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Essays on Employment Protection, Private Equity and Spousal Behavior

Academic dissertation for the Degree of Doctor of Philosophy in Economics
Olsson, Martin (2012). Essays on Employment Protection, Private Equity and Spousal Behavior. Doctoral Dissertation. Department of Economics, Stockholm University.

Martin Olsson

In this dissertation, Martin present four self-contained essays. All essays have the common property of considering how institutions affect workers and their behavior. In Essays I and II, Martin analyze whether the employment protection legislation has an impact on the absence behavior of workers. Employment protection is well understood to influence the economy by changing job and worker flows and thereby potentially the employment level. It is less understood how employment protection affects the behavior of workers. Martin studies if sickness absence is influenced by a softer employment protection in Essay I and if the use of paid childcare is affected in Essay II. In Essay III, Martin consider how workers are affected by changes in ownership and organizational form in the firm where they work. In particular, it is studied in what way private equity ownership affects workers in terms of unemployment and labor income.

Earlier studies have shown that private equity ownership is associated with a reduction in the employment growth at firms and establishments but no study has yet been able to analyze individual data to see what happens to workers. In Essay IV, Martin examine if spousal labor supply depends on the partner’s temporary disability insurance. By studying the interdependence between spousal labor supply and the partner’s insurance, an unnoticed side of the social insurance system is revealed which is potentially important for how to think about an optimal benefit level.