Research

Work in Progress


Can Television Reduce Xenophobia? The Case of East Germany (with Lars Hornuf and Marc Oliver Rieger)

Abstract: Can television have a mitigating effect on xenophobia? To examine this question, we exploit the fact that individuals in some areas of East Germany - due to their geographic location - could not receive West German television until 1989. Following intergroup contact theory, we conjecture that individuals who received West German television were exposed more frequently to foreigners and thus have developed less xenophobia. We show that regions that could receive West German television were less likely to vote for extreme right parties during the national elections from 1990 to 2017 and exhibited less criminal offenses against refugees. In addition, a higher number of naturalizations was positively decided by government officers. By analyzing survey data, we find that people from these areas have on average, more positive attitudes towards refugees and more likely to support them, for instance, by donating money.


Presented at: EEA (August 2018), VfS (September 2018), INFER (September 2018), EPCS (April 2019), SOLE (May 2019), ASSA (January 2020)

Upcoming presentations: AIEL (November 2021), EP@P (December, 2021)

Habit Formation and Trade Unions (with Laszlo Goerke)

Abstract: We analyze how habit formation affects collective bargaining outcomes if a firm-specific, utilitarian trade union determines wages. For a wide variety of alternative analytical settings, such internal reference points induce the union to increase wages over time, unless habit concerns are more important for unemployed than for employed union members. The reverse is true for employment levels. Furthermore, policy changes in one period, which are either reversed in the next or anticipated in previous periods, have effects on wage outcomes for multiple periods because they affect the habit stock at times at which they are not yet or no longer in operation.


Presented at: AIEL (September 2019), VfS (September 2019), SABE (July 2020), IAREP (June 2021)

Upcoming presentations: AASLE (December 2021)

Television and Gender Stereotypes

Abstract: We investigate the long-term causal effects of West German television (WGTV) exposure on attitudes towards marital status and family planning. In particular, we analyze whether different family stereotypes broadcasted by WGTV affect marriage, divorce, and fertility rates. We take advantage of the fact that individuals in some areas of the GDR could not receive WGTV due to the geographical location of their place of residence before reunification in 1989. By analyzing administrative data, our results show that WGTV has a significant and negative impact on marriage and fertility rates as well as a significant and positive effect on divorce rates, even 25 years after reunification. The analysis of survey data from the mid and late 1980s shows that mainly women are affected by the family stereotypes contained in WGTV programs.


Presented at: AIEL (September 2020), VfS (September 2020), INFER (December 2020), ASSA (January 2021), EPCS (April 2021), SES (April 2021), SOLE (May 2021), ESPE (June 2021), Asian Meeting of the Econometric Society (June 2021), Australasian Meeting of the Econometric Society (July 2021)

Upcoming presentations: Brucchi Luchino Labor Economics Workshop (December 2021)

Published Work


Our Product is Unique: A Note on a Delegation Game with Differentiated Products (with Clemens Buchen and Alberto Palermo), Economics Bulletin, Vol. 41(3), 13221329.