Essays in labor economics

TitleEssays in labor economics
Publication TypeThesis
Year of Publication2018
AuthorsFilatov, A
Academic DepartmentDepartment of Economics and the History of Economics
DegreeDoctor of Philosophy
Number of Pages67
Date Published07/2018
UniversityUniversitat Autònoma de Barcelona
CityBarcelona, Spain
KeywordsEconomics, Social Sciences

This dissertation pursues the following objectives. First, it studies the factors driving the steady growth in both labor force participation and hours per worker of seniors, individuals above age 62, in the US since the mid 1980s. We use data from the Health and Retirement Study (HRS) to estimate a life-cycle model of labor supply, retirement, and wealth accumulation in order to contrast the labor supply behavior of two cohorts in the US: individuals born after World War I ("The Great Depression Kids"), and those born after the World War II ("The Baby Boomers"). We focus on the differences between these two cohorts in earning and health dynamics as well as policies that they face, a gradual increase in Normal Retirement Age and the elimination of the earnings test in 2000, as potential sources of change. The results demonstrate that the effects of policies and policy-unrelated factors are of similar magnitude. The elimination of the Earnings Test had the biggest impact of all policies. Jointly, the rise in out-of-pocket medical expenditures and the increase in life expectancy are the dominant factors among non policy-related ones. Second, we use the German Socio-Economic Panel (SOEP) to study the how the introduction of a federal minimum wage in Germany on January 1, 2015, affected individual reservations wages. We find that the reform was associated with an increase in reservation wages of approximately 4 percent at the low end of the distribution. Furthermore, the shifts in reservation wages and observed wages due to the minimum wage reform are comparable in their magnitude. We also show that German citizens adjust their reservation wages more than immigrants do. Third, use again the SOEP data to estimate the effect of the German minimum wage reform on unemployment duration. We find a very strong association of the reform with an increase in unemployment durations across young men. This effect is especially strong in the regions with high reform bite

Citation Key10243