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October 24, 2012

Cluster-Seminar Public Finances and Living Conditions

The Economics of Information: How Job Information Centers affect Educational Choices and Labor Market Outcomes


October 24, 2012


DIW Berlin im Quartier 110
Room 5.2.010
Mohrenstraße 58
10117 Berlin


joint work with Thomas Siedler (University of Hamburg), Nils Saniter

This paper exploits the effects of job information centers in West Germany on pupils' educational and occupational choices, as well as on their labor market outcomes in later life. This paper contributes to the very sparse literature on the impacts of the public provision of labor market related information. We exploit the fact that West Germany job information centers were introduced at different times in different places, and use a differences-in-differences approach to identify parameters with causal interpretation. Combining data from the German Socio-Economic Panel Study (GSOEP) with administrative data on the location and introduction of job information centers allows us to detect whether an individual could have benefited from the information service during their youth. The results suggest that individuals in counties with a job information center while they were in grades 8 and 9, choose more education, have more prestigious jobs and have higher wage incomes than pupils who did not have access to facilities.