Working Paper

Job Loss and Retirement (Job Market Paper) [pdf]

Abstract: This paper provides new evidence on the long-term effects of job loss on retirement, based on German administrative data from 1975 to 2021. To identify the effect of job loss, I exploit plant closures to compare the retirement behavior of displaced workers with similar workers who did not experience job loss. I show that displaced workers delay their retirement in response to the shock. However, even if displaced workers adjust their retirement behavior, they still experience losses in estimated pension benefits and lifetime income. Overall, the lifetime costs of job loss are large: displaced workers experience losses in the present discounted value (PDV) of income of around 16%

Moving to Opportunity, together (with Seema Jayachandran, Matthew Notowidigdo, Marie Paul, Heather Sarsons and Elin Sundberg) [pdf]

Abstract: Many couples face a trade-off between advancing one spouse’s career or the other’s. We study this trade-off by analyzing the earnings effects of relocation and the effects of a job layoff on the probability of relocating using detailed administrative data from Germany and Sweden. Using an event-study analysis of couples moving across commuting zones, we find that relocation increases men’s earnings more than women’s, with strikingly similar patterns in Germany and Sweden. Using a sample of mass layoff events, we find that couples in both countries are more likely to relocate in response to the man being laid off compared to the woman. We then investigate whether these gendered patterns reflect men’s higher earnings or a gender norm that prioritizes men’s career advancement. To do this, we develop a model of household decision-making where households place more weight on the income earned by the man compared to the woman, and we test the model using the subset of couples where the man and woman have similar potential earnings. In both countries, we show that the estimated model can accurately reproduce the reduced-form results and can also quantitatively reproduce most of the observed female “child penalty.” 

Alive and Kicking? Short-Term Health Effects of a Physician Strike in Germany (with Daniel Avdic, Martin Karlsson and Nina Schwarz) [pdf]

Abstract: We study the effects of a physician strike in German hospitals in 2006 on patient mortality. Leveraging a comprehensive dataset encompassing all hospital admissions in Germany and employing digitised records of strike participation, we estimate a difference-in-differenes model to discern the causal effects of the strike. Our estimation results reveal a substantial decrease in hospital admissions during the strike period, whereas effects on hospital mortality are mostly driven by patient selection. To support this claim, we further show that emergency cases and more fragile patients, who were unable to substitute their immediate care needs, were more likely to be present in hospital during this period. Hence, in contrast to most other related studies, our results suggest that short term interruptions in access to healthcare may not have dramatic effects on healthcare quality provided that rationing of care by patient severity is carried out.


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