Personalized Labor Policy

IZA’s research team “Personalized Labor Policy” studies how labor market policy can be improved by better targeting policy instruments to the preferences, backgrounds, and needs of different groups of the population. Based on recent advancements in labor and behavioral economics, our research sheds new light on individual-level differences in labor-market success and their underlying causes. Building on this body of knowledge, we seek to develop and test new tools to improve job search processes and labor market performance.

Our research centers around four main questions:

  • How do differences in workers’ preferences, backgrounds, and beliefs affect their employment prospects, workplace behavior, and responses to labor market policy?
  • How can employers make use of this knowledge to attract and retain the “right types” of workers?
  • How can policy makers better target existing policy instruments towards the subgroups of workers that benefit most strongly from them?
  • Can newly developed personalized tools facilitate job search and enhance the match between workers and firms?



Prof. Dr. Steffen Altmann (Team Leader)

Selected ongoing projects

Behavioral Economics and Labor Market Performance


Selected Publications

Refereed Journals

Altmann, Steffen; Grunewald, Andreas; Radbruch, Jonas (2021): Passive Choices and Cognitive Spillovers. Review of Economic Studies (forthcoming).

Altmann, Steffen; Traxler, Christian; Weinschenk, Philipp (2021): Deadlines and Cognitive Limitations. Management Science (forthcoming).

DellaVigna, Stefano; Heining, Jörg; Schmieder, Johannes F.; Trenkle, Simon (2021): Evidence on Job Search Models from a Survey of Unemployed Workers in Germany. Quarterly Journal of Economics (forthcoming).

Kiessling, Lukas; Radbruch, Jonas; Schaube, Sebastian (2021): The Impact of Self-Selection on Performance. Management Science (forthcoming).

Schiprowski, Amelie (2020): The Role of Caseworkers in Unemployment Insurance: Evidence from Unplanned Absences. Journal of Labor Economics, 38 (4), 1189-1225.

Arni, Patrick; Schiprowski, Amelie (2019): Job Search Requirements, Effort Provision and Labor Market Outcomes. Journal of Public Economics, 169, 65-88.

Goerg, Sebastian J.; Kube, Sebastian; Radbruch, Jonas (2019): The Effectiveness of Incentive Schemes in the Presence of Implicit Effort Costs. Management Science, 65 (9), 4063-4078.

Altmann, Steffen; Falk, Armin; Jäger, Simon; Zimmermann, Florian (2018): Learning About Job Search: A Field Experiment with Job Seekers in Germany. Journal of Public Economics, 164, 33-49.




Evaluation of Labor Market Policies: New Data and New Approaches (2021)

Evaluation of Labor Market Policies: New Data and New Approaches (2020)

Evaluation of Labor Market Policies: New Data and New Approaches (2019)

Evaluation of Labor Market Policies: New Data and New Approaches (2018)