I defended my thesis Job Loss: Consequences and Labor Market Policy in May of 2020 at Uppsala University.
I will be joining the School of Economics, University of Edinburgh as a lecturer (assistant professor) in October 2020.
I'm also also affiliated with the Uppsala Center for Labor Studies.
My main research interests lies in policy relevant questions, first and foremost within labor and public economics. I also have a special interest in both applied and theoretical econometrics.
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 has relied on mass layoffs and plant closures for exogenous variation in displacement, I use 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 broader 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 which I exploit in a regression discontinuity framework. I find that displaced workers on average suffer large initial earnings losses of about 38 percent, but in contrast to previous studies, earnings recover fully within 7 years. I then exploit the heterogeneity across layoffs to examine when, and under what circumstances, the cost of displacement are most persistent. I show that persistent earnings losses are mainly associated with very large layoff events and that a substantive share of these losses are attributable to general equilibrium effects.
“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.
This paper studies which features of a caseworker that are important for job seeker outcomes, caseworker value-added and to what extent job seeker-caseworker matching matter. To break non-random sorting of job seekers to caseworkers we exploit that many local employment offices in Sweden assign job seekers to caseworkers based on date-of-birth. This as-if random allocation is coupled with detailed data on caseworkers. Our findings shows that female caseworkers perform better than male caseworker, in particular when they are paired with female job seekers. We also see that caseworkers with higher wages perform better. Many other observed caseworker characteristics, such as cognitive ability, personal experience of unemployment and educational background, are not related to caseworker performance. Based on the actions taken by the caseworkers, we find that caseworkers who have a preference for meetings are more successful. We also find that caseworkers who share the same labor market experience or educational level as the job seeker are more successful in mediating jobs to the unemployed. Finally, we document large and important differences in overall caseworker value-added
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.