Simon Jäger

Department of Economics
50 Memorial Drive
Cambridge, MA 02142

E-Mail: EmailAddress: hidden: you can email any NBER-related person as first underscore last at nber dot org
NBER Program Affiliations: LS
NBER Affiliation: Faculty Research Fellow
Institutional Affiliation: Massachusetts Institute of Technology

NBER Working Papers and Publications

March 2020Paying Outsourced Labor: Direct Evidence from Linked Temp Agency-Worker-Client Data
with Andres Drenik, Miguel Pascuel Plotkin, Benjamin Schoefer: w26891
We estimate how much firms differentiate pay premia between regular and outsourced workers. We study temp agency work arrangements where pay setting has previously escaped measurement because existing datasets do not report links between user firms (the workplaces where temp workers perform their labor) and temp agencies (their formal employers). We overcome this measurement challenge by leveraging unique administrative data from Argentina with such links. We estimate that temp agency workers receive 49% of the workplace-specific pay premia earned by regular workers in user firms: the midpoint between the benchmark for insiders (one) and the competitive spot-labor market benchmark (zero).
November 2019Labor in the Boardroom
with Benjamin Schoefer, Jörg Heining: w26519
We estimate the wage effects of shared governance, or codetermination, in the form of a mandate of one third of corporate board seats going to worker representatives. We study a reformin Germany that abruptly abolished this mandate for stock corporations incorporated after August 1994, while it locked the mandate for the slightly older cohorts. Our research design compares firm cohorts incorporated before the reform and after; in a robustness check we additionally draw on the analogous difference in unaffected firm types (LLCs). We find no effects of board-level codetermination on wages and the wage structure, even in firms with particularly flexible wages. The degree of rent sharing and the labor share are also unaffected. We reject that disinvestment could have offset wage effects throug...
January 2019Marginal Jobs and Job Surplus: A Test of the Efficiency of Separations
with Benjamin Schoefer, Josef Zweimüller: w25492
We present a test of Coasean theories of efficient separations. We study a cohort of jobs from the introduction through the repeal of a large, age- and region-specific unemployment benefit extension in Austria. In the treatment group, 18% fewer jobs survive. According to the Coasean view, the destroyed marginal jobs had low joint surplus. Hence, after the repeal, the treatment survivors should be dramatically more resilient than the ineligible control group survivors. Strikingly, the two groups instead exhibit identical post-repeal separation behavior. We provide and empirically support an alternative model in which wage rigidity drives the inefficient separation dynamics.
November 2018Wages and the Value of Nonemployment
with Benjamin Schoefer, Samuel G. Young, Josef Zweimüller: w25230
Nonemployment is often posited as a worker’s outside option in wage setting models such as bargaining and wage posting. The value of nonemployment is therefore a key determinant of wages. We measure the wage effect of changes in the value of nonemployment among initially employed workers. Our quasi-experimental variation in the value of nonemployment arises from four large reforms of unemployment insurance (UI) benefit levels in Austria. We document that wages are insensitive to UI benefit changes: point estimates imply a wage response of less than $0.01 per $1.00 UI benefit increase, and we can reject sensitivities larger than $0.03. The insensitivity holds even among workers with low wages and high predicted unemployment duration, and among job switchers and recently unemployed workers. ...

Published: Simon Jäger & Benjamin Schoefer & Samuel Young & Josef Zweimüller, 2020. "Wages and the Value of Nonemployment*," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, vol 135(4), pages 1905-1963.

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