44 publications classées par:
type de publication
: Revue avec comité de lecture
Articles Cacault M.P., Goette L., Lalive R. & Thoenig M. (2015). Do we harm others even if we don't need to?. Frontiers in Psychology, 6(729). [doi] [web of science] [abstract]
Evolutionary explanations of the co-existence of large-scale cooperation and warfare in human societies rest on the hypothesis of parochial altruism, the view that in-group pro-sociality and out-group anti-sociality have co-evolved. We designed an experiment that allows subjects to freely choose between actions that are purely pro-social, purely anti-social, or a combination of the two. We present behavioral evidence on the existence of strong aggression-a pattern of non-strategic behaviors that are welfare-reducing for all individuals (i.e., victims and perpetrators). We also show how strong aggression serves to dynamically stabilize in-group pro-sociality.
Lalive R., Landais C. & Zweimüller J. (2015). Market Externalities of Large Unemployment Insurance Extension Programs. American Economic Review, 105(12), 3564-96. [doi] [url] [web of science] [abstract]
We provide evidence that unemployment insurance affects equilibrium conditions in the labor market, which creates significant "market externalities." We provide a framework for identification of such equilibrium effects and implement it using the Regional Extension Benefit Program (REBP) in Austria which extended the duration of UI benefits for a large group of eligible workers in selected regions of Austria. We show that non-eligible workers in REBP regions have higher job finding rates, lower unemployment durations, and a lower risk of long-term unemployment. We discuss the implications of our results for optimal UI policy.
Antonioni A., Cacault M. P., Lalive R. & Tomassini M. (2014). Know Thy Neighbor: Costly Information Can Hurt Cooperation in Dynamic Networks. PLoS ONE, 9(10), e110788. [doi] [url] [web of science] [abstract]
People need to rely on cooperation with other individuals in many aspects of everyday life, such as teamwork and economic exchange in anonymous markets. We study whether and how the ability to make or break links in social networks fosters cooperate, paying particular attention to whether information on an individual's actions is freely available to potential partners. Studying the role of information is relevant as information on other people's actions is often not available for free: a recruiting firm may need to call a job candidate's references, a bank may need to find out about the credit history of a new client, etc. We find that people cooperate almost fully when information on their actions is freely available to their potential partners. Cooperation is less likely, however, if people have to pay about half of what they gain from cooperating with a cooperator. Cooperation declines even further if people have to pay a cost that is almost equivalent to the gain from cooperating with a cooperator. Thus, costly information on potential neighbors' actions can undermine the incentive to cooperate in fluid networks.
Lalive R., Schlosser A., Steinhauer A. & Zweimüller J. (2014). Parental Leave and Mothers' Careers: The Relative Importance of Job Protection and Cash Benefits. Review of Economic Studies, 81(1), 219-265. [doi] [url] [abstract]
Job protection and cash benefits are key elements of parental leave (PL) systems. We study how these two policy instruments affect return-to-work and medium-run labour market outcomes of mothers of newborn children. Analysing a series of major PL policy changes in Austria, we find that longer cash benefits lead to a significant delay in return-to-work, particularly so in the period that is job-protected. Prolonged parental leave absence induced by these policy changes does not appear to hurt mothers' labour market outcomes in the medium run. We build a non-stationary model of job search after childbirth to isolate the role of the two policy instruments. The model matches return-to-work and return to same employer profiles under the various factual policy configurations. Counterfactual policy simulations indicate that a system that combines cash with protection dominates other systems in generating time for care immediately after birth while maintaining mothers' medium-run labour market attachment.
Antonioni A., Cacault M. P., Lalive R. & Tomassini M. (2013). Coordination on Networks: Does Topology Matter?. PLOS ONE, 8(2), e55033. [doi] [url] [abstract]
Effective coordination is key to many situations that affect the well-being of two or more humans. Social coordination can be studied in coordination games between individuals located on networks of contacts. We study the behavior of humans in the laboratory when they play the Stag Hunt game - a game that has a risky but socially efficient equilibrium and an inefficient but safe equilibrium. We contrast behavior on a cliquish network to behavior on a random network. The cliquish network is highly clustered and resembles more closely to actual social networks than the random network. In contrast to simulations, we find that human players dynamics do not converge to the efficient outcome more often in the cliquish network than in the random network. Subjects do not use pure myopic best-reply as an individual update rule. Numerical simulations agree with laboratory results once we implement the actual individual updating rule that human subjects use in our laboratory experiments.
Arni P., Lalive R. & van Ours J. (2013). How Effective are Unemployment Benefit Sanctions? Looking Beyond Unemployment Exit. Journal of Applied Econometrics, 28(7), 1153-1178. [doi] [url] [abstract]
This paper provides a comprehensive evaluation of the effects of benefit sanctions on post-unemployment outcomes such as post-unemployment employment stability and earnings. We use rich register data which allow us to distinguish between a warning that a benefit reduction may take place in the near future and the actual withdrawal of unemployment benefits. Adopting a multivariate mixed proportional hazard approach to address selectivity, we find that warnings do not affect subsequent employment stability but do reduce post-unemployment earnings. Actual benefit reductions lower the quality of post-unemployment jobs both in terms of job duration as well as in terms of earnings. Copyright © 2012 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
Lalive R., Wuellrich J.-P. & Zweimüller J. (2013). Do Financial Incentives Affect Firms' Demand For Disabled Workers?. Journal of the European Economic Association, 11(1), 25-58. [doi] [url] [abstract]
A number of OECD countries aim to encourage work integration of disabled persons using quota policies. For instance, Austrian firms must provide at least one job to a disabled worker per 25 nondisabled workers and are subject to a tax if they do not. This "threshold design" provides causal estimates of the noncompliance tax on disabled employment if firms do not manipulate nondisabled employment; a lower and upper bound on the causal effect can be constructed if they do. Results indicate that firms with 25 nondisabled workers employ about 0.04 (or 12%) more disabled workers than without the tax; firms do manipulate employment of nondisabled workers but the lower bound on the employment effect of the quota remains positive; employment effects are stronger in low-wage firms than in high-wage firms; and firms subject to the quota of two disabled workers or more hire 0.08 more disabled workers per additional quota job. Moreover, increasing the noncompliance tax increases excess disabled employment, whereas paying a bonus to overcomplying firms slightly dampens the employment effects of the tax.
Eugster B., Lalive R., Steinhauer A. & Zweimüller J. (2011). The Demand for Social Insurance: Does Culture Matter?. The Economic Journal, 121(556), F413-F448. [doi] [abstract]
Does culture shape the demand for social insurance against risks to health and work? We study this issue across language groups in Switzerland where a language border sharply separates social groups at identical actual levels of publicly provided social insurance. We find substantially stronger support for expansions of social insurance among residents of French, Italian or Romansh-speaking language border municipalities compared with their German-speaking neighbours in adjacent municipalities. Informal insurance does not vary enough to explain stark differences in social insurance but differences in ideology and segmented media markets potentially contribute to the discrepancy in demand for social insurance.
Lalive R., van Ours J.C. & Zweimüller J. (2011). Equilibrium Unemployment and the Duration of Unemployment Benefits. Journal of Population Economics, 24(4), 1385-1409. [doi] [url] [abstract]
This paper uses microdata to evaluate the impact on the steady-state unemployment rate of an increase in maximum benefit duration. We evaluate a policy change in Austria that extended maximum benefit duration and use this policy change to estimate the causal impact of benefit duration on labor market flows. We find that the policy change leads to a significant increase in the steady-state unemployment rate and, surprisingly, most of this increase is due to an increase in the inflow into rather than the outflow from unemployment.
Antonakis J., Bendahan S., Jacquart P. & Lalive R. (2010). On making causal claims: A review and recommendations. The Leadership Quarterly, 21(6), 1086-1120. [doi] [pdf] [abstract]
Social scientists often estimate models from correlational data, where the independent variable has not been exogenously manipulated; they also make implicit or explicit causal claims based on these models. When can these claims be made? We answer this question by first discussing design and estimation conditions under which model estimates can be interpreted, using the randomized experiment as the gold standard. We show how endogeneity--which includes omitted variables, omitted selection, simultaneity, common methods bias, and measurement error--renders estimates causally uninterpretable. Second, we present methods that allow researchers to test causal claims in situations where randomization is not possible or when causal interpretation is confounded, including fixed-effects panel, sample selection, instrumental variable, regression discontinuity, and difference-in-differences models. Third, we take stock of the methodological rigor with which causal claims are being made in a social sciences discipline by reviewing a representative sample of 110 articles on leadership published in the previous 10 years in top-tier journals. Our key finding is that researchers fail to address at least 66 % and up to 90 % of design and estimation conditions that make causal claims invalid. We conclude by offering 10 suggestions on how to improve non-experimental research.
Lalive R. & Stutzer A. (2010). Approval of Equal Rights and Gender Differences in Well-Being. Journal of Population Economics, 23(3), 933-962. [doi]
Kuhn A., Lalive R. & Zweimüller J. (2009). The Public Health Costs of Job Loss. Journal of Health Economics, 28(2009), 1099-1115. [doi]
Lalive R. & Cattaneo A. (2009). Social Interactions and Schooling Decisions. Review of Economics and Statistics, 91(3), 457-477. [doi] [pdf]
Lalive R. & Grütter M. (2009). The Importance of Firms in Wage Determination. Labour Economics, 16(2), 149-160.
Lalive R. & Zweimüller J. (2009). Does Parental Leave Affect Fertility and Return-to-Work? Evidence from Two Natural Experiments. Quarterly Journal of Economics, 124(3), 1363-1402. [doi] [pdf]
Antonakis J. & Lalive R. (2008). Quantifying Scholarly Impact: IQp versus the Hirsch h. Journal of the American Society for Information Science and Technology, 59(6), 956-969. [doi] [pdf] [url] [abstract]
Hirsch's (2005) h index of scholarly output has generated substantial interest and wide acceptance because of its apparent ability to quantify scholarly impact simply and accurately. We show that the excitement surrounding h is premature for three reasons: h stagnates with increasing scientific age; it is highly dependent on publication quantity as well as field-specific citation rates. Thus, it is not useful for comparing scholars across disciplines. We propose the scholarly Index of Quality and Productivity (IQp) as an alternative to h. The new index takes into account a scholar's total impact and also corrects for field-specific citation rates, scholarly productivity, and scientific age. The IQp accurately predicts group membership on a common metric, as tested on a sample of 80 scholars from three populations: (a) Nobel winners in Physics (n=10), Chemistry (n=10), Medicine (n=10), and Economics (n=10), and towering Psychologists (n=10), and scholars who have made more modest contributions to science including randomly selected (b) fellows (n=15) and (c) members (n=15) of the Society of Industrial and Organizational Psychology. The IQp also correlates better with expert ratings of greatness than does the h index.
Efferson C., Lalive R. & Fehr E. (2008). The Coevolution of Cultural Groups and In-Group Favoritism. Science, 26(321), 1844-1849. [doi] [pdf]
Lalive R. (2008). How do Extended Benefits affect Unemployment Duration? A Regression Discontinuity Approach. Journal of Econometrics, 142(2), 785-806. [pdf] [abstract]
This paper studies a program that extends the maximum duration of unemployment benefits from 30 weeks to 209 weeks. Interestingly, this program is targeted to individuals aged 50 years or older, living in certain eligible regions in Austria. In the evaluation, I use sharp discontinuities in treatment assignment at age 50 and at the border between eligible regions and control regions to identify the effect of extended benefits on unemployment duration. Results indicate that the duration of job search is prolonged by at least .09 weeks per additional week of benefits among men, whereas unemployment duration increases by at least .32 weeks per additional week of benefits among women. The salient differences between men and women are consistent with the lower minimum age for early retirement applying to women.
Lalive R., Efferson Ch., Richerson P. J., McElrath R. & Lubell M. (2008). Conformists and Mavericks: The Empirics of Frequency-Dependent Cultural Transmission. Evolution and Human Behavior, 29(1), 56-64. [pdf]
Lalive R. & Schmutzler A. (2008). Entry in Liberalized Railway Markets: The German Experience. Review of Network Economics, 7(1), 37-50. [doi] [pdf]
Lalive R. & Schmutzler A. (2008). Exploring the Effects of Competition for Railway Markets. International Journal of Industrial Organization, 26(2), 443-458. [pdf] [abstract]
This paper studies the effects of introducing competition for local passenger railway markets in the German state of Baden-Württemberg. We compare the evolution of the frequency of service on lines that were exposed to competition for the market and lines that were not. Our results suggest that the competitively procured lines enjoyed a stronger growth of the frequency of service than those that were not procured competitively, even after controlling for various line characteristics that might have an independent influence on the frequency of service. Our results further suggest that the effects of competition may depend strongly on the operator.
Lalive R., van Ours J. C. & Zweimüller J. (2008). The Impact of Active Labor Market Programs on the Duration of Unemployment. The Economic Journal, 118, 235-257. [pdf] [abstract]
In 1997, the Swiss government introduced active labor market programs on a large scale to improve the job chances of unemployed workers. This paper evaluates the effect of these programs on the duration of unemployment. Our evaluation methodology allows for selectivity affecting the inflow into programs. We find that in most cases the programs do not reduce the duration of unemployment. The exception is the program of temporary wage subsidies which reduces unemployment, but only for foreign workers. From a cost-benefit point of view, temporary wage subsidies seem to be the only program worthwhile pursuing.
Lalive R. (2007). Do Wages Compensate for Workplace Disamenities?. Applied Economics Quarterly, 53(3), 273-298. [pdf] [abstract]
Adam Smith's idea that the wage structure reflects differences in work conditions is a central tenet of modern competitive theory of the labor market. However, the empirical relevance of this theory of equalizing differences remains unclear. This paper suggests a novel test for compensating wage differentials based on job satisfaction and wages. If wages differentials solely reflect compensation for work conditions, workers will not prefer jobs with high wages to jobs with low wages. Moreover, this new test allows discussing whether industry and firm size wage differentials reflect rents or compensate for work conditions. Results indicate that wage differentials do not exclusively reflect compensation for work conditions.
Lalive R. (2007). Unemployment Benefits, Unemployment Duration, and Post-Unemployment Jobs: A Regression Discontinuity Approach. American Economic Review (Papers and Proceedings), 91(2), 108-112. [pdf]
Lalive R., van Ours J. C. & Zweimüller J. (2006). How Changes in Financial Incentives Affect the Duration of Unemployment. Review of Economic Studies, 73(4), 1009-1038. [doi] [url] [abstract]
This paper studies how changes in the two key parameters of unemployment insurance-the benefit replacement rate (RR) and the potential benefit duration (PBD)-affect the duration of unemployment. To identify such an effect we exploit a policy change introduced in 1989 by the Austrian government, which affected various unemployed workers differently: a first group experienced an increase in RR; a second group experienced an extension of PBD; a third group experienced both a higher RR and a longer PBD; and a fourth group experienced no change in the policy parameters. We find that unemployed workers react to the disincentives by an increase in unemployment duration, and our empirical results are consistent with the predictions of job search theory. We use our parameter estimates to split up the total costs to unemployment insurance funds into costs due to changes in the unemployment insurance system with unchanged behaviour and costs due to behavioural responses of unemployed workers. Our results indicate that costs due to behavioural responses are substantial. Copyright 2006 The Review of Economic Studies Limited.
Lalive R., Falk A. & Zweimüller J. (2005). The Success of Job Applications: A New Approach to Program Evaluation. Labour Economics, 12(6), 739-748. [doi] [abstract]
This paper suggests a novel approach to program evaluation that allows identification of the causal effect of a training program on the likelihood of being invited to a job interview under weak assumptions, i.e., by measuring the program-effects by pre- and post-treatment data that are very close in time for the same individual.
Lalive R., van Ours J. C. & Zweimüller J. (2005). The Effect of Benefit Sanctions on the Duration of Unemployment. Journal of the European Economic Association, 3(6), 1386-1417. [doi] [url] [abstract]
This paper investigates the effectiveness of unemployment benefit sanctions in reducing unem-ployment duration. Swiss data on benefit sanctions allow us to separate the effect of a warning that a person is not complying with eligibility requirements from the effect of the actual enforce-ment of a benefit sanction. Moreover, public employment services are given substantial leeway in setting the monitoring intensity. Results indicate that both warning and enforcement have a positive effect on the exit rate out of unemployment, and that increasing the monitoring intensity reduces the duration of unemployment of the nonsanctioned.
Lalive R. & Zweimüller J. (2004). Benefit Entitlement and Unemployment Duration: The Role of Policy Endogeneity. Journal of Public Economics, 88(12), 2587-2616. [doi] [abstract]
The potential duration of benefits is generally viewed as an important determinant of unemployment duration. This paper evaluates a unique policy change that prolonged entitlement to regular unemployment benefits from 30 weeks to a maximum of 209 weeks for elderly individuals in certain regions of Austria. In the evaluation, we explicitly account for the fact that the program was an endogenous policy response to a crisis affecting individuals with severe labor market problems. The main results are: (i) REBP reduced the transition rate to jobs by 17%; (ii) accounting for endogenous policy adoption is important and quantitatively significant.
Stutzer A. & Lalive R. (2004). The Role of Social Work Norms in Job Searching and Subjective Well-being. Journal of the European Economic Association, 2(4), 696-719. [pdf] [abstract]
Social norms are usually neglected in economics, because they are to a large extent enforced through non-market interactions and difficult to isolate empirically. In this paper, we offer a direct measure of the social norm to work and we show that this norm has important economic effects. The stronger the norm, the more quickly unemployed people find a new job. This behavior can be explained by utility differences, probably due to social pressure. Unemployed people are significantly less happy than employed people and their reduction in life satisfaction is the larger, the stronger the norm is.
Lalive R. (2003). Did we Overestimate the Value of Health?. Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, 27(2), 171-193. [url] [abstract]
Adam Smith's idea that wage differences reveal preferences for risk rests on strong theoretical foundations. This paper argues, however, that the dominant approach to identify compensating wage differentials?regressing individual wages on aggregate measures of risk?may lead to arbitrary estimates of these risk differentials. In a dataset with information on both, the incidence of illnesses or injuries across firms and industries, I calculate an implicit value of one injury or illness of about (1990) USD 18,800 pursuing the dominant approach. In contrast, regressing wages on the incidence of risk across firms produces a value of one injury or illness of about USD 11,300.
Lalive R., Luchsinger C. & Wild J. (2003). Do Wages Rise With Job Seniority? The Swiss Case. Swiss Journal of Economics and Statistics, 139(2), 207-229. [abstract]
Whether or not seniority has a substantial effect on wages has been the subject of much controversy in the past decade, mainly in the U.S. Several economists have noted that unobserved heterogeneity across individuals and across job matches may produce inconsistent OLS-estimates of the effect of tenure on wages and turnover. Hence, labor economists have put forward two empirical strategies to deal with unobserved heterogeneity: Altonji and Shakotko (1987) use an instrumental variable for tenure, which is uncorrelated with the individual and job-specific component of the error term, but highly correlated with job tenure, whereas Topel?s (1991) basic idea is that within-job wage growth combines the returns to general and job-specific experience. These two empirical strategies revealed different returns to seniority and experience for the U.S. labor market. Our goal is, on one hand, to use the different methodologies for the Swiss labor market and, on the other hand, to evaluate the sources of these differences. Thus, we replicate these methods with Swiss data (Swiss Labor Force Survey, SLFS). In a first step, we estimate returns to tenure and experience with the standard regression method, OLS. Subsequently, we apply the Topel and the Altonji/Shakotko estimator, and use different specifications for each. We find that (i) Topel?s approach delivers similar returns to tenure to OLS, i.e. about 8% within ten years of job seniority, while the Altonji/Shakotko method delivers substantially lower returns (4%). (ii) Returns to tenure are minor in Switzerland compared to the U.S.
Lalive R. & Stutzer A. (2002). Soziale Arbeitsnorm und Arbeitslosigkeit in der Schweiz. Swiss Journal of Economics and Statistics, 138(3), 293-316.
Compte-rendu Antonakis J. & Lalive R. (2011). Counterfactuals and causal inference: Methods and principles for social research. Review of S. L. Morgan and C. Winship. Structural Equation Modeling, 18(1), 152-159. [doi] [pdf] [abstract]
"Most quantitative empirical analyses are motivated by the desire to estimate the causal effect¦of an independent variable on a dependent variable. Although the randomized experiment is the¦most powerful design for this task, in most social science research done outside of psychology,¦experimental designs are infeasible. (Winship & Morgan, 1999, p. 659)." This quote from earlier work by Winship and Morgan, which was instrumental in setting the groundwork for their book, captures the essence of our review of Morgan and Winship's book: It is about causality in nonexperimental settings.
Parties de livre Lalive R. & Zweimüller J. (2004). Benefit Entitlement and the Labor Market: Evidence from a Large-Scale Policy Change. In Agell Jonas, Keen Michael & Alfons Weichenrieder (Eds.), Labor Market Institutions and Public Policy (pp. 63-100). MIT Press, Cambridge, MA. [pdf]
Chapitre Kuhn U., Lalive R., Lipps O. & Winkelmann R. (2016). What 's more important for life satisfaction? Market Goods or Social Goods?. Swiss Social Report 2016: Wellbeing (pp. 66-80). Franziska Ehrler et al. (eds.). [url]
Antonakis J., Bendahan S., Jacquart P. & Lalive R. (2014). Causality and endogeneity: Problems and solutions. The Oxford Handbook of Leadership and Organizations (pp. 93-117). Day, D.V. [doi] [pdf] [abstract]
Most leadership and management researchers ignore one key design and estimation problem rendering parameter estimates uninterpretable: Endogeneity. We discuss the problem of endogeneity in depth and explain conditions that engender it using examples grounded in the leadership literature. We show how consistent causal estimates can be derived from the randomized experiment, where endogeneity is eliminated by experimental design. We then review the reasons why estimates may become biased (i.e., inconsistent) in non-experimental designs and present a number of useful remedies for examining causal relations with non-experimental data. We write in intuitive terms using nontechnical language to make this chapter accessible to a large audience.
Foray D., Grieder M., Lalive R. & Zehnder C. (2013). Peux-tu me dire si je dois lire cet article? Une introduction théorique et expérimentale à l'évaluation de la recherche par les non-scientifiques. In O., Glassey, J.-P., Leresche & O., Moeschler (Eds.), Penser la valeur d'usage des sciences (pp. 199-212). Paris: Editions des archives contemporaines. [abstract]
Présentation et analyse théorique et expérimentale de l'évaluation de la recherche par ses publics non-scientifiques. Description des outputs (ce que la recherche produit) et des outcomes (ce qui dans les outputs intéresse la société) et des difficultés à mesurer les derniers. Quels sont les problèmes d'externalité qui rendent l'observation laborieuse ? Quelles sont les valeurs cachées et quels rapports avec la notion de bien public ou de bien économique de la recherche dans ce cadre ? Le résultat de la recherche est-il un bien "d'expérience culturelle" ? Comment évoluent certains outcomes strictement réservés à la sphère scientifique ? Quels problèmes pallier pour l'observation des usages des sciences par des publics non-scientifiques ? Éléments de réponses incluant une introduction à un travail expérimental dans ce champ.
Lalive R. & Burstroem K. (1998). Price Setting for Doctors. In P. Zweifel, C. H. Lyttkens & L. Soederstroem (Eds.), Regulation of Health: Case Studies of Sweden and Switzerland (Vol. 7, pp. 91-110). New York, NY: Springer science, Business Media.
Rapports Bonoli G., Lalive R., Oesch D., Turtschi N., von Ow A., Arni P. & Parrotta P. (2014). L'impact des réseaux sociaux sur le retour à l'emploi des chômeurs (The impact of social networks on re-employment) (60). Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA). [pdf]
Thèses Cacault M. P., Lalive R. (Dir.) (2015). Behavior and beliefs in networks. Université de Lausanne, Faculté des hautes études commerciales.
Degen K., Lalive R. (Dir.) (2014). Evidence-based Economic Policy - Three Essays in Applied Microeconometrics. Université de Lausanne, Faculté des hautes études commerciales. [pdf] [abstract]
Over thirty years ago, Leamer (1983) - among many others - expressed doubts about the quality and usefulness of empirical analyses for the economic profession by stating that "hardly anyone takes data analyses seriously. Or perhaps more accurately, hardly anyone takes anyone else's data analyses seriously" (p.37). Improvements in data quality, more robust estimation methods and the evolution of better research designs seem to make that assertion no longer justifiable (see Angrist and Pischke (2010) for a recent response to Leamer's essay). The economic profes- sion and policy makers alike often rely on empirical evidence as a means to investigate policy relevant questions. The approach of using scientifically rigorous and systematic evidence to identify policies and programs that are capable of improving policy-relevant outcomes is known under the increasingly popular notion of evidence-based policy.¦Evidence-based economic policy often relies on randomized or quasi-natural experiments in order to identify causal effects of policies. These can require relatively strong assumptions or raise concerns of external validity. In the context of this thesis, potential concerns are for example endogeneity of policy reforms with respect to the business cycle in the first chapter, the trade-off between precision and bias in the regression-discontinuity setting in chapter 2 or non-representativeness of the sample due to self-selection in chapter 3. While the identification strategies are very useful to gain insights into the causal effects of specific policy questions, transforming the evidence into concrete policy conclusions can be challenging. Policy develop- ment should therefore rely on the systematic evidence of a whole body of research on a specific policy question rather than on a single analysis. In this sense, this thesis cannot and should not be viewed as a comprehensive analysis of specific policy issues but rather as a first step towards a better understanding of certain aspects of a policy question.¦The thesis applies new and innovative identification strategies to policy-relevant and topical questions in the fields of labor economics and behavioral environmental economics. Each chapter relies on a different identification strategy. In the first chapter, we employ a difference- in-differences approach to exploit the quasi-experimental change in the entitlement of the max- imum unemployment benefit duration to identify the medium-run effects of reduced benefit durations on post-unemployment outcomes. Shortening benefit duration carries a double- dividend: It generates fiscal benefits without deteriorating the quality of job-matches. On the¦contrary, shortened benefit durations improve medium-run earnings and employment possibly through containing the negative effects of skill depreciation or stigmatization.¦While the first chapter provides only indirect evidence on the underlying behavioral channels, in the second chapter I develop a novel approach that allows to learn about the relative impor- tance of the two key margins of job search - reservation wage choice and search effort. In the framework of a standard non-stationary job search model, I show how the exit rate from un- employment can be decomposed in a way that is informative on reservation wage movements over the unemployment spell. The empirical analysis relies on a sharp discontinuity in unem- ployment benefit entitlement, which can be exploited in a regression-discontinuity approach to identify the effects of extended benefit durations on unemployment and survivor functions. I find evidence that calls for an important role of reservation wage choices for job search be- havior. This can have direct implications for the optimal design of unemployment insurance policies.¦The third chapter - while thematically detached from the other chapters - addresses one of the major policy challenges of the 21st century: climate change and resource consumption. Many governments have recently put energy efficiency on top of their agendas. While pricing instru- ments aimed at regulating the energy demand have often been found to be short-lived and difficult to enforce politically, the focus of energy conservation programs has shifted towards behavioral approaches - such as provision of information or social norm feedback. The third chapter describes a randomized controlled field experiment in which we discuss the effective- ness of different types of feedback on residential electricity consumption. We find that detailed and real-time feedback caused persistent electricity reductions on the order of 3 to 5 % of daily electricity consumption. Also social norm information can generate substantial electricity sav- ings when designed appropriately. The findings suggest that behavioral approaches constitute effective and relatively cheap way of improving residential energy-efficiency.
Eugster B., Lalive, R. (Dir.) (2012). Unemployment, culture, and policies. Université de Lausanne, Faculté des hautes études commerciales.
Arni P., Lalive R. (Dir.) (2011). Evaluation the During and Post Unemployment Effects of Labor Market Policies. Université de Lausanne, Faculté des hautes études commerciales. [pdf]
Lalive R., Zweimüller J. (Dir.) (2001). The Duration of Unemployment: Institutions, Labor Market Programs, and Social Interactions. University of Zürich. [abstract]
This thesis studies the role of institutions, labor market programs, and social interactions in explaining unemployment duration.