NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
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Andreas Steinmayr

Department of Economics
University of Munich (LMU)
Ludwigstr. 33
D-80539 Munich
Germany

E-Mail: EmailAddress: hidden: you can email any NBER-related person as first underscore last at nber dot org
Institutional Affiliation: University of Munich (LMU)

NBER Working Papers and Publications

January 2020The Wage Penalty of Regional Accents
with Jeffrey Grogger, Joachim Winter: w26719
Previous work has documented that speaking one’s native language with an accent distinct from the mainstream is associated with lower wages. In this study, we seek to estimate the causal effect of speaking with a distinctive regional accent, disentangling the effect of the accent from that of omitted variables. We collected data on workers’ speech in Germany, a country with wide variation in regional dialects. We use a variety of strategies in estimation, including an instrumental variables strategy in which the instruments are based on research findings from the linguistics of accent acquisition. All of our estimators show that speaking with a distinctive regional accent reduces wages by an amount that is comparable to the gender wage gap. We also find that workers with distinctive region...
April 2015Does Exposure to Economics Bring New Majors to the Field? Evidence from a natural Experiment.
with Hans Fricke, Jeffrey Grogger: w21130
This study investigates how being exposed to a field of study influences students’ major choices. We exploit a natural experiment at a Swiss university where all first-year students face largely the same curriculum before they choose a major. An important component of the first-year curriculum that varies between students involves a multi-term research paper in business, economics, or law. Due to oversubscription of business, the university assigns the field of the paper in a standardized way that is unrelated to student characteristics. We find that being assigned to write in economics raises the probability of majoring in economics by 2.7 percentage points, which amounts to 18 percent of the share of students who major in economics.
 
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