First Prize, Co-winner
This dissertation consists of four independent essays analyzing how workers and firms adapt to changes in trade, technology, and labor market institutions. Chapter 1 analyzes the labor market effects of Germany’s 2005 Hartz IV reform, which lowered the generosity of long-term unemployment insurance (UI) available after a worker’s initial stream of benefits runs out. Chapter 2, coauthored with Daron Acemoglu, David Autor, David Dorn, and Gordon Hanson, argues that rising Chinese import competition was a major force behind both recent reductions in U.S. manufacturing employment and weak overall U.S. job growth. Chapter 3, also coauthored with Acemoglu, Autor, Dorn, and Hanson, reassesses the conventional wisdom that investments in information technology (IT) have dramatically boosted productivity while making workers redundant. Chapter 4 exploits German high school reforms to estimate how sharp fluctuations in cohort size impact entry-level labor markets.