Cluster Publications: Working Papers

Working Papers of the Cluster of Excellence "The Politics of Inequality" serve to disseminate the research results of work in progress prior to publication. Inclusion of a paper in the working paper series does not constitution publication and should not limit publication in any other outlet. The working papers published by the Cluster represent the views of the respective author(s) and not of the Cluster as a whole.

Working Paper Series N° 14 | August 2023

Alessandro Di Nola, Luke Haywood, Haomin Wang (2023)


Women are more likely to work in jobs with low hours than men. Low-hour jobs are associated with lower hourly wages and are more likely impacted by minimum wages that set a floor on hourly wages. We document that the first German minimum wage significantly increased women’s transition towards jobs with higher weekly hours. We construct and estimate an equilibrium search model with demographic and firm productivity heterogeneity. The model replicates observed gender gaps in employment, hours and wage and the positive relationship between hours and hourly wages.

We implement the minimum wage in our model with a penalty to address non-compliance. Based on our model, the minimum wage primarily reduces the gender income gap through the gender wage gap. At its 2022 level, the German minimum wage reduces the gender employment and hours gap due to an upward reallocation effect, resulting in women’s increased participation in higher-hour jobs with lower separation rates. The upward reallocation effect is the strongest for women with children and varies by marital state and spousal income. While the minimum wage only modestly discourages firms from posting jobs, it shifts job offers toward full-time positions.

Working Paper Series N° 13 | April 2023

Almuth Scholl (2023)


This paper studies how distributional and electoral concerns shape sovereign default incentives within a quantitative model of sovereign debt with heterogeneous agents and non-linear income taxation. The small open economy is characterized by a two-party system in which the left-wing party has a larger preference for redistribution than the right-wing party. Political turnover is the endogenous outcome of the electoral process. Fiscal policy faces a tradeoff: On the one hand, the government has incentives to finance redistribution via external debt to avoid distortionary income taxation. On the other hand, the accumulation of external debt raises the cost of borrowing. Quantitative findings suggest that the left-wing party implements a more progressive income tax, is more prone to default, and has a lower electoral support than the right-wing party due to worse borrowing conditions and the distortionary effects of income taxation. In equilibrium, electoral uncertainty raises sovereign default risk.

 –  –  –

Working Paper Series N° 12 | January 2023

Stefan Maurer, Guido Schwerdt, Simon Wiederhold (2023)


We study whether female students benefit from being taught by female professors, and whether such gender match effects differ by class size. We use administrative records of a German public university, covering all programs and courses between 2006 and 2018. We find that gender match effects on student performance are sizable in smaller classes, but do not exist in larger classes. This difference suggests that direct and frequent interactions between students and professors are important for the emergence of gender match effects. Instead, the mere fact that one’s professor is female is not sufficient to increase performance of female students.