Mr Felix Koenig

Mr Felix Koenig

PhD Candidate in Economics

Department of Economics

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English, German
Key Expertise
Labor Economics

About me

Job Market Placement
IRS Fellow, Princeton University, 2019-2020
Assistant Professor, Carnegie Mellon University - Heinz School, 2020-

Research interests
Labor Economics (primary)
Public Economics (secondary)

Job market paper
Superstar Effects and Market Size: Evidence from the Rollout of TV


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This paper uses a historic natural-experiment to test the superstar theory of rising top incomes. I present a tractable model of superstar effects to illustrate how such effects differ from conventional models of labor demand and show that differences arise during a period of expanding market reach of workers. Exogenous variation in workers' market reach in the entertainment sector allows me to test the model empirically. The launch of TV led to a sharp increase in the audience reach of entertainers and a period of local TV filming allows me test the effect on labor market returns in local labor markets. The staggered local deployment of TV stations gives rise to a differences-in-differences setting and an exogenous interruption of the roll-out process allows me to test for spurious local demand shocks in places that narrowly miss out on TV. I find that the launch of a TV stations leads to a sharp increases in wages at the top, while simultaneously earning differences at the top widen, mid-income jobs disappear and total entertainer employment falls. I also find that intensifying competition for talent is driving the top income growth, while a lack of competition mutes the rise in top incomes. These results are at odds with conventional models of labor demand and provide evidence for the superstar effect. I quantify the magnitude of the top income growth and show that a doubling in market reach leads to 17% growth in wages at the top percentile.

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Publications and additional papers

"Reservation Wages and the Wage Flexibility puzzle" (joint with A. Manning and B. Petrongolo)

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“Can Helping the Sick Hurt the Able? Incentives, Information and Disruption in a Welfare Reform" (joint with N. Bagaria, B. Petrongolo and J. Van Reenen) forthcoming at The Economic Journal

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"Labor Supply and Innovation in Entertainment: Evidence from TV” (joint with G. Fenton) 

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Placement Officer
Professor Mark Schankerman 

Professor Steve Pischke   

Professor David Autor
Professor Alan Manning
Professor John van Reenen

Contact information


Phone number
+44 746 221 9099

Room number

Office Address
Department of Economics,
London School of Economics and Political Science,
Houghton Street, London WC2A 2AE