Dr. Elisabeth Bublitz

University of Hamburg
Faculty of Business, Economics & Social Sciences | Department of Socioeconomics 
Welckerstr. 8
20354 Hamburg


Associate member of the "Centre for Globalisation and Governance"
Research fellow at the "Institute for European Integration"

This is the homepage of Dr. Elisabeth Bublitz that summarizes my research work in the fields of labor, education, and public economics. The views and opinions expressed on this web site are solely my own and do not necessarily reflect those of my affiliations.


11 December 2018
The European Single Market is turning 25 this year - time to celebrate achievements and look forward on ways how to improve its performance. In a recent contribution to Intereconomics,  I briefly sketch the historical development before discussing recent policy initiatives and their implications. 

6 August 2018
The interest in our research on the social pay gap has not ceased. Two new articles were published in the Huffington Post (in German 1, 2), citing the results of joint work with Tobias Regner.

6 July 2018
Have you ever wondered whether new technologies at work could make it easier to enter the labor market? It is known that technical innovations are complementary to certain skills, increasing the demand for people with these qualifications. The open question is to what degree innovations can help to complement a lack of skills, thereby lowering labor market barriers for individuals with health issues. In a new working paper with Michael Wyrwich we can prove that at the beginning of the 19th century new technologies increased the labor market participation of disabled people. It is encouraging to learn that market mechanisms work to decrease social inequalities. Read the whole story on "Technological change and labor market integration" here. 

9 February 2018
To what degree employees participate in job-related training depends on gender, working hours, and the income hierachy with their partner. In a cross-country analysis German women need to overcome significant household-related barriers to level gender differences in their training participation and incidence. This does not hold for women in the Netherlands or Italy. You can now read the full results of the study, which is coauthored by Christina Boll, at the British Journal of Industrial Relations under the title "A Cross-Country Comparison of Gender Differences in Job-Related Training: The Role of Working Hours and the Household Context".

5 January 2018
Having switched employers several times since I started work on this project, I feel like the anecdotal evidence for this empirical paper: "Matching skills of individuals and firms along the career path". The main contribution is a measure for firm knowledge that captures for the first time the transferability of organizational knowledge. The results confirm that it plays an important role in addition to occupational knowledge and that it shapes our learning opportunities along the career path. The final version is now published at Oxford Economic Papers.

22 August 2017
Since our research interests matched, Kristian Nielsen, Florian Noseleit, Bram Timmermans, and I decided to investigate in a joint effort labor demand of start-ups with data from Germany and Denmark. The results confirm our hunch that entrepreneurs use their qualification as a signal during the recruitment process of employees to achieve a matching of equals among equals. However, this process can only be consistently confirmed for high-skilled employees, suggesting that as skill levels of employees decrease it becomes equally probable that they work for different founders. The paper entitled "Entrepreneurship, Human Capital, and Labor Demand: A Story of Signaling and Matching" has now been published at Industrial and Corporate Change.

13 December 2016
Across countries, individuals misperceive their position in the income distribution. Correcting these misperceptions in a survey experiment slightly shifts the demand towards less redistribution in Germany and Russia which appears to be driven by respondents with a  negative position bias (that is, respondents who learn that they are doing better than they thought). Apart from Spain and the US, treatment reactions lead to a convergence of the demand for redistribution across countries. The full paper entitled "Misperceptions of income distributions: Cross-country evidence from a randomized survey experiment" is now available.

6 June 2016
A press release by the Germany Press Agency dpa on the "Social  pay gap across occupations" resonated well with the media and if you are interested in reading a short German summary of our research paper, you may choose among these options.

2 June 2016
Do we correctly know our position in the income distribution? And if we don't, do our misperceptions of income distributions influence our views on the topic of inequality, such as, the demand for redistribution? In a new and exciting project entitled "Perceptions of Inequality Survey 2015/2016", partly financed by the Bertelsmann Stiftung, we investigate this topic, using a randomized survey experiment in different countries. First results are now available in form of a study report, a short policy brief, and a fun infographic.  A detailed research paper will be published shortly - so stay tuned!

25 April 2016
Although equal pay for work of equal value is a legal right, individuals in social jobs earn significantly less than workers in other jobs with a highly similar job content. This establishes that there exists an important social pay gap. When faced with such an unequal income distribution in an laboratory experiment, participants in social jobs reduce their social effort while participants in other jobs only partly compensate them for their sacrifices for society.  This suggests that it needs other approaches apart from a market mechanism to keep social jobs attractive enough and avoid the erosion of public capital.  The corresponding paper by Tobias Regner and myself on "The social pay gap across occupations: Survey and experimental evidence" is now available.