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.

Female Physicians with Gerald Pruckner & Katrin Zocher

Diagnosis frequencies for diseases differ according to social gender. This is due not only to gender-specific behavioral differences, but also to gender-specific symptom differences, which make it difficult for physicians to classify a disease in women as such, since many symptom pictures are based on male norms. The result is a frequent underuse of health care for women, which leads to fewer healthy life years in the long run. We investigate whether female physicians treat female patients differently compared to their male colleagues. We compare female patients that, after the retirement of their GP, face either a female or male succeeding GP. Using a large administrative data set on Upper Austria, we find only minor differences between patients with different genders of successors.