Andreas Beerli

ETH Zürich
KOF Swiss Economic Institute
Leonhardstrasse 21
LEE G 116
CH-8092 Zürich, Switzerland

Andreas Beerli Portrait

Welcome to my website

I am an economist studying immigration, (digital) labor markets, and public policy more generally. I head the research section Public and Social Policy Design at KOF Economic Institute, ETH Zurich.

I am also a research affiliate at the Immigration Policy Lab, at the Institute of Labor Economics IZA, and at the Zurich Center for Neuroeconomics (UZH). I have a PhD from the Department of Economics at the University of Zurich.

I collaborate regularly with private and public organizations to evaluate and improve the impact of public policies and social programs. Most of my work uses causal research designs such as randomized evaluations applied to large, linked administrative datasets. I also conduct tailored surveys to shed light on project-specific psychological factors.

You can find my CV here.


  • Demand forces of technical change: Evidence from the chinese manufacturing industry
  • China Economic Review, 2020, 60, 101157, joint with Franziska Weiss, Fabrizio Zilibotti, and Josef Zweimüller. Ungated working paper
  • Abstract This paper investigates the effect of domestic market size on innovation activities across different durable good industries in the Chinese manufacturing sector. We ad- dress the endogeneity of market size by an IV strategy, based on a measure of potential market size, which is driven only by changes in the Chinese income distribution. This measure is exogenous to changes in prices and qualities of durable goods and is a valid instrument for expected future market size. Our results indicate that an increase in market size by one percent leads to an increase in firm-specific total factor productivity by 0.46 percent and an increase in labor productivity by 0.50 percent. These findings are robust to controlling for export behavior of firms and supply side drivers of R&D.

Ongoing projects

  • The Labor Market Effects of Restricting Refugees' Employment Opportunities
  • Revise and resubmit, American Economic Review, joint with Achim Ahrens, Dominik Hangartner, Selina Kurer, and Michael Siegenthaler. Latest version, IZA Discussion Paper No. 15901.
  • Abstract This paper investigates whether employment restrictions contribute to refugees having poorer labor market outcomes than citizens. Utilizing linked register data from Switzerland and within- canton policy variation between 1999–2015, we find substantial negative effects on employment and earnings when refugees are barred from working upon arrival, excluded from specific sectors or regions, or face resident prioritization. Removing 10% of refugees’ outside options reduces job-to-job mobility by 7.5% and wages by 3.0%, widening the wage gap to citizens in similar jobs. The restrictions depress refugees’ labor market outcomes even after they apply, but do not spur emigration nor benefit other immigrants.
  • featured in: Blick am Sonntag May 2023.
  • From Border Opening to Political Closing: Immigration and Voting for the Far Right in Switzerland
  • Under review, joint with Ala' Alrababa'h, Dominik Hangartner, and Dalston Ward. IPL Working Paper Series 24-01.
  • Abstract The main theories explaining electoral backlash against immigration give centrality to citizens’ cultural, economic, and security concerns. We test these predictions in Switzerland, which opened its labor market to neighboring countries in the 2000s. Using a difference-in-differences design, we document that immigration to Swiss border municipalities increased substantially after the borders opened, followed by a more than six percentage point (29%) increase in support for anti-immigrant parties. However, we find no adverse effects on citizens’ employment and wages nor on their subjective perceptions of economic, cultural, or security threats. Instead, we describe how far-right parties introduced novel threats to increase hostility toward immigrants. Our evidence demonstrates how elite rhetoric targeted border municipalities and had the greatest effects on voters vulnerable to political persuasion. Together, these findings emphasize the role that elites may play in driving anti-immigrant votes.
  • The right to be heard: a randomized controlled trial on economizing procedural justice
  • joint with Lorenz Biberstein, Martin Killias, Michel Maréchal, and Nora Markwalder. Slides available at request.
  • Abstract The right to be heard – Audi Alteram Partem – is a fundamental principle underlying most legal systems and constitutes a basic human right. Legal scholars argue that the right to be heard is essential for the rule of law because it helps achieving truth and legitimizes judicial sentencing. On the other hand, hearings are labor and time intensive, leading to an overloaded criminal justice system, particularly for mass crimes. We evaluate the importance of hearings in the context of a large-scale reform of the Swiss Criminal Procedure Code, which delegated sentencing power from courts to the prosecutors through the means of penal orders. As a consequence of the reform, prosecutors sentence offenders by sending them a penal order that is solely based on police reports in roughly 90% of all criminal proceedings, de facto removing the defendants‘ right of being heard. We conducted a field experiment in collaboration with a public prosecution office in Switzerland and randomly invited defendants to participate in a prosecutorial hearing, allowing us to investigate the causal effect of hearings on prosecutorial sentencing, perceptions of procedural fairness, and recidivism.

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Field work in progress

Field Partners

I’m passionate about finding synergies and collaborating with NGOs, public and private sector organizations and research institutions to advance our understanding of human behavior allowing us to design, test, improve and scale social programs, policies and interventions that ultimately allow people and communities to thrive. Here are some organizations I have been working with:

Swiss Cannabis Research, Zürich

Swiss Cannabis Research is an association whose goal is to support rigorous scientific research on the effects of access to regulated Cannabis. We are working with Swiss Cannabis Research to evaluate pilot trials mandated by the Federal Office of Public Health on the socio-economic effects of access to regulated cannabis.

x28, Thalwil

x28 operates online job vacancy plattforms in Switzerland. We are working with x28 to advance our understanding how job seekers search for jobs online and which job features they value.

Kununu, Vienna

Kununu is an online job and employer rating platform operating in Germany, Austria, and Switzerland. Kununu’s mission is to improve the transparency and fairness of the job search process by making information available about different job aspects, including wages and firm culture, so job seekers have an easier time to choose the right employer. We are working with Kununu to advance our understanding how job seekers value different aspects of jobs and a firm’s culture.

State Secretariate for Economic Affairs SECO, Bern

SECO is the federal government`s centre of excellence for all core issues relating to economic and labour market policy. We helped them to evaluate the implementation of the job vacancy notice obligation (Stellenmeldepflicht). This policy requires that job vacancies in occupation with a high level of unemployment can be accessed first only by residents in Switzerland on an online job-boad.

Engagement Migros, Zürich

Engagement Migros supports and guides pioneering projects committed to social impact. We support them in this endeavour by developing a tailor-made impact guidance system that facilitates the use of evidence and learning about what works and what does not in each pioneer project.

Logo-Kanton St. Gallen
Prosecutorial Office, Canton of St. Gallen

We collaborated with the prosecutorial office in St. Gallen to learn about the importance of economizing hearings in the penal process.

Uber, Switzerland

Uber is a ride hailing service operative in different cities in Switzerland. We collaborate to learn about the effects of different policies implemented in Switzerland.


Department of Consultation-Liaison-Psychiatry and Psychosomatic Medicine

The Outpatient Clinic for Victims of Torture and War offers psychiatric-psychotherapeutic clarification and treatment to severely traumatised people with a refugee background. We collaborate to learn about the effects of trauma treatments on mental health and long-term integration of refugees.

Access to Justice Lab at Harvard Law School, Cambridge MA

The Access to Justice Lab creates and shares the rigorous evidence needed to expand the access to civil justice in U.S. and to improve fairness, dignity and respect in the criminal justice system. We collaborate to study the effects of different criminal justice policies.

Immigration Policy Lab, Zürich

The Immigration Policy Lab evaluates and design policies surrounding the integration of immigrants and refugees worldwide. We joint forces to study the effects of immigrants on attitudes of natives towards them and to study different policies and intervention that promote long-term integration of immigrants.

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Blogs / policy briefs

  • Winners and losers of immigration, KOF Bulletin, September 2023, Version in German
  • Labour market restrictions on refugees, KOF Bulletin, September 2023, Version in German (with Michael Siegenthaler)
  • Was wissen wir über die Wirkung von (Alternativen zu) Strafen? - Ein Plädoyer für Experimente im Justizsystem, April 2023, in Ajil, Ahmed, Kuhn, André, Schwarzenegger, Christian, and Vuille, Joëlle (Eds.), Alternativen: Von der alternativen Sanktion zur alternativen Kriminologie, Basel: Helbing Lichtenhahn.
  • How computerisation is driving the immigration of highly skilled workers, KOF Bulletin, September 2022, Version in German (with Ronald Indergand and Johannes Kunz)
  • Gehaltszufriedenheit, kununu Gehaltsstudie 2022, March 2022 (with team at Kununu, Daniel Kopp, and Michael Siegenthaler)
  • Digital divide? An analysis of the usage data from the online job platform Job-Room, KOF Bulletin, December 2021, Version in German
  • Stellenmeldepflicht: Potenzial für Verbesserungen in der Umsetzung vorhanden, Die Volkswirtschaft, June 2021 (with Justus Bamert, Boris Kaiser, Daniel Kopp, and Michael Siegenthaler)
  • Monitoringevaluation der Stellenmeldepflicht I, Grundlagen für die Wirtschaftspolitik, Nr. 19, June 2021, Staatssekretariat für Wirtschaft SECO, Bern (with Justus Bamert, Boris Kaiser, Daniel Kopp, and Michael Siegenthaler)
  • Impact Guide: Migros-Pionierfonds, May 2021 (with Aljosha Henkel, and Linda Sulzer)
  • Grenzgänger: Wissensintensive Unternehmen profitieren am meisten, Die Volkswirtschaft, March 2021 (with Michael Siegenthaler)
  • How do ETH Alumni fare in the job market?, KOF Studies, No. 152, July 2020 (with Mahsa Khoshnama, Daniel Kopp, Michael Siegenthaler)
  • Can education programs prevent violent extremism?, Blog Center for Global Development (CGD), July 2019 (with Stephan Kyburz and Adina Rom)
  • Die Ursachen der Fachkräftemigration in die Schweiz, Die Volkswirtschaft, November 2015 (with Ronald Indergand)
  • The labour market effect of opening the border to immigrant workers, Vox EU column, August 2015 (with Giovanni Peri)
  • Die Arbeitsmarktpolarisierung nimmt zu, Die Volkswirtschaft, May 2015 (with Ronald Indergand)
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