• Welcome!

    I am an assistant professor of economics at the University of Erlangen-Nuremberg. I am also an affiliate member of the CESifo Research Network.


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


    I obtained my PhD and my undergraduate degree in economics from LMU Munich and a Master's in economics from University College London. During the last years, I have visited the NBER and BU's Questrom School of Business, the MIT Department of Economics, and the Program on Education Policy and Governance at Harvard University.


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


  • 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.



    Forthcoming at American Economic Journal: Economic Policy


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

  • 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 access to patent documents for subsequent innovation? We examine the expansion of the USPTO Patent Library system after 1975. Before the Internet, patent libraries provided access to patents. We find that after patent library opening, local patenting increases by 8-20% relative to similar regions, depending on the control group. Additional analyses suggest that disclosure of technical information drives this effect: the effect is strongest in technologies with clear disclosure, inventors increasingly take up ideas from outside their region, and inventor team composition is unaffacted. We thus provide evidence that disclosure plays an important role in cumulative innovation.



    R&R at American Economic Journal: Economic Policy



    NBER Working Paper No. 24660, May 2018


    New version (March 2020)



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

  • Selected Research in Progress

    Labor Mobility and the Productivity of Scientists

    (with Monika Schnitzer and Martin Watzinger)


    Patents in the Diffusion of a General Purpose Technology: The Case of the Transistor 

    (with Monika Schnitzer and Martin Watzinger)

  • Teaching



    Economics of Innovation (Summer 2020, MSc Economics, FAU Erlangen-Nuremberg)

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

    Panel- and Evaluation Methods (Winter 2019/20, MSc Economics, FAU Erlangen-Nuremberg)



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

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

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

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



    Experiments and Quasi-Experiments in Labor Economics  (Winter 2019/20, Minor Economics, FAU Erlangen-Nuremberg)

    Gender Economics (Winter 2015/16, BSc Economics, LMU Munich)

    Innovation and the Labor Market (Winter 2019/20, BSc Economics, FAU Erlangen-Nuremberg)

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

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



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

  • Other activities

    Co-Organizer, IAB-FAU Labor Reading Group

    Co-Organizer, CRC190 Workshop Future of Labor 2019

    Co-Organizer, EBE Summer Meeting 2016

  • Contact me

    You can reach me at markus.nagler _at_ fau.de