Simon Jäger is the Chief Executive Officer of IZA, an Associate Professor of Economics at MIT, and a Faculty Research Fellow at the National Bureau of Economic Research.
Simon's research focuses on labor markets and studies the origins and consequences of inequality. He works on topics such as competition in the labor market, unions and other forms of worker representation, unemployment, and the role of psychological factors in the labor market. One line of his work has studied the causal effects of giving workers the right to participate in their firm’s decision-making and electing employee board representatives on outcomes such as productivity and wages. Some of his recent work sheds light on how workers’ misperceptions about wages they could earn elsewhere give rise to firms’ market power to set lower wages and sustain a low-wage sector in the labor market. Methodologically, his research combines experimental and quasi-experimental methods with large, administrative data sets, for example from Germany, Finland or Argentina.
He studied economics at the University of Bonn and UC Berkeley and received his doctorate from Harvard University, where he won the David Wells Prize for the best dissertation in economics. He is a research affiliate with several leading research institutions, including the Abdul Latif Jameel Poverty Action Lab, the Centre for Economic Policy Research in London, briq - Institute on Behavior & Inequality, as well as the National Bureau for Economic Research. Simon has received awards and grants from the National Science Foundation, the Sloan Foundation, and the Washington Center for Equitable Growth. He received the W.E. Upjohn Institute Dissertation Award’s First Prize and is a 2022 winner of the Sloan Research Fellowship.