Work in Progress

(Green) Technology Adoption and Skill Reallocation, with Sacha de Nijs [Conference Presentation Video]

The green transition constitutes a large technological transformation. Even if greener technologies are available, though, firms do not automatically update their production progress due to investment costs being sunk. Of similar importance is the fact that in order to be operated, these new technologies can require different sets of skills from employees than their dirtier predecessors. We model the clean technology investment decision of firms in a labour market with search frictions and firm-worker skill heterogeneity, and uncover a two-way effect: (i) the presence of skill mismatches negatively affects the expected productivity of the new, green, technologies, reducing the pace of decarbonisation, and (ii) the greening of the economy leads to larger labour market transitions, as firms search for workers with skills that match these new technologies. 

Sorting, Technology Choice, and Specialization, with Björn Brügemann & Pieter Gautier

We build a search model of the labour market with worker and firm skill heterogeneity. Firms’ technology choice interacts with labour market frictions to determine the level of specialization. Using occupational skill requirements from O*NET we construct measures of occupational, state, and MSA specialization and study its relation with frictions and UI benefits.

Doing green things: skills, reallocation, and the green transition, with Dan Andrews

This paper applies a task-based framework to country-specific employment sources to generate new indicators on the green skills structure of labour markets. Significant cross-country differences emerge in the underlying supply of green skills and the potential of economies to reallocate brown job workers to green jobs within their broad occupation categories. Workers from most detailed brown occupations have the necessary skills to transition to green jobs, although policymakers should pay close attention workers in production occupations where transitions to green jobs appear less feasible. We also show that workers from most highly automatable occupations do not have the sufficient skills to transition to green jobs, suggesting limited potential for the Green Transition to reinstate labour displaced by automation. 

Working Papers

Shocks to future income and (no) consumption-smoothening: Evidence from the abolition of the state pension partner supplement in the Netherlands, with Casper van Ewijk & Ralph Stevens  [Working Paper link] [SSRN link]

We utilize the abolishment of the state pension partner supplement in the Netherlands to investigate the effect of a change in future income on the marginal propensity to consume. We employ a difference-in-difference-in-differences setup and find no effect in people’s labour and consumption decision due to the supplement abolishment.