Brigitte Hochmuth

Lange Gasse 20 90403 NürnbergRoom: 3.160 Phone: +49 (0)911 5302 320 E-Mail: brigitte.hochmuth[at]

About me

I am a recent Ph.D. Graduate from the Chair of Macroeconomics at the University of Erlangen-Nuremberg (FAU) and a Fellow at the Institute for Advanced Studies (IHS) Vienna.

My research interests cover the fields Macroeconomics, Labor Economics, Macro-Finance, and Applied Econometrics.

I work on the effect of labor market policies (short-time work and unemployment benefit reforms) and the interaction of credit and labor markets. I am especially interested in the role of nonlinearities and heterogeneity.

My advisors are Christian Merkl and Kurt Mitman.

Click here to download my CV.


  • March 2021:

I am very happy to announce that I will join the University of Vienna as an assistant professor in September 2021.

  • October 2020:

I am very honoured to have received the Dwyer Ramsey Prize by the Society of Nonlinear Dynamics and Econometrics (SNDE) for my job market paper "Financial Constraints, Firm Age, and the Labor Market".

  • May 2020:

Check out our new VoxEU Article on Guidelines for cost-effective use of SURE
(with Almut Balleer, Britta Gehrke and Christian Merkl).

  • March 2019:

I am happy to be part of the Organizing Comitee of the T2M 2019 in Nuremberg (click here for the program):

The 23rd Conference "Theories and Methods in Macroeconomics" (T2M) took place on March 22nd and 23nd 2019 in Nuremberg (Germany) at the Friedrich-Alexander-Universität (FAU) and the Institute for Employment Research (IAB).


Abstract: This paper proposes a new approach to evaluate the macroeconomic effects of the ‘Hartz IV’ reform, which reduced the generosity of long-term unemployment benefits. We propose a model with different unemployment durations, where the reform initiates both a partial effect and an equilibrium effect. We estimate the relative importance of these two effects and the size of the partial effect based on the IAB Job Vacancy Survey. Our approach does not hinge on an external source for the decline in the replacement rate for long-term unemployed. We find that Hartz IV was a major driver for the decline of Germany’s steady state unemployment and that partial and equilibrium effect were nearly of equal importance. In addition, we provide direct empirical evidence on labor selection, one potential dimension of recruiting intensity.

Related Policy Articles & Media Coverage: [IZA Newsroom, German version] [Makronom]

  • Counteracting Unemployment in Crises: Non-Linear Effects of Short-Time Work Policy (joint with Britta Gehrke)
    The Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Vol. 123, Issue 1, January 2021, pp, 144 - 183.

[Published Version] [IZA Discussion Paper]

Abstract: Short-time work is a labor market policy that subsidizes working time reductions among firms in financial difficulty to prevent layoffs. Many OECD countries have used this policy in the Great Recession. This paper shows that the effects of short-time work are strongly time dependent and nonlinear over the business cycle. It may save up to 0.87 jobs per short-time worker in deep economic crises. In expansions, the effects are smaller and may turn negative. We disentangle discretionary short-time work from automatic stabilization in German data using smooth transition VARs.

Related Policy Articles & Media Coverage: VoxEU Article , in German: [ifo Schnelldienst] [WirtschaftsWoche]
[Zeitschrift f. Wirtschaftspolitik]

Current Research Projects

Dwyer Ramsey Prize 2020 by the Society of Nonlinear Dynamics and Econometrics (SNDE)

Abstract: This paper shows that credit crunches cause labor market effects that are nonlinear over time and heterogeneous by firm age. During the Great Financial Crisis, a credit supply shock caused young firms to reduce employment significantly more than old firms, because the housing bust in 2006 led to a decline in young firms' housing collateral and restricted their ability to borrow. To understand the underlying mechanism, I propose a financial frictions model with an explicit firm age structure. A simultaneous credit crunch and a decline in young firms' net worth can reconcile the model with my empirical results. While old firms switch to equity financing, young firms depend on debt financing and cut labor demand. As young firms disproportionately account for aggregate job growth, my findings explain the sluggish labor market recovery after the Great Financial Crisis. A counterfactual experiment shows that absent the net worth shock, the U.S. unemployment rate would have been back to its pre-crisis level two years quicker.

Short video presentation of my paper:

Labor Market Reforms, Precautionary Savings, and Global Imbalances

(joint with Stéphane Moyen, Felix Schröter, and Nikolai Stähler). [Updated Draft] [BBK DP]

Abstract: This paper establishes a link between labor market reforms and the increase in net foreign assets via a precautionary savings channel. We propose a heterogeneous agent model of a small-open economy with labor market frictions to evaluate the effect of a major unemployment benefits reform on Germany’s net foreign asset position. We find that the reform contributed significantly to Germany’s increase in net foreign assets. A reduction in the generosity of unemployment benefits increases consumption risk. Consumers want to insure against this risk and accumulate domestic and foreign assets for precautionary reasons. Together with higher international competitiveness induced by lower wages, the net foreign asset position increases permanently. We further conduct a detailed welfare analysis and find considerable differences compared to a closed-economy setting.


I have teaching experience at the undergraduate level (exercise classes) and graduate level (specialized seminars). Here is an overview:

  • Macroeconomics, Undergraduate Level

  • International Economics, Undergraduate Level, Exercise Class

  • European Topics in Economics, Master Seminar with the European Commission

  • Empirical Applications in Financial Economics, Master Seminar

  • Large-scale Data Management, Master Seminar

  • Supervision of Bachelor and Master Theses

Short CV

Professional Experience

Since 2015, I am a PhD candidate as well as Research and Teaching Assistant at the Chair of Macroeconomics of Prof. Christian Merkl at the University of Erlangen-Nuremberg. So far, I visited the Deutsche Bundesbank and the European Commission as a guest researcher. Before I started my PhD in Nuremberg, I worked as a researcher at the Institute for Advanced Studies in Vienna.


After finishing my Bachelor's degree in Economics at the Vienna University of Economics and Business Administration (2009-2012), I did my Masters in Applied Economics at the University of Innsbruck (2012-2014).

Click here to download my detailed CV.