Working Papers

Outside options and worker motivation with Alexander Ahammer & Matthias Fahn

An important driver of the value of an employment relationship is the worker's outside option, which contains their potential payoff when becoming unemployed. While the link between outside options and worker motivation has theoretically been explored for decades, causal empirical evidence remains scarce. We exploit age and experience cutoffs in potential unemployment insurance (UI) benefits in Austria to identify changes in outside options. Using administrative employment records, we find that workers eligible for a 9-week benefit extension take significantly longer sick leaves than ineligible workers, which we interpret as a decrease in effort.

When women take over: Physician gender and health care provision with Gerald Pruckner & Katrin Zocher

The share of female physicians has tripled in OECD countries in recent  decades, but we know little about the effects of physician gender. We exploit quasi-random assignment of primary care providers (PCPs) to patients and estimate the causal effect of female PCPs on health care provision. Using Austrian register data and a difference-in-differences strategy, we find that  female PCPs generate 14% less revenue than male PCPs. This gap is driven by a 6% reduction in the number of patients and a 6.5% decrease in services per patient. Our findings are not consistent with discrimination; instead, female PCPs work fewer hours.

 Work in Progress

The (health and labor) economics of breast cancer with Alexander Ahammer & Gerald Pruckner

Leadership, knowledge management, and performance in organizations with Anik Ashraf & Matthias Fahn