The Wage Penalty of Regional Accents

Institute of Economics

Date: 15 May 2018 / 17:30 - 19:00

Room A11 (Red building), USI Lugano campus

The Faculty of Economics at USI, in the context of its "Visiting Professors Program", is pleased to host Joachim Winter, Full professor at the Department for Empirical Economic Research, Ludwig-Maximilians Universität München, for a public lecture on the impact of regional accents on hourly wages of workers.

We use data from a self-designed speech-module that was incorporated into the German Socio-Economic Panel Innovation Sample. Individuals that the interviewer identifies as having medium or strong regional accent earn, on average, 26% less than individuals without regional accent. These differences cannot be explained by observable differences in demographics, education, other skill measures, parental background, and place of current and past residence. Differences in wages do not exist when self-assessed measures of speech patterns are used. We provide evidence that individuals with regional accent are less likely to work in large firms. Thus, mainstream speech without regional accent might enable individuals to participate in larger markets and thus earn a wage premium.

For information: [email protected]