My research is on human resources, organizational and personnel economics. I carry out randomized controlled trials (RCTs) with and within firms and analyze observational career and promotion data. I also do applied theory on careers and talent management. My second main field of interest is how institutions shape the accumulation and allocation of human capital, focusing on problems of families, gender, and migration.
I am a fellow at CEPR, IZA, and a VP of SIOE, a founding member of the Organizational Economics Committee of the German Economic Association (VfS), a member of the Scientific Advisory Board of Sciences Po, and of ConTrust at Goethe University. I am also Scientific Director of CLBO.
Before joining Goethe, I held positions at the Toulouse School of Economics and EHESS, and at SITE, Stockholm School of Economics.
Currently working on
Underrepresentation of Women in the Economics Profession More Pronounced in the United States Compared to Heterogeneous Europe (with Emmanuelle Auriol, Alisa Weinberger and Sascha Wilhelm), PNAS https://doi.org/10.1073/pnas.2118853119
The Long-term Consequences of a Pay Change (with Miriam Krüger), forthcoming, Journal of Labor Economics, doi.org/10.1086/717728
In a professional services firm, top management unexpectedly adjusted the pay of consultants in some divisions to the pay in other divisions. In this quasi-experiment, fixed wages increased and bonuses decreased, reducing pay for the high and increasing it for the low performers. Individual outputs and efforts decreased by 30%, and attrition and absenteeism increased. The effects are driven by those who were rationally expecting to lose from the pay change. Observing a period of more than three years, we show long-term negative reciprocity of those affected, but no negative selection effects of new hires.
Gender Differences in Social Interactions (with Marie Lalanne, Bernard Richter, Peter Schwardmann and Paul Seabright), 2021, Journal of Economic Behavior and Organization, 186, 33-45, doi.org/10.1016/j.jebo.2021.03.016
How does the random assignment of new students to introductory-week groups shape subsequent friendship networks? Both women and men report being much more likely to be friends with same-gender students of the group they spent their first week on campus with. The effect is much stronger for women. When students from the same cohort play a repeated trust game in the experimental laboratory, their behavior helps explain these field observations. Women display more stability and less flexibility than men in their interactions with individuals with whom they had previously played. This difference is enough to generate homophily in the observational data even though subjects show no intrinsic preference for same-gender interaction.