Giorgia Menta and Sonia Schifano (University of Luxembourg, guest researcher at SOEP)
We here assess the impact of DSL internet access on a set of labour market outcomes of working-age individuals in Germany between 2008 and 2012. Assuming internet access improves the quality of employer-employee matching by reducing search costs, we focus on indicators of job quality: the working hours mismatch, job satisfaction, and the probability of changing job. We draw from Falck et al. (2014) and adopt an instrumental variables approach exploiting the exogenous variation in broadband internet access given by quasi-random territorial discontinuities in the pre-existing voice telephony networks across the German territory.
Our results show that DSL access does not reduce, but it rather increases individuals' working hours mismatches in absolute terms, as well as the probability of being overemployed — the effect being primarily driven by a decrease in desired working hours. In addition, people with access to a broadband connection are more likely to change occupation in the period after the DSL access is measured, more so for those who are relatively overworked with respect to their peers. Our results further suggest that DSL access has no impact on job satisfaction, hourly wage, and the probability of being in a full-time occupation.