Guido Schwerdt is Professor of Economics, in particular Public Economics, at the University of Konstanz. Before joining the faculty in Konstanz, he was Professor of Economics, in particular Applied Microeconomics, at the University of Siegen, researcher at the Ifo Institute for Economic Research in Munich and research fellow at the Program on Education Policy and Governance (PEPG) at Harvard University. He graduated in Economics at the University of Bonn and received his Ph.D. in Economics from the European University Institute (EUI) in Florence. He is also Research Professor at the Ifo Institute for Economic Research and fellow of the CESifo Research Network. His research interests include the Economics of Education, Labor Economics, and Public Economics.

He joined IZA as a Research Fellow in November 2011.



IZA Discussion Paper No. 11283

As skills of labor-market entrants are usually not directly observed by employers, individuals acquire skill signals. To study which signals are valued by employers, we simultaneously and independently randomize a broad range of skill signals on pairs of resumes of fictitious applicants among which we ask a large representative sample...

IZA Discussion Paper No. 10249
published in: Economics Letters, 2017, 153, 15-19

Expanded international data from the PIAAC survey of adult skills allow us to analyze potential sources of the cross-country variation of comparably estimated labor-market returns to skills in a more diverse set of 32 countries. Returns to skills are systematically larger in countries that have grown faster in the recent...

IZA Discussion Paper No. 9968

The electorates' lack of information about the extent of public spending may cause misalignments between voters' preferences and the size of government. We devise a series of representative survey experiments in Germany that randomly provide treatment groups with information on current spending levels. Results show that such information strongly reduces...

IZA Discussion Paper No. 9122
published in: Economics of Education Review, 2017, 56, 65-79

The central vs. local nature of high-school exit exam systems can have important repercussions on the labor market. By increasing the informational content of grades, central exams may improve the sorting of students by productivity. To test this, we exploit the unique German setting where students from states with and...

IZA Discussion Paper No. 8903
published in: Economics of Education Review, 2016, 52, 134-154

We study whether early tracking of students based on ability increases migrant-native achievement gaps. To eliminate confounding impacts of unobserved country traits, we employ a differences-in-differences strategy that exploits international variation in the age of tracking as well as student achievement before and after potential tracking. Based on pooled data...

IZA Discussion Paper No. 7850
published in: European Economic Review, 2015, 73, 103-130

Existing estimates of the labor-market returns to human capital give a distorted picture of the role of skills across different economies. International comparisons of earnings analyses rely almost exclusively on school attainment measures of human capital, and evidence incorporating direct measures of cognitive skills is mostly restricted to early-career workers...

IZA Discussion Paper No. 7314
published in: Journal of Public Economics, 2017, 152, 154-169

A growing number of American states require that students who do not demonstrate basic reading proficiency at the end of third grade be retained and provided with remedial services. We exploit a discontinuity in the probability of third grade retention under Florida's test-based promotion policy to study the causal effect...

IZA Discussion Paper No. 6889
published in: European Journal of Political Economy, 2013, 31, 93-108

Many countries use centralized exit exams as a governance devise of the school system. While abundant evidence suggests positive effects of central exams on achievement tests, previous research on university-bound students shows no effects on subsequent earnings. We suggest that labor-market effects may be more imminent for students leaving school...

IZA Discussion Paper No. 6208
published in: Journal of Public Economics, 2013, 97 (C), 308-326

We use statewide administrative data from Florida to estimate the impact of attending public schools with different grade configurations on student achievement through grade 10. Based on an instrumental variable estimation strategy, we find that students moving from elementary to middle school suffer a sharp drop in student achievement in...

IZA Discussion Paper No. 5431
published in: Journal of Public Economics, 2012, 96 (7-8), 569-583

Lifelong learning is often promoted in ageing societies, but little is known about its returns or governments' ability to advance it. This paper evaluates the effects of a large-scale randomized field experiment issuing vouchers for adult education in Switzerland. We find no significant average effects of voucher-induced adult education on...