Christina Langer

Postdoc in Economics

I am interested in applied microeconomics, economics of education, and labor economics with a focus on future of work research.


Skills-Based Hiring is on the Rise (with Joseph Fuller and Matt Sigelman), Harvard Business Review (online). Download

Two decades ago, companies began adding degree requirements to job descriptions, even though the jobs themselves hadn’t changed. After the Great Recession, many organizations began trying to back away from those requirements. To learn how the effort is going, we study more than 50 million recent job announcements. The bottom line: Many companies are moving away from degree requirements and toward skills-based hiring, especially in middle-skill jobs, which is good for both workers and employers. But more work remains to be done.

Work in Progress

The Value of Early-Career Skills (with Simon Wiederhold), Working Paper

We develop novel measures of worker skills that depict the full range and intensity of human capital at labor market entry. We exploit that skill requirements of apprenticeships in Germany are codified in state-approved, nationally standardized apprenticeship plans. These plans provide more than 13,000 different skills and the exact duration of learning each skill. Following workers over their careers in administrative data, we find that cognitive, social, and digital skills acquired during apprenticeship are highly – yet differently – rewarded. We also document rising returns to digital and social skills since the 1990s, while returns to cognitive skills have increased only moderately.

Working from Home and Skill Demand: Evidence from Germany (with Jean-Victor Alipour and Layla O'Kane)

The Covid-19 pandemic led to a surge in working from home (WFH). We study the development and consequences of remote work in Germany before and during the Covid-19 recession using over 67 million online job vacancy postings from Lightcast. We classify a posting as having a WFH option if specific WFH-related terms occur in the raw text job description. From 2019 to 2022, we document a five-fold increase in WFH and convergence across regions, industries, and occupations. We show that skill requirements in job vacancy postings change when employers add a WFH option, demanding more social, management, basic digital, and applied digital skills.

Does Working from Home Reduce the Child Penalty? (with Ahmet Gulek)

Training, Automation, and Wages: Worker-Level Evidence (with Oliver Falck, Yuchen Guo, Valentin Lindlacher, and Simon Wiederhold)

Book Chapters

Alipour J.V., Langer. C, and O'Kane L. (2022). Zur Zukunft des Homeoffice. In B. Wawrzyniak & M. Herter (ed.), Neue Dimensionen in Data Science (p. 227-242). Wichmann Fachmedien Berlin - Offenbach.