Christina Langer

Economics Ph.D. Candidate

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 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 early-career skills that are more detailed, comprehensive, and labor-market-relevant than existing skill proxies. 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, with a more moderate increase in returns to cognitive skills.

The Covid-19 Shock and the Future of Working From Home: Evidence from Job Vacancy Postings in Germany (with Jean-Victor Alipour and Layla O'Kane)

We analyze the prevalence of working from home (WFH) in Germany using more than 35 million online job advertisements from 2014 to 2021. While a WFH option was rare in job ads before the crisis, the Covid-19 shock led to an unprecedented WFH boom. At the same time, regional, occupational, and sectoral inequalities in access to WFH have decreased during the pandemic. We also document a higher demand for digital skills, teamwork, and adaptability in job ads with a WFH option. We conclude with an outlook for the future of WFH.

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.