Hannah Illing

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I am a postdoctoral researcher at the Institute for Applied Microeconomics at the University of Bonn. I am also a research associate at the IAB, and a visiting research affiliate at the IZA.

My main field is labor economics, with a focus on immigration and economics of gender.

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Working Papers

The Gender Gap in Earnings Losses after Job Displacement


Existing research has shown that job displacement leads to large and persistent earnings losses for men, but evidence for women is scarce. Using administrative data from Germany, we apply an event study design in combination with propensity score matching and a reweighting technique to directly compare men and women who are displaced from similar jobs and firms. Our results show that after a mass layoff, women’s earnings losses are about 35% higher than men’s, with the gap persisting five years after job displacement. This is partly explained by a higher propensity of women to take up part-time or marginal employment following job loss, but even full-time wage losses are almost 50% (or 5 percentage points) higher for women than for men. We then show that on the household level there is no evidence of an added worker effect, independent of the gender of the job loser. Finally, we document that parenthood magnifies the gender gap sharply: while fathers of young children have smaller earnings losses than men in general, mothers of young children have much larger earnings losses than other women.

Who Suffers the Greatest Loss? Costs of Job Displacement for Migrants and Natives


We are the first to provide empirical evidence on differences in the individual costs of job loss for migrants compared to natives in Germany. Using linked employer-employee data for the period 1996-2017, we compute each displaced worker’s earnings, wage, and employment loss after a mass layoff in comparison to a matched, nondisplaced, control worker. We find that migrants face substantially higher earnings losses than natives due to both higher wage and employment losses. Differences in individual characteristics and differential sorting across industries and occupations can fully explain the gap in wage losses but not the employment gap after displacement. Laid-off migrants are both less likely to become re-employed and work fewer days than laid-off natives. In terms of channels, we show that i) migrants sort into worse establishments and ii) migrants’ slightly lower geographic mobility across federal states may explain part of their lower re-employment success; iii) our results suggest that competition from other migrants, rather than natives, negatively contributes to migrants’ costs of job loss.

Crossing Borders: Labor Market Effects of European Integration


This paper studies the labor market effects of out- and in-migration in the context of cross-border commuting. It investigates an EU policy reform that granted Czech citizens full access to the German labor market beginning in 2011, resulting in a Czech commuter outflow across the border to Germany. Exploiting the fact that this migrant flow affected the Czech and German border regions in particular, I combine a difference-in-differences approach with propensity score matching to estimate the labor market effects of the policy reform in both countries. Using a novel dataset on Czech regions, I show that municipalities in the Czech border region experienced a decline in unemployment rates as a result of the worker outflow, while vacancies increased. For German municipalities, I find no aggregate effects on native employment and wages. At the establishment level, my results suggest small shifts in the workforce composition and an increase (decrease) in establishment entries (exits). Finally, my analysis of a cohort of native German workers reveals few effects on their employment and wages.

Selected Work in Progress

The Impact of Job Disruptions on Households During the Covid-19 Pandemic

Hiring and the Dynamics of the Gender Gap


Institute for Applied Microeconomics (IAME)
University of Bonn
Adenauerallee 24–42
53113 Bonn, Germany