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Tobias Wolf

Tobias Wolf, M.Sc.


Boltzmannstr. 20
Raum 208
14195 Berlin


nach Vereinbarung



  • Doktorand, Fachbereich Wirtschaftswissenschaft, Freie Universität Berlin.

Sommersemester 2016

  • Armutsvermeidung in der Arbeitsmarkt- und Sozialpolitik (Master)
    Seminar (mit C. Hetschko, D. Nachtigall, M. Preuss und R. Schöb)

Wintersemester 2015/16

  • Klausurvorbereitung Wirtschaftswissenschaft (Bachelor)
  • Normative Behavioural Economics (Master)
    Seminar (mit C. Hetschko, D. Nachtigall und R. Schöb)

Wintersemester 2014/15

  • Behavioural Public Economics (Master)
    Seminar (mit C. Hetschko, M. Preuß und R. Schöb)

Sommersemester 2014

  • Arbeit und Glück (Bachelor)
    Seminar (mit C. Hetschko und M. Preuß)

Sommersemester 2013

  • Großbaustelle Sozialstaat (Master)
  • Markt und Moral (Master)
    Seminar (mit C. Hetschko und R. Schöb)
  • Beschäftigung, Arbeitsmarkt und subjektive Zufriedenheit
  • Ökonomische Ungleichheit
  • Wirtschafts- und Sozialpolitik
  • Verhaltensökonomie

Workshop- und Konferenzbeiträge (Auswahl)

Aufsätze in Fachzeitschriften

[2] Income support, employment transitions and well-being (mit C. Hetschko und R. Schöb), Labour Economics, 66, 2020,

[1] Die Einkommenssituation und -Entwicklung Verwitweter in Deutschland (mit H. Engstler und A. Motel-Klingebiel) Vierteljahrshefte zur Wirtschaftsforschung, 80(4), 2011, S. 77-102.


[4] Welfare while working: How does the life satisfaction approach help to explain job search behavior?, School of Business & Economics Discussion Paper, Freie Universität Berlin, No. 2020/14.

This paper examines the role of life satisfaction in the labor market behavior of workers receiving welfare benefits while working. Welfare stigma and other hard-to-observe factors may affect outcomes as on-the-job search and the duration until leaving welfare status. We utilize life satisfaction to track such factors. The German PASS-ADIAB dataset combines administrative process data with individual survey data offering a rich database that allows conditioning on changes in household income, time-stable individual traits, employment biographies and local labor market effects. Given a broad set of further covariates, we find that life satisfaction of in-work benefit recipients is negatively associated with job search, whereas the duration until the exit from welfare is hardly affected. Focusing on heterogeneity among workers suggests that life satisfactions’ role for choice depends on the institutional setting, rendering marginally employed workers specifically prone to life satisfaction.

[3] Experienced Well-Being and Labor Market Status: The Role of Pleasure and Meaning (mit M. Metzing & R. E. Lucas), SOEPpapers on Multidisciplinary Panel Data Research, No. 1043, 2019.

This paper examines experienced well-being of employed and unemployed workers. We use the survey-adapted day reconstruction method (DRM) of the Innovation Sample of the German Socio-Economic Panel Study (SOEP-IS) to analyze the role of the employment status for well-being, incorporating complete time use. Summarizing the average share of pleasurable minutes, we generate the P-index. We show that - in contrast to evaluative life satisfaction - the average unemployed experiences more pleasurable minutes due to the absence of working episodes. Hence, we examine working episodes in depth. While working is among the activities with the highest propensities for an unpleasant experience, it is also among the most meaningful activities. We show that meaning is a central non-monetary determinant for a pleasurable work episode and find that pleasure during work and job satisfaction in general have the same association with meaning.

[2] Categorizing open answers in the DRM module of SOEP-IS, SOEP Survey Papers: Series D - Variable Description and Coding, DIW Berlin, 2018, No. 535.

This paper documents the categorization of open answers in the diaries of the Day Reconstruction Method (DRM) module of the SOEP Innovation Sample (SOEP-IS) for employed and unemployed workers. Respondents of the module reported either 1 out of 23/25 listed activities or a self-selected description of an activity during the previous day. By assigning the open answers either to the initially listed categories and by defining new categories for a subset of open answers enriches SOEP–IS DRM by more than 1,700 additional categorized episodes for quantitative analysis.

[1] Income Support, (Un-)Employment and Well-Being (mit C. Hetschko & R. Schöb), Diskussionsbeiträge des Fachbereichs Wirtschaftswissenschaft der Freien Universität Berlin, No. 2016/15.

Using specific panel data of German welfare benefit recipients, we investigate the non-pecuniary life satisfaction effects of in-work benefits. Our empirical strategy combines difference-in-difference designs with synthetic control groups to analyze transitions of workers between unemployment, regular employment and employment accompanied by welfare receipt. Working makes people generally better off than being unemployed, but employed welfare recipients do not reach the life satisfaction level of regular employees. This implies that welfare receipt entails non-compliance with the norm to make one’s own living. Our findings allow us to draw cautious conclusions on employment subsidies paid as welfare benefits.

Ebenfalls erschienen als CESifo Working Paper No. 6016, 2016.


[1] Die soziale und wirtschaftliche Situation der Rechtsreferendar*innen in Berlin: Auswertung der Online-Umfrage 2014, Expertise im Auftrag des Personalrats der Rechtsreferendare, 2014, Berlin.

Research Seminar in Economics