Christina Gathmann is a Professor of Economics at the University of Heidelberg. She studied economics in Germany (Humboldt University of Berlin), Canada and the US. Christina obtained her Ph.D. at the University of Chicago in 2004. She then spent five years as a Postdoctoral Fellow and National Fellow at the Hoover Institution at Stanford University. She is also Research Associate at the ZEW and CESifo.

Her research interests are in labor economics, public economics and political economy, migration, policy evaluation and applied econometrics.

Within these areas, she is particularly interested in the production and depreciation of human capital and its impact on turnover, wages, inequality and unemployment; and the effects of political institutions and labor market policies.

She joined IZA as a Research Affiliate in September 2003 and became a Research Fellow in May 2008.



IZA Discussion Paper No. 11269
Anna Busse, Christina Gathmann

Many governments invest substantial public funds to foster early childhood education. And yet, there are still many open questions who responds to and who benefits from public investments into early childcare. We use the introduction of free public daycare in German states to analyze its effects on children and their...

IZA Discussion Paper No. 10813
forthcoming in Journal of Labor Economics, 2018

Previous studies report a range of estimates for the response of female labor supply and childcare attendance to childcare prices. We shed new light on these questions using a policy reform that raises the price of public daycare. After the reform, children are 8 percentage points less likely to attend...

IZA Discussion Paper No. 9113

We study the political economy of policy innovations during the U.S. welfare reform in 1996. Specifically, we investigate how reputation concerns among governors influence the decision to experiment with welfare policies. In line with a political agency model, our empirical results suggest that governors with high reputation among the electorate...

IZA Discussion Paper No. 8064
Christina Gathmann, Nicolas Keller
forthcoming in Economic Journal, 2018

Immigrants in many countries have lower employment rates and lower earnings than natives. In this paper, we ask whether a more liberal access to citizenship can improve the economic integration of immigrants. Our analysis relies on two major immigration reforms in Germany, a country with a relatively weak record of...

IZA Discussion Paper No. 6783
published in: American Economic Journal: Applied Economics, 2013, 5 (2), 232-60

Political and economic transition is often blamed for Russia's 40% surge in deaths between 1990 and 1994 (the "Russian Mortality Crisis"). Highlighting that increases in mortality occurred primarily among alcohol related causes and among working-age men (the heaviest drinkers), this paper investigates an alternative explanation: the demise of the 1985-1988...

IZA Discussion Paper No. 6440
revised version forthcoming in: Journal of Labor Economics

Previous studies report a wide range of estimates for how female labor supply responds to childcare prices. We shed new light on this question using a reform that raised the prices of public daycare. Parents respond by reducing public daycare and increasing childcare at home. Parents also reduce informal childcare...

IZA Discussion Paper No. 6403
published in: Social Science and Medicine, 2014, [Online First]

Education yields substantial non-monetary benefits, but the size of these gains is still debated. Previous studies, for example, report contradictory effects of education and compulsory schooling on mortality – ranging from zero to large mortality reductions. Using data from 19 compulsory schooling reforms implemented in Europe during the twentieth century,...

IZA Discussion Paper No. 3067
published in: Journal of Labor Economics, 2010, 28 (1), 1 - 49

This paper studies how portable skill accumulated in the labor market are. Using rich data on tasks performed in occupations, we propose the concept of task-specific human capital to measure the transferability of skills empirically. Our results on occupational mobility and wages show that labor market skills are more portable...

IZA Discussion Paper No. 2485
revised version published in: Journal of Labor Economics

Previous studies assume that labor market skills are either fully general or specific to the firm. This paper uses patterns in mobility and wages to analyze how portable specific skills are in the labor market. The empirical analysis combines data on tasks performed in different jobs with a large panel...

IZA Discussion Paper No. 1004
published in: Journal of Public Economics, 2008, 92 (10-11), 1926-1941

This paper analyzes how enforcement along the U.S.-Mexican border has affected the market for migrant smugglers. Using a unique dataset that links border crossing histories from illegal Mexican migrants to aggregate enforcement and punishment statistics, we find that the effect of enforcement on smuggling prices is small. Though enforcement has...