity is strongly limited due to the results of the experiment. The objective of such a survey-based welfare assessment is to determine the preferences of an individual for a variety of quality of life indicators. In the process, a person is asked to weight, for instance, the importance of labour earnings relative to leisure. The experiment shows that the way in which the indicators are embedded in dimensions (i.e. labour earnings is part of employment as one area of life) strongly influences individual’s valuation of the indicators. Thus, depending on how the survey is designed, an indicator can receive a low weight or a high weight in the welfare function. The weight, however, which reflects the citizens’ true appreciation remains completely unclear.

The analysis has now been published by the Journal of the Royal Statistical Society, Series A. It can be found in Issue 2, February 2019.

New publication by Clemens Hetschko, Andreas Knabe and Ronnie Schöb: Looking Back in Anger? Retirement and Unemployment Scarring

Unemployment significantly reduces life satisfaction. A new job usually makes up for this loss in life satisfaction; however, often it does not fully recover as for instance wages and job security can be lower than they were before unemployment. This effect is known as unemployment scarring. In the same way that a new job positively affects life satisfaction, so does retirement. As of yet it was unclear, whether in this case unemployment scars were present, meaning that retirees who transitioned from unemployment into retirement are not going to be as content as before their loss of job. This question is addressed in a study by Clemens Hetschko, Andreas Knabe and Ronnie Schöb, which has now been accepted for publication by the international journal Demography. In “Looking Back in Anger? Retirement and Unemployment Scarring” the authors use German panel data to analyze unemployed persons’ transition into retirement and find that involuntary unemployment between the last job and retirement causes a loss in life satisfaction after retirement. The scarring effect goes beyond what can be explained by the income loss. People who influenced or even initiated unemployment, by contrast, show no scarring.

Education and Life Expectancy: DIW Roundup by Tom Günther and Mathias Hübener (German Version)

Does education increase life expectancy? In their new Roundup, published by the DIW Berlin, Tom Günther and Mathias Hübener review recent research on the association and causal relationship between these two socio-demographic indicators in Germany and Europe. Past studies unambiguously find a positive relationship across all European states. However, causal evidence remains sparse and presents mixed conclusions. For Germany, no studies on causality exist to this moment. Data limitations and a variety of different study designs indicate that further research in this field is necessary.

New publications of Malte Preuß und Juliane Hennecke in Labour Economics

Together with Marco Caliendo, Alexandra Fedorets, Carsten Schröder and Linda Wittbrodt, Malte Preuß investigates short-run effects of the German minimum wage reform of 2015. In "The Short-Run Employment Effects of the German Minimum Wage Reform" the authors find only moderate negative employment effects that are mainly driven by declines in marignal employment. For the time being, Labor market adjustments and non-compliance to the new regulations counteracted the large negative ex-ante predictions of up to 900.000 lost.

In another publication our researchers Juliane Hennecke and Malte Preuß investigate the relationship between unemployment and individual locus of control. In "Biased by Success and Failure: How Unemployment Shapes Locus of Control" it becomes apparent that a distinction between short- and long-run effects is appropriate. While the job loss itself does not have any long-run effects, unemployment decreases locus of control temporarily. Such negative effects vanish with the end of the unemployment spell. This finding adds to the existing literature by emphasizing the importance of short-term effects in the unbiased estimation without measurement error.

Prof. Schöb takes research semester in upcoming summer term 2018

Professor Schöb will focus on his research in the upcomming summer term 2018. During this time all office hours will be suspended. In case of urgency please contact the other employees at our chair.

New Publication by Clemens Hetschko and Prof. Schöb: "Modes of Employment and Identity"

The Swiss Journal of Business Research and Practice publishes a new article by Clemens Hetschko and Prof Schöb. In "Modes of Employment and Identity" the two economists review existing literature on the economics of happiness with respect to one of the most important areas of life: work. In particular, they document how different modes of employment, such as unemployment, self-employment or part-time employment affect subjective well-being. In contrast to traditional management research, they mostly rely on studies that use large-scale panel data and measures of happiness other than job satisfaction. This allows them to reveal the important part identity seems to play in the life of workers.

Job termination and Satisfaction: Interview with Clemens Hetschko published in SZ

In a recently published interview, Clemens Hetschko talks about the consequences of working conditions, job termination and unemployment on subjective well-being. You can find an online version of the article here (in German). The interview accompanies an article by Silke Rautenberg, entitled „Wer ohne Jobzusage kündigt, riskiert viel“ (in German).

Paper by Clemens Hetschko and Adrian Chadi accepted for publication

The study „The Magic of the New - How Job Changes Affect Job Satisfaction“ will be published in the Journal of Economics & Management Strategy. Using data from the German Socio-Economic Panel (SOEP), Clemens Hetschko and Adrian Chadi show how voluntary and involuntary job changes affect job satisfaction. It is the first study that extensively analyzes the ‘Honeymoon-Hangover-Effect’ after resignations in a representative sample of employees, while it also shows that unintended job changes neither improve nor worsen employee well-being.

Research Seminar in Economics