I am a lecturer (assistant professor) at the School of Economics, University of Edinburgh. I am also affiliated with the Uppsala Center for Labor Studies and IFAU. I defended my PhD thesis Job Loss: Consequences and Labor Market Policy at Uppsala University for which I received an honorable mention in the Upjohn Institute Dissertation Award and The Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences Arnbergska Prize.
My main research interests lies first and foremost within labor economics and applied econometrics. My current research focuses on questions revolving around job loss; its consequences for individual workers and how various labor market polices could be used and affect subsequent labor market outcomes for workers.
Research interests: Labor economics, Applied econometrics, Public economics
This paper takes a novel approach to estimating the effects of involuntary job loss on future earnings, wages and employment. Whereas the previous literature relies on mass layoffs and plant closures for exogenous variation in displacement, I exploit the fact that who is laid off is often determined by a seniority rule, specifically the last-in-first-out (LIFO) rule. This feature enables me to study also smaller sized layoffs affecting a broad set of workers. Using matched employer-employee data from Sweden, in combination with detailed individual-level data on layoff notifications, I rank workers according to relative seniority and identify establishment/occupation specific discontinuities in the probability of displacement. I find that displaced workers experience substantial earnings losses initially, but in contrast to previous studies, recover fully within 7 years. I make use of heterogeneity across layoffs to explore why, and under what circumstances, earnings losses upon displacement are most persistent. The results indicate that permanent losses are primarily associated with mass layoff events and that a large part of the persistence can be explained by large layoffs having negative spillover effects in the local labor market.
“Employment protection creates inefficiencies”. We investigate this oft-cited claim with respect to mandatory advance notice (MAN) of layoff. Theoretically, we show that although MAN does not affect the equilibrium allocation in the absence of frictions, it may in fact be efficiency-enhancing in the presence of frictions. Our model has several predictions that we test by exploiting discontinuities in the length of the MAN period using novel administrative data from Sweden on individual notification dates and notice periods. Our estimates show that when the MAN period is prolonged, there is an increase in notice periods but also an increase in severance paid to workers. This is in line with the prediction that severance pay is used to avoid the notice period when MAN has adverse consequences for productive efficiency. The MAN period extension leads to shorter non-employment spells and smaller falls in reemployment wages. Higher severance, lower non-employment, and higher wages imply higher earnings in the year after layoff (contributing 30%, 50%, and 20% of earnings increase respectively). Moreover, we find that workers who receive higher unemployment benefits receive lower severance payments. Taken together, our empirical results support the existence of frictions and transferable utilities (cash transfers in the form of severance payments) between employers and employees. In light of our theory, this suggests that MAN may be efficiency-enhancing.
What characterizes a productive caseworker? To answer this question we exploit variation coming from the fact that many local employment offices in Sweden assign job seekers to caseworkers based on their date of birth. We couple this identification strategy with fine-grained administrative data on both caseworkers and job seekers. Estimation of caseworker fixed effects reveals sizable variation in overall caseworker value-added. Female caseworkers perform better than male caseworkers and caseworkers with two years of experience outperform caseworkers with less experience. Cognitive ability and personal experience of unemployment are not related to caseworker perfor mance. Based on the actions taken by the caseworkers we show that caseworker strategies are important. Analyses of caseworker–job seeker matching show that matching based on previous labor market experiences or gender leads to better outcomes.
Previous studies estimating the effect of generosity of unemployment insurance (UI) on unemployment duration has found that as job-seekers approach benefit exhaustion the probability of leaving unemployment increases sharply. Such ``spikes'' in the hazard rate has generally been interpreted as shirking among job-seekers timing their employment to coincide with benefit exhaustion. This, however, has been called into question by Card et al. (2007b) who claim that such spikes rather reflect flight out of the labor force as benefits run out. This paper revisits this debate by studying a 30 week UI benefit extension in Sweden and its effects on unemployment duration, duration on UI as well as the timing of employment. As the UI extension is predicated upon a job-seeker having a child below the age of 18 at the time of regular UI exhaustion this provides quasi-experimental variation which I exploit using a regression discontinuity design. I find that although increasing potential UI duration by 30 weeks increases actual take up by about 2.7 weeks, overall duration in unemployment and the probability of employment is largely unaffected. Moreover, I find no evidence of job-seekers manipulating the hazard to employment such that it coincides with UI benefit exhaustion.