July 11th, Jakob HENNIG's PhD defense

July 11, 2019 Research

Jakob HENNIG will defend his thesis on "Essays in Applied Microeconomics" on Thursday 11th July 2019 at 09:30 AM, room MS 002 (Manufacture des Tabacs)

Supervisor: Paul SEABRIGHT, IAST Director and TSE Professor.
Memberships are:


This dissertation consists of three chapters studying global trends in the world of labour markets and social relations. Two of the chapters use the refugee immigration wave in Germany, 2014-2016, as a natural experiment. The first paper takes a local perspective, investigating the areas around refugee shelters in Berlin. These areas have experienced  a decline in perceived neighbourhood quality, as represented by real estate prices and  by ratings on an online review site. At the same time, there was increased support for right-wing parties. In the second,  I show the effect of aggregate refugee immigration  on labour market regions in Germany. Employment and GDP have benefited from the immigration wave, due to the additional demand generated by refugees. The third paper is a cautionary look at the digitalization of labour relations - my coauthor Milena Petrova and I use data from an online labour market to show how the reputation mechanism can fail to incentivize seller effort when the returns to reputation fluctuate.
The dissertation is mainly empirical in nature. I use a variety of different data sources - administrative and aggregated data, as well as rich datasets from online platforms. Com- mon to all three chapters is the attempt to find novel natural experiments in observational data. In the chapter on local labour markets, I exploit local policy differences and infras- tructure constraints to construct new instrumental variables, creating exogenous variation in local immigration. The other chapter on immigration is equally careful to establish the exogeneity of refugee shelter locations. And in the third chapter, we show that it is seasonal variation in the value of reputation, rather than for example seller characteristics and selection, that systematically induce undesirable outcomes.