Department of Economics
50 Memorial Drive
Cambridge, MA 02142
NBER Program Affiliations:
NBER Affiliation: Faculty Research Fellow
Institutional Affiliation: Massachusetts Institute of Technology
NBER Working Papers and Publications
|March 2020||Paying Outsourced Labor: Direct Evidence from Linked Temp Agency-Worker-Client Data|
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We estimate how much firms differentiate pay premia between regular and outsourced workers. We study temp agency work arrangements where pay setting has previously escaped measurement because existing datasets do not report links between user firms (the workplaces where temp workers perform their labor) and temp agencies (their formal employers). We overcome this measurement challenge by leveraging unique administrative data from Argentina with such links. We estimate that temp agency workers receive 49% of the workplace-specific pay premia earned by regular workers in user firms: the midpoint between the benchmark for insiders (one) and the competitive spot-labor market benchmark (zero).
|November 2019||Labor in the Boardroom|
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We estimate the effects of a mandate allocating a third of corporate board seats to workers (shared governance). We study a reform in Germany that abruptly abolished this mandate for certain firms incorporated after August 1994 but locked it in for the older cohorts. In sharp contrast to the canonical hold-up hypothesis – that increasing labor's power reduces owners' capital investment – we find that granting formal control rights to workers raises capital formation. The capital stock, the capital-labor ratio, and the capital share all increase. Shared governance does not raise wage premia or rent sharing. It lowers outsourcing, while moderately shifting employment to skilled labor. Shared governance has no clear effect on profitability, leverage, or costs of debt. Overall, the evidence ...
|January 2019||Marginal Jobs and Job Surplus: A Test of the Efficiency of Separations|
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We present a test of Coasean theories of efficient separations. We study a cohort of jobs from the introduction through the repeal of a large, age- and region-specific unemployment benefit extension in Austria. In the treatment group, 18% fewer jobs survive. According to the Coasean view, the destroyed marginal jobs had low joint surplus. Hence, after the repeal, the treatment survivors should be dramatically more resilient than the ineligible control group survivors. Strikingly, the two groups instead exhibit identical post-repeal separation behavior. We provide and empirically support an alternative model in which wage rigidity drives the inefficient separation dynamics.
|November 2018||Wages and the Value of Nonemployment|
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Nonemployment is often posited as a worker’s outside option in wage setting models such as bargaining and wage posting. The value of nonemployment is therefore a key determinant of wages. We measure the wage effect of changes in the value of nonemployment among initially employed workers. Our quasi-experimental variation in the value of nonemployment arises from four large reforms of unemployment insurance (UI) benefit levels in Austria. We document that wages are insensitive to UI benefit changes: point estimates imply a wage response of less than $0.01 per $1.00 UI benefit increase, and we can reject sensitivities larger than $0.03. The insensitivity holds even among workers with low wages and high predicted unemployment duration, and among job switchers and recently unemployed workers. ...