Portrait of Dr Christian Siegel

Dr Christian Siegel

Senior Lecturer in Macroeconomics

About

Dr Christian Siegel is a Senior Lecturer in Macroeconomics. He joined the University of Kent in 2016 from the University of Exeter, where he held the position of lecturer. He has a Diplom Economics (Volkswirtschaftslehre) from the University of Mannheim, as well as an MRes and a PhD in Economics from the London School of Economics and Political Science. 

Christian is a Deputy Director of the Macroeconomics, Growth and History Centre (MaGHIC).

Research interests

Christian's research interests lie in the intersection of macroeconomics, especially economic growth, and labour economics. Up-to-date information about his research can be obtained from his webpage.

Teaching

Professional

Administrative roles

  • Equality, Diversity and Inclusivity Officer

Publications

Article

  • Barany, Z. and Siegel, C. (2019). Job polarization, structural transformation and biased technological change. Travail et Emploi [Online] 2019:25-44. Available at: http://dx.doi.org/10.4000/travailemploi.8996.
    By reviewing our work in Bárány and Siegel (2018a, 2018b), this article emphasizes the link between job polarization and structural change. We summarize evidence that job polarization in the United States has started as early as the 1950s in the US: middle-wage workers have been losing both in terms of employment and average wage growth compared to low- and high-wage workers. Furthermore, at least since the 1960s the same patterns for both employment and wages are discernible in terms of three broad sectors: low-skilled services, manufacturing and high-skilled services, and these two phenomena are closely linked. Finally, we propose a model where technology evolves at the sector-occupation cell level that can capture the employment reallocation across sectors, occupations, and within sectors. We show that this framework can be used to assess what type of biased technological change is the driver of the observed reallocations. The data suggests that technological change has been biased not only across occupations or sectors, but also across sector-occupation cells.
  • Barany, Z. and Siegel, C. (2018). Job Polarization and Structural Change. American Economic Journal: Macroeconomics [Online] 10:57-89. Available at: http://dx.doi.org/10.1257/mac.20150258.
    We document that job polarization -contrary to the consensus- has started as early as the 1950s in the US: middle-wage workers have been losing both in terms of employment and average wage growth compared to low- and high-wage workers. Given that polarization is a long-run phenomenon and closely linked to the shift from manufacturing to services, we propose a structural change driven explanation, where we explicitly model the sectoral choice of workers. Our simple model does remarkably well not only in matching the evolution of sectoral employment, but also of relative wages over the past fifty years.
  • Siegel, C. (2017). Female Relative Wages, Household Specialization and Fertility. Review of Economic Dynamics [Online] 24:152-174. Available at: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.red.2017.01.010.
    Falling fertility rates have often been linked to rising female wages. However, over the last 40 years the US total fertility rate has been rather stable while female wages have continued to grow. Over the same period, women's hours spent on housework have declined, but men's have increased. I propose a model in which households are not perfectly specialized, but both men and women contribute to home production. As the gender wage gap narrows, the time allocations of men and women converge, and while fertility falls at first, the decline stops when female wages are close to male's. Rising relative wages increase women's labor supply and due to higher opportunity cost lower fertility at first, but they also lead to a reallocation of home production and child care from women to men, and a marketization. I find that both are important in understanding why fertility did not decline further.
    In a further quantitative exercise I show that the model performs well in matching fertility over the entire 20th century, including the overall decline, the baby boom, and the recent stabilization.
  • Oikonomou, R. and Siegel, C. (2015). Capital Taxes, Labor Taxes and the Household. Journal of Demographic Economics [Online] 81:217-260. Available at: https://doi.org/10.1017/dem.2015.7.
    We study the impact of capital and labor taxation in an economy where couples bargain over the intrahousehold allocation under limited commitment. In this framework more wealth improves commitment and gives rise to insurance gains within the household. Our theory motivates these gains by the empirical observation that wealth, in contrast to labor income, is a commonly held resource within households. Based on this observation we study whether eliminating capital taxes from the economy, and raising labor taxes to balance the government’s budget, may generate welfare gains to married households. We illustrate that the quantitative effects from this reform are rather small. We attribute the small effects to the life cycle pattern of wealth accumulation and to the impact of labor income taxes on household risk sharing: In particular, we show that higher labor taxes may make the limited commitment friction more severe, even though they may make the distribution of labor income more equitable within the household.

Forthcoming

  • Barany, Z. and Siegel, C. (2020). Engines of Sectoral Labor Productivity Growth. Review of Economic Dynamics.
    We study the origins of labor productivity growth and its differences across sectors. In our model, sectors employ workers of different occupations and various forms of capital, none of which are perfect substitutes, and technology evolves at the sector-factor cell level. Using the model we infer technologies from US data over 1960-2017. We find that sectoral differences in labor productivity growth are largely due to sectoral differences in the growth rate of routine labor augmenting technologies. Neither capital accumulation nor the occupational employment structure within sectors explains much of the sectoral differences in labor productivity growth.
  • Siegel, C. (2020). Review of "Not Working: Where Have All the Good Jobs Gone?" by David G. Blanchflower, Princeton University Press. Economic Record [Online]. Available at: https://doi.org/10.1111/1475-4932.12552.
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