I am an assistant professor of economics at the University of Erlangen-Nuremberg. I am also an affiliate member of the CESifo Research Network (Labor Economics) and an associate member of the LASER Research Network at the University of Erlangen-Nuremberg.
My main fields are labor/education 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.
Disclosure and Subsequent Innovation
Does access to patents facilitate regional innovation?
Disclosure and Subsequent Innovation: Evidence from the Patent Depository Library Program
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.
Conditionally accepted at American Economic Journal: Economic Policy
NBER Working Paper No. 24660, May 2018
New Version (March 2020)
Peer Mentoring and Online Teaching Effectiveness
Do peer mentors improve online education outcomes?
Can Peer Mentoring Improve Online Teaching Effectiveness? An RCT During the COVID-19 Pandemic
Online delivery of higher education has taken center stage but is fraught with issues of student self-organization. We conducted an RCT to study the effects of remote peer mentoring at a German university that switched to online teaching due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Mentors and mentees met one-on-one online and discussed topics like self-organization and study techniques. We find positive impacts on motivation, studying behavior, and exam registrations. The intervention did not shift earned credits on average, but we demonstrate strong positive effects on the most able students. In contrast to prior research, effects were more pronounced for male students.
The Impact of ICT on Innovation
Did access to BITNET promote innovation?
ICT, Collaboration, and Science-Based Innovation: Evidence from BITNET
Does access to information and communication technologies (ICT) increase innovation? We examine this question by exploiting the staggered adoption of BITNET across U.S. universities in the 1980s. BITNET, an early version of the Internet, enabled e-mail-based knowledge exchange and collaboration among academics. After the adoption of BITNET, university-connected inventors increase patenting substantially. The effects are driven by collaborative patents by new inventor teams. The patents induced by ICT are exclusively science-related and stem from fields where knowledge can be codified easily. In contrast, we neither find an effect on patents not building on science nor on inventors unconnected to universities.
Short-listed for EPIP Young Scholar Award 2020
Patents on General Purpose Technologies
Are the blocking effects of patents different for GPTs?
Patents on General Purpose Technologies: Evidence from the Diffusion of the Transistor
How do patents influence the spread of General Purpose Technologies (GPT)? To answer this question, we analyze the diffusion of the transistor, one of the most important technologies of our time. After AT&T began licensing the transistor on standardized terms in 1952, the diffusion of the transistor technology and especially cross-technology spillovers increased dramatically. This suggests that patents on GPTs may hinder the positive feedback loop between innovation in upstream and in application sectors, the primary reason why GPTs produce unusually large productivity improvements. Standardized licensing increased innovation and market entry in particular by unrelated inventors in unconcentrated markets..
American Economic Journal: Economic Policy 12(4): 328-359 (2020)
Coverage: YouTube-EEA, Vox, Latest Thinking, New York Times, The Register, The American Prospect, Center for American Progress, Wired, Gilbert: "Innovation Matters: Competition Policy for the High-Technology Economy", AEA Chart of the Week
Journal of Labor Economics 38(2): 453-500 (2020)
Coverage: BBC News, Washington Post, Education Week, Elite Network of Bavaria (in German), Harvard GSE News, The 74, NBER Reporter: Education Program Report, National Council on Teacher Quality, The Economist, Education Next, The Education Exchange, Haaretz (in Hebrew)
Research Policy 49(3): 103915 (2020)
Journal of Economic Growth 22(3): 273–311 (2017)
Selected Research in Progress
Labor Mobility and the Productivity of Scientists
Classroom Peer Effects of Immigrants: New Evidence from German Panel Data
(with Anna Heusler)
The Impact of COVID-Induced Online Teaching on Higher Education
Economics of Innovation (Summer 2020, MSc Economics, FAU Erlangen-Nuremberg)
Labor Markets in the Knowledge Economy (Summer 2019, MSc Economics, LMU Munich; Winter 2021, MSc Economics, FAU Erlangen-Nuremberg)
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
You can reach me at markus.nagler _at_ fau.de