NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH

NBER Working Papers by Dan-Olof Rooth

Contact and additional information for this authorAll NBER papers and publicationsNBER Working Papers only

Working Papers

July 2015Health and Unemployment during Macroeconomic Crises
with Prashant Bharadwaj, Petter Lundborg: w21353
This paper shows that health is an important determinant of labor market vulnerability during large economic crises. Using data on adults during Sweden’s unexpected economic crisis in the early 1990s, we show that early and later life health are important determinants of job loss after the crisis, but not before. Adults who were born with worse health (proxied by birth weight) and those who experience hospitalizations (and especially so for mental health related issues) in the pre-crisis period, are much more likely to lose their jobs and go on unemployment insurance after the crisis. These effects are concentrated in the private sector that happened to be more affected by the crisis. The results hold while controlling for individual education and occupational sorting prior to the crisis, ...
Birth Weight in the Long Run
with Prashant Bharadwaj, Petter Lundborg: w21354
We study the effect of birth weight on long-run outcomes, including permanent income, income across various stages of the lifecycle, education, social benefits take-up, and adult mortality. For this purpose, we have linked a unique dataset on nearly all Swedish twins born between 1926- 1958, containing information on birth weight, to administrative records spanning nearly entire life time lab or market histories. We find that birth weight positively affects permanent income and income across large parts of the life cycle, although there is some evidence of a fade out after age 50. Our results indicate that lower birth weight children are more likely to avail of social insurance programs such as unemployment and sickness insurance and that birth weight matters for adult mortality. We supple...
April 2015Do Politicians Change Public Attitudes?
with Magnus Carlsson, Gordon B. Dahl: w21062
A large theoretical and empirical literature explores whether politicians and political parties change their policy positions in response to voters' preferences. This paper asks the opposite question: do political parties affect public attitudes on important policy issues? Problems of reverse causality and omitted variable bias make this a difficult question to answer empirically. We study attitudes towards nuclear energy and immigration in Sweden using panel data from 290 municipal election areas. To identify causal effects, we take advantage of large nonlinearities in the function which assigns council seats, comparing otherwise similar elections where one party either barely wins or loses an additional seat. We estimate that a one seat increase for the anti-nuclear party reduces support...
October 2012The Effect of Schooling on Cognitive Skills
with Magnus Carlsson, Gordon B. Dahl: w18484
How schooling affects cognitive skills is a fundamental question for studies of human capital and labor markets. While scores on cognitive ability tests are positively associated with schooling, it has proven difficult to ascertain whether this relationship is causal. Moreover, the effect of schooling is difficult to separate from the confounding factors of age at test date, relative age within a classroom, season of birth, and cohort effects. In this paper, we exploit conditionally random variation in the assigned test date for a battery of cognitive tests which almost all 18 year-old males were required to take in preparation for military service in Sweden. Both age at test date and number of days spent in school vary randomly across individuals after flexibly controlling for date of bir...

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