Working papers


Abstract: Overeducated workers are more productive and have higher wages in comparison to their adequately educated coworkers in the same jobs. However, they face a series of challenges in the labor market, including lower wages in comparison to their similarly educated peers who are in correctly matched jobs. Yet, less consensus exists over the adjustment mechanisms to overcome the negative consequences of overeducation. This study examines the hypotheses that overeducated workers sort into performance pay jobs as an adjustment mechanism and that performance pay moderates their wages. Using German Socio-Economic Panel, I show that overeducation associates with a higher likelihood of sorting into performance pay jobs and that performance pay moderates the wages of overeducated workers positively. It also holds in endogenous switching regressions accounting for the potential endogeneity of performance pay. Importantly, the positive role of performance pay is particularly larger for the wages of overeducated women.

Abstract: Concerns about corporate scandals and abusive leadership suggest that individuals with an opportunistic and manipulative personality take advantage of incomplete incentive and control systems to get their way into managerial positions. Against this background, we examine whether there is an association between Machiavellianism and occupying a managerial position. We suggest how to incorporate the psychological concept of Machiavellianism into agency theory and hypothesize that individuals scoring high on Machiavellianism are more likely to attain and keep a managerial position. Using a large and representative panel dataset from Germany, our empirical analysis confirms a strong and positive relationship between Machiavellianism and occupying a managerial position. This result holds in various robustness checks and in instrumental variable estimations accounting for possible endogeneity. Furthermore, our analysis provides evidence that the relationship is monotone; i.e., those with the highest scores of Machiavellianism are most likely to be managers. It also suggests that the direction of influence runs from Machiavellianism to occupational status and not vice versa.

Abstract: This paper uses German survey data on married couples to examine the association of performance pay at work and subsequent separation or divorce. Despite extensive controls, performance pay remains associated with an increased probability of separation or divorce. Yet, the results are entirely gender specific. When husbands earn performance pay, no association with marital instability is found. When wives earn performance pay, the association is large and robust. This pattern persists across a variety of modeling choices and attempts to account for endogeneity. We argue that the pattern fits theoretical expectations and discuss the implications. 


Revised version published in: Journal of Economic Behaviour and Organization, 2022, 201, 276-291

Revised version published in: Industrial Relations: A Journal of Economy and Society, 2022, 61, 353-383