Essays on Labor Economics

TitleEssays on Labor Economics
Publication TypeThesis
Year of Publication2013
AuthorsTanaka, A
AdvisorKennan, J
Number of Pages167
Date PublishedMay 2013
UniversityThe University of Wisconsin - Madison
Thesis TypePh.D.
Accession Number1430930606
KeywordsCross-National, Employment and Labor Force, Health Conditions and Status, Methodology, Net Worth and Assets, Other

This dissertation investigates determinants of labor supply decision and worker productivity. In the first two chapters, I investigate inefficiency due to statistical discrimination, in which employers---who do not observe the individual worker's labor force intention---offer a female worker fewer human capital investment opportunities than a male worker because of women's weaker labor force attachment. Owing to imperfect information, productivity inefficiency arises when women receive the same amount of investment despite the fact that women with shorter job tenure are potentially less productive than other workers. To study such a situation, I develop a model of statistical discrimination with a screening mechanism. In the third chapter, a joint project with Laurel Beck, I shift focus from statistical discrimination to worker's mental health as determinants of worker productivity. The first chapter applies the above model empirically to Japanese data, whose features exhibit evidence for statistical discrimination. The Japanese female labor market is found to be in a pooling equilibrium, thereby allowing statistical discrimination. I then estimate the effects of child-care subsides on the degree of statistical discrimination. The counterfactual analysis shows that child-care subsides could bring a drastic change in efficiency to Japan by altering the equilibrium of the worker-firm game from pooling to separating. The second chapter theoretically examines the factors that further complicate the screening process. I argue that long-term wage contracts implicitly distribute compensation from the employed to the unemployed and thus provide workers collective bargaining over wages. This finding allows us a new way to understand long-term contracts. The third chapter examines the effect of depression on various labor force outcomes. We use panel data from the Japanese Panel Survey of Consumers (JPSC) and the Health and Retirement Study (HRS) to follow respondents over several years, using questions about both mental health and labor force outcomes. In order to understand the causal effect of depression on work participation and compensation, we use deaths of the parents or children of respondents as an exogenous shock to mental health, and assess the impact of that event over time.


Copyright - Copyright ProQuest, UMI Dissertations Publishing 2013 Last updated - 2013-09-20 First page - n/a

Endnote Keywords

mental Health

Endnote ID


Short TitleEssays on Labor Economics
Citation Key6122