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 in the research group of the director at the Institute for Employment Research (IAB), and a visiting research affiliate at the IZA.

I am a member of the Collaborative Research Center Transregio 224 and of the Cluster of Excellence ECONtribute: Markets & Public Policy.

My main field is labor economics, with a focus on immigration and economics of gender. My research is motivated by understanding what happens to workers’ careers if they are hit by labor market shocks.

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Working Papers

The Gender Gap in Earnings Losses after Job Displacement


We compare men and women who are displaced from similar jobs by applying an event study design combined with propensity score matching and reweighting to administrative data from Germany. After a mass layoff, women’s earnings losses are about 35% higher than men’s, with the gap persisting five years after displacement. This is partly explained by women taking up more part-time employment, but even women’s full-time wage losses are almost 50% higher than men’s. Parenthood magnifies the gender gap sharply. Finally, displaced women spend less time on job search and apply for lower-paid jobs, highlighting the importance of labor supply decisions.

Crossing Borders: Labor Market Effects of European Integration

IZA DP 15930


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, resulting in a Czech commuter outflow across the border to Germany. Exploiting the fact that the reform specifically impacted the Czech and German border regions, I use a matched difference-in-differences design to estimate its effects on local labor markets in both countries. Using a novel dataset on Czech regions, I show that municipalities in the Czech border region experienced a decrease in unemployment rates due to the worker outflow, and a corresponding increase in vacancies. For German border municipalities, I find evidence for slower employment growth (long-term) and slower wage growth (short-term), but no displacement effects for incumbent native workers.

Job Displacement and Migrant Labor Market Assimilation

IZA DP 16349


This paper sheds new light on the barriers to migrants' labor market assimilation. Using administrative data for Germany from 1997-2016, we estimate dynamic difference-in-differences regressions to investigate the relative trajectory of earnings, wages, and employment following mass layoff separately for migrants and natives. We show that job displacement affects the two groups differently even when we systematically control for pre-layoff differences in their characteristics: migrants have on average higher earnings losses, and they find it much more difficult to find employment. However, those who do find a new job experience faster wage growth compared to displaced natives. We examine several potential mechanisms and find that these gaps are driven by labor market conditions, such as local migrant networks and labor market tightness, rather than migrants' behavior.

Selected Work in Progress

Hiring and the Dynamics of the Gender Gap



In this study, we examine how the same vacating opportunity translates differently for male and female full-time workers. By utilizing matched employer-employee data from Germany, our empirical approach leverages 30,000 unforeseen worker deaths spanning from 1980 to 2016 which enables us to explore how firms react to exogenous vacancies. We find that when a position becomes vacant, female replacements have starting wages that are 20 log points lower compared to their male counterparts. Even after considering the pre-hire wage of replacement workers, half of this gap persists. The gender disparity in opportunities cannot be attributed to workload redistribution among other coworkers. Over time, the gap tends to widen on average and remains stable even for those who remain employed full-time in the subsequent five years after being hired.

Mobility and Labor Market Effects of Being Hit by a Flood Event

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


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