Graduate School Microeconomic Determinants of Labor Productivity

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About the GRK 1928

Labor productivity is a key determinant of the living standard in an economy. The demographic change in many industrialized countries is adding to its importance: in times of increasing aging of the population and rising durations of education, improving the quality of the factor labor and increasing the rate of participation in the labor market are vital measures for sustaining the standard of living.

This research training group is intended to analyze the determinants of labor productivity on a microeconomic level and isolate causal relationships that can be used by policy makers to improve the standard of living. The focus on the microeconomic determinants is facilitated by access to new micro data. The research agenda is divided into three parts. In Part 1 the focus is on decisions by individuals that affect the quality of the factor labor. Part 2 deals with the role of incentives and innovations for labor productivity. In Part 3 we study the influence of the organization of labor in firms on the productivity of employees. Methodologically, the common theme is the use of micro data. Furthermore, all three parts will pursue the questions of why labor productivity exhibits such a large degree of heterogeneity even at a disaggregated level and what ramifications this heterogeneity has for employees, firms, and economic policy.

The qualification program is intended to prepare graduate students for a career in academia or a research-related career (e.g. in international organizations). It is based on group-specific lectures and topics courses, research-supporting workshops and interdisciplinary activities for key qualifications and the academic labor market. Every student has a mentor who advises him or her on all matters regarding the academic or professional development. The supervision of dissertations will be performed primarily by the faculty of the research training group and will be specified for each individual student in a mentoring agreement. Equal opportunities in the group are fostered through a specific mentoring and coaching program for female students.