Navigation

Prof. Dr. Martin Abraham

Prof. Dr. Martin Abraham

Prof. Dr. Martin Abraham

Chair of Sociology and Empirical Social Research

Curriculum vitae

Martin Abraham (born in 1964) studied social sciences at Friedrich-Alexander-Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg (FAU), where he also earned his doctoral degree. He then worked as a research fellow at the University of Leipzig and completed his habilitation in sociology there. After a visiting professorship at LMU Munich, he accepted a full professorship in sociology and empirical social research at the University of Bern, Switzerland, in 2005. He also completed research and teaching stays at the University of Arizona, Tucson, USA, and the University of Utrecht, Netherlands. Professor Abraham has been Chair of Sociology and Empirical Social Research at FAU since 2007.

His research focuses on the labor market and organizational sociology, and involves elements of both sociology and economics. His research priorities include careers, regional mobility, how reputations form, how the supplier-client relationship is socially and institutionally ingrained, and balancing family life and work.

2018

2017

2016

2018

2017

2016

No publications found.

  • Foreign occupational credentials on the German labour market
    (Third Party Funds Group – Sub project)
    Overall project: SPP 1764: The German Labour Market in a Globalised World: Challenges through Trade, Technology and Demographics
    Term: Aug 1, 2014 - Aug 1, 2017
    Funding source: DFG / Schwerpunktprogramm (SPP)
    In todays globalized world, Germany is as an economically successful country an attractive destination for migrants. A major problem which migrants face is their transferability of foreign human capital. Besides language barriers foreign certificates play a major role in determining their economic integration. While foreign school systems are more or less transparent and assessable, the vocational training systems differ greatly from country to country and are, hence, hardly comparable. If we focus on unregulated occupations, the question arises how firms in Germany handle foreign occupational certificates. This is relevant as employers are the central gatekeeper when migrants try to find employment that matches their training. There are many other theoretical arguments why employers prefer native over foreign applicants, e.g. based on assumptions of lower productivity due to lower language skills, a lack of institutional knowledge etc. or an ascribed maladjustment to foreigners. Especially discrimination by employers cannot be ruled out. To understand the role of occupational certificates we focus on comparable foreign applicants with and without foreign occupational credentials. The questions are: How do firms deal with foreign credentials and which role do they play in hiring decisions? Answering these questions will lead to a more comprehensive understanding of labour market integration of skilled migrants, which also proves relevant in the context of handling labour shortages. The basic idea is to present hypothetical applicants to executive managers and enquire the chances that the presented applicants will be invited for a job interview. In our study the information on the applicant will be experimentally (that is randomly) varied by the use of a factorial survey design. A factorial survey is a combination of experiment and survey research. Each respondent evaluates several hypothetical short descriptions of situations (vignettes) whose attributes vary experimentally on a defined number of levels. The orthogonal design allows the estimation of effect sizes for each attribute. Our factorial survey will be integrated in a questionnaire in which we also enquire traits on both respondent and firm level. The main advantage of the experimental design is, however, that it allows for unbiased estimates of the invitation probability for interviews. The selectivity of real labour market data on applicants is omitted by the randomized assignment to the respondents. Besides, when investigating sensitive issues like the handling of foreign applicants this procedure is to a lesser extent prone to effects of social desirability than immediate polls on the topic. Finally, the survey data can be matched to the Employment History data provided by the Research Data Centre of the German Federal Employment Agency. The combination of experimental survey data and process data offers wide possibilities to examine the recruitment processes of firms.
  • Reputation Formation in Social Systems
    (Third Party Funds Single)
    Term: Apr 1, 2010 - Sep 20, 2012
    Funding source: DFG-Einzelförderung / Sachbeihilfe (EIN-SBH)
    URL: http://gepris.dfg.de/gepris/projekt/166176814
    The project focuses on the question how reputation evolves in economic transactions. Oftentimes, business partners cannot rely on their own experience with their counterpart. Thus, the reputation of business partners plays a crucial role in many markets. While the effect of reputation has been the focus of many studies within this field of research, the present investigates the formation of reputation both theoretically and empirically. We are particularly interested in reputation that evolves in the direct interaction between business partners while institution-based reputation mechanisms (e.g. formal rankings on online platforms or media coverage) are deliberately excluded. On the basis of game theory and laboratory experiment we investigate the conditions that foster the formation of reputation and the circumstances that rather prevent their evolvement. In a second step, the results from the laboratory experiments will be validated with field data.

  • Sustainable Smart Industry
    (FAU Funds)
    Term: Jan 1, 2017 - Jan 1, 2020
    URL: http://sustainable-smart-industry.com
  • Taxation, Social Norms, and Compliance: Lessons for Institution Design
    (FAU Funds)
    The goal of the project “Taxation, Social Norms, and Compliance: Lessons for Institution Design” is to foster research on individual and social determinants of tax compliance. In particular, the project aims to investigate the role of institutions and of social and cultural norms for tax compliance as well as its behavioral foundations. With regard to formal institutions, the project considers the design of the tax system as well the role of tax administration and of tax accounting. Further, it also addresses social and cultural norms, which is crucial given that tax compliance depends on norms like fairness as well as on the perceptions of other taxpayers’ adherence to these norms. Finally, the project also includes a specific behavioral component that explores the preferences and the decision process of the individual taxpayer.

Prof. Dr. Martin Abraham