NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
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Benjamin Schoefer

Department of Economics
University of California at Berkeley
530 Evans Hall #3880
Berkeley, CA 94720-3880

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Institutional Affiliation: University of California at Berkeley

NBER Working Papers and Publications

January 2019Marginal Jobs and Job Surplus: A Test of the Efficiency of Separations
with Simon Jäger, Josef Zweimüller: w25492
We present a sharp test for the efficiency of job separations. First, we document a dramatic increase in the separation rate – 11.2ppt (28%) over five years – in response to a quasi-experimental extension of UI benefit duration for older workers. Second, after the abolition of the policy, the “job survivors” in the formerly treated group exhibit exactly the same separation behavior as the control group. Juxtaposed, these facts reject the “Coasean” prediction of efficient separations, whereby the UI extensions should have extracted marginal (low-surplus) jobs and thereby rendered the remaining (high-surplus) jobs more resilient after its abolition. Third, we show that a formal model of predicted efficient separations implies a piece-wise linear function of the actual control group separatio...
November 2018Wages and the Value of Nonemployment
with Simon Jäger, Samuel G. Young, Josef Zweimüller: w25230
Nonemployment is often posited as a worker's outside option in wage setting models such as bargaining and wage posting. The value of this state is therefore a fundamental determinant of wages and, in turn, labor supply and job creation. We measure the effect of changes in the value of nonemployment on wages in existing jobs and among job switchers. Our quasi-experimental variation in nonemployment values arises from four large reforms of unemployment insurance (UI) benefit levels in Austria. We document that wages are insensitive to UI benefit levels: 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. In contrast, a calibrated Nash bargaining model predicts a sensitivity of 0.39 – more than ten times lar...
October 2017Payroll Taxes, Firm Behavior, and Rent Sharing: Evidence from a Young Workers' Tax Cut in Sweden
with Emmanuel Saez, David Seim: w23976
This paper uses administrative data to analyze a large and long-lasting employer payroll tax rate cut from 31% down to 15% for young workers (aged 26 or less) in Sweden. We find a zero effect on net-of-tax wages of young treated workers relative to slightly older untreated workers, even in the medium run (after six years). Simple graphical cohort analysis shows compelling positive effects on the employment rate of the treated young workers, of about 2-3 percentage points, which arise primarily from fewer separations (rather than more hiring). These employment effects are larger in places with initially higher youth unemployment rates. We also analyze the firm-level effects of the tax cut. We sort firms by the size of the tax windfall and trace out graphically the time series of firms' out...

Published: Emmanuel Saez & Benjamin Schoefer & David Seim, 2019. "Payroll Taxes, Firm Behavior, and Rent Sharing: Evidence from a Young Workers' Tax Cut in Sweden," American Economic Review, vol 109(5), pages 1717-1763.

 
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