• Welcome!

    I am an assistant professor of economics (non-tenure-track) at the University of Munich and an affiliate member of the CESifo Research Network.


    My main fields are labor economics and the economics of innovation.


    I have recently visited the NBER and BU's Questrom School of Business. I have previously visited the MIT Department of Economics and the Program on Education Policy and Governance at Harvard University.


    I obtained my PhD and my undergraduate degree in economics from LMU Munich and a Master's in economics from University College London.


    You can find my CV here and my Google Scholar Profile here.


  • Weak Markets, Strong Teachers

    Do recessions increase the effectiveness of the teaching sector?

    Weak Markets, Strong Teachers: Recession at Career Start and Teacher Effectiveness

    (with Marc Piopiunik and Martin R. West)


    How do alternative job opportunities affect teacher quality? We provide causal evidence on this question by exploiting business cycle conditions at career start as a source of exogenous variation in the outside options of potential teachers. Unlike prior research, we directly assess teacher quality with value-added measures of impacts on student test scores, using administrative data on over 30,000 teachers in Florida public schools. Consistent with a Roy model of occupational choice, teachers entering the profession during recessions are significantly more effective in raising student test scores. Results are supported by robustness tests and not driven by differential attrition.


    Accepted, Journal of Labor Economics


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    Read more: BBC News, Washington Post, Education Week, Elite Network of Bavaria (in German), Harvard GSE News, The 74, NBER Reporter, National Council on Teacher Quality

  • How Antitrust Enforcement Can Spur Innovation

    The innovation impacts of Bell Labs' 1956 consent decree

    How Antitrust Enforcement Can Spur Innovation: Bell Labs and the 1956 Consent Decree

    (with Martin Watzinger, Thomas Fackler, and Monika Schnitzer)


    We study the 1956 consent decree against the Bell System to investigate whether patents held by a dominant firm are harmful for innovation and if so, whether compulsory licensing can provide an effective remedy. The consent decree settled an antitrust lawsuit that charged Bell with having foreclosed the market for telecommunications equipment. The terms of the decree allowed Bell to remain a vertically integrated monopolist in the telecommunications industry, but as a remedy, Bell had to license all its existing patents royalty-free. Thus, the path-breaking technologies developed by the Bell Laboratories became freely available to all US companies. We show that in the first five years compulsory licensing increased follow-on innovation building on Bell patents by 17%. This effect is driven mainly by young and small companies. Yet, innovation increased only outside the telecommunications equipment industry. The lack of a positive innovation effect in the telecommunications industry suggests that market foreclosure impedes innovation and that compulsory licensing without structural remedies is ineffective in ending it. The increase of follow-on innovation by small and young companies is in line with the hypothesis that patents held by a dominant firm act as a barrier to entry for start-ups. We show that the removal of this barrier increased long-run U.S. innovation, corroborating historical accounts.



    R&R at American Economic Journal: Economic Policy



    CEPR Discussion Paper No. 11793, January 2017


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    More: YouTube-EEA, Vox, Latest Thinking, New York Times, The Register, The American Prospect, Center for American Progress

  • Disclosure and Subsequent Innovation

    Does access to patents facilitate regional innovation?

    Disclosure and Subsequent Innovation: Evidence from the Patent Depository Library Program

    (with Jeffrey L. Furman and Martin Watzinger)


    How important is information disclosure through patents for subsequent innovation? To investigate this question, we examine the expansion of the USPTO Patent and Trademark Depository Library system from 1975 to 1997. While the exclusion rights associated with patents are national in scope, the opening of these patent libraries in a period before the internet yielded regional variation in the costs to access the technical information (prior art) disclosed in patent documents. We find that after a patent library opens, local patenting increases by 17% relative to control regions that have Federal Depository Libraries. The facts that the response to patent libraries is greatest among young companies, that library opening induces local inventors to cite more geographically distant and more technologically diverse prior art, and that the effect vanishes after the internet is introduced are consistent with the prospect that information disclosed in the patent documents is driving the paper’s core findings. In additional analyses, we find that library opening is associated with an increase in local business formation and job creation. Taken together, our analyses provide evidence that the information disclosed in patent prior art plays an important role in supporting cumulative innovation.



    R&R at American Economic Journal: Economic Policy



    NBER Working Paper No. 24660, May 2018


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    Read more: Brookings, Written Description, CATO Research Brief, VoxEU

  • The Disciplinary Effect of Post-Grant Review

    Do invalidations in post-grant review affect subsequent patenting?

    The Disciplinary Effect of Post-Grant Review: Causal Evidence from European Patent Opposition

    (with Stefan Sorg)


    We study the causal impact of invalidation of marginally valid patents during post-grant opposition at the European Patent Office on affected inventors' subsequent patenting. We exploit exogenous variation in invalidation, leveraging the participation of a patent's original examiner in the opposition division as an instrument. We find a disciplinary effect of invalidation: affected inventors file 20% fewer patent applications in the decade following invalidation. This effect is entirely driven by a reduction in low-quality filings, i.e., filings that search examiners associate with prior art that threatens the application’s novelty or inventive step. We do not observe shifts into national patenting.


    CESifo Working Paper No. 7599, April 2019


    R&R at Research Policy

  • Publications

    Weak Markets, Strong Teachers: Recession at Career Start and Teacher Effectiveness

    (with Marc Piopiunik and Martin R. West)

    Journal of Labor Economics, forthcoming

    Coverage: BBC News, Washington Post, Education Week, Elite Network of Bavaria (in German), Harvard GSE News, The 74, NBER Reporter, National Council on Teacher Quality


    Education and Religious Participation: City-Level Evidence from Germany’s Secularization Period 1890-1930

    (with Sascha O. Becker and Ludger Woessmann), 2017

    Journal of Economic Growth 22(3): 273–311; Link to published version

  • Selected Research in Progress

    Labor Mobility and the Productivity of Scientists

    (with Monika Schnitzer and Martin Watzinger)


    Occupational "White Flight"

    (with Felix Koenig and Marco Tabellini)

  • Teaching

    LMU Munich

    Co-organization of Reading Groups both in Innovation and Labor



    Labor Markets in the Knowledge Economy (Summer 2019, MSc Economics)



    Microeconomics I (Winter 2010/11, Summer 2011, Winter 2018/19, BSc Economics)

    Microeconomics (Winter 2017/18, Summer 2018, MSc Economics)

    Managerial Economics I (Winter 2013/14 to Winter 2015/16, MSc in Business Economics)
    Mathematical Methods for Economists (Summer 2012, BSc Economics)

    The Economics of Science and Innovation (Summer 2018, MSc Economics)



    Gender Economics (Winter 2015/16, BSc Economics)

    The Economics of Science and Innovation (Winter 2014/15, MSc Economics)

    The Microeconomics of the Knowledge Economy (Winter 2018/19, BSc Economics)



    Supervision of multiple Bachelor's and Master's theses both in labor economics and the economics of innovation

  • Contact me

    You can reach me at markus.nagler _at_ econ.lmu.de