Josef Zweimüller

Department of Economics
University of Zurich
Schoenberggasse 1
8001, Zurich

Institutional Affiliation: University of Zurich

NBER Working Papers and Publications

November 2018Wages and the Value of Nonemployment
with Simon Jäger, Benjamin Schoefer, Samuel G. Young: w25230
Nonemployment is often posited as a worker's outside option in wage setting models such as bargaining and wage posting. The value of this state is therefore a fundamental determinant of wages and, in turn, labor supply and job creation. We measure the effect of changes in the value of nonemployment on wages in existing jobs and among job switchers. Our quasi-experimental variation in nonemployment values arises from four large reforms of unemployment insurance (UI) benefit levels in Austria. We document that wages are insensitive to UI benefit levels: 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. In contrast, a calibrated Nash bargaining model predicts a sensitivity of 0.39 – more than ten times lar...
October 2018Fatal Attraction? Extended Unemployment Benefits, Labor Force Exits, and Mortality
with Andreas Kuhn, Stefan Staubli, Jean-Philippe Wuellrich: w25124
We estimate the causal effect of permanent and premature exits from the labor force on mortality. To overcome the problem of negative health selection into early retirement, we exploit a policy change in unemployment insurance rules in Austria that allowed workers in eligible regions to exit the labor force 3 years earlier compared to workers in non-eligible regions. Using administrative data with precise information on mortality and retirement, we find that the policy change induced eligible workers to exit the labor force significantly earlier. Instrumental variable estimation results show that for men retiring one year earlier causes a 6.8% increase in the risk of premature death and 0.2 years reduction in the age at death, but has no significant effect for women.
Vacancy Durations and Entry Wages: Evidence from Linked Vacancy-Employer-Employee Data
with Andreas Kettemann, Andreas I. Mueller: w25118
This paper explores the relationship between the duration of a vacancy and the starting wage of a new job, using unusually informative data comprising detailed information on vacancies, the establishments posting the vacancies and the workers eventually filling the vacancies. We find that vacancy durations are negatively correlated with the starting wage and that this negative association is particularly strong with the establishment component of the starting wage. We also confirm previous findings that growing establishments fill their vacancies faster. To understand the relationship between establishment growth, vacancy filling and entry wages, we calibrate a model with directed search and ex-ante heterogeneous workers and firms. We find a strong tension between matching the sharp increa...
NBER Videos

National Bureau of Economic Research, 1050 Massachusetts Ave., Cambridge, MA 02138; 617-868-3900; email:

Contact Us