Essays in labor economics and public policy
Title: Essays in labor economics and public policy
Author: GALASSI, Gabriela Liliana
Citation: Florence : European University Institute, 2018
Series/Number: EUI PhD theses; Department of Economics
This thesis contains three chapters around two related questions: (1) what are the determinants of the decision to work?, and (2) what are the (unintended) effects of policies stimulating labor market participation? The first two chapters tackle the second question in the empirical setting of the Mini-Job reform in Germany, which expanded substantially the in-work benefits, or tax advantages for low-earning workers. The third chapter, dealing with the first question, focuses on the transmission of employment behavior and preferences for work across generations. The first chapter analyzes how firms respond to changes in tax benefits for low-earning workers and how, through equilibrium effects, such policies also affect non-targeted, high-earning workers. Combining theoretical and empirical analysis, I document the presence of both job creation and substitution underlying firm responses induced by the Mini-Job Reform. In particular, I find that firms with a high pre-reform use of low-earning workers increase the demand for workers with better earnings, an important result. The second essay provides an empirical analysis of the effects of the same reform on earnings and employment prospects of targeted workers. The findings question the role of in-work benefits as an antipoverty policy since they do not improve earnings of targeted workers. However, they also show that these benefits provide opportunities for jobless individuals to smoothly transit to better paid employment. Finally, in the third chapter, joint with Lukas Mayr and David Koll, we analyze how employment status and attitudes towards work are related across generations. Using data for the US, we find a significant positive correlation between the employment status of mothers and children, after controlling for productivity and other observable factors. We interpret this finding as evidence of transmission of preferences for work. We show that the correlation i is unlikely to be driven by networks, transmission of specific human capital or local labor markets' conditions, and we provide suggestive evidence for a role model channel.
Table of Contents:
--1. Labor demand responses to labor supply incentives: Evidence from the German Mini-Job reform --2. The German Mini-Job reform: Intended and unintended consequences for low-earning workers --3. Intergenerational correlation of employment: Is there a role for work cul- ture?
Defence date: 13 June 2018; Examining Board : Prof. Juan Dolado, EUI, Supervisor ; Prof. Árpád Ábrahám, EUI ; Prof. Jan Stuhler, Universidad Carlos III de Madrid ; Prof. Ana Rute Cardoso, Institute for Economic Analysis
Type of Access: openAccess