Wage and labor mobility in Denmark, 1980-2000

This new working paper from nber looks interesting, especially for the non-Danish readers of this blog who don’t know much, if anything, about the Danish labour market.

I have not been able to find a free online version of it, but I would assume that it is not fundamentally different from the 2004-version of the same (?) paper, which is available here.

The concluding remarks to the 2004 paper:

[…] the institutional setup of the Danish labor markets differs from that found in most other European countries, but also from that in the neighboring Nordic countries, in that it has removed a number of barriers to mobility. This is in a sense only natural because for a long time, almost a century, Danish wage setting has been highly centralized and furthermore characterized a very compressed wage structure, leaving only limited scope for employers to adjust to changed labor market conditions via wages. Worker mobility is indeed high. We show
that despite high turnover rates, a considerable portion of workers are in long-term employment relationships. However, the share of long-term jobs is found to be lower than in the United States.

Second, the ongoing process towards increasingly decentralized wage bargaining and wage setting, starting in the second half of the eighties, has given rise to an increase, albeit of relatively modest magnitude, in the dispersion of wages. The widening wage distribution seems to be mainly due to increasing wage differentials between firms, not within. In parallel, the level and between-firm variance in returns to human capital have increased. The shift to decentralized wage bargaining has coincided with deregulation and increased product market competition. The evidence appears not to be consisten with increased product market competition eroding firm-specific rents, however.

The bold part of the quote above are exactly the same words as those used in the abstract to the new 2007 paper, which is one of the reasons I doubt there’s much new revolutionary stuff to be found here compared to the older paper.

Table 4, which illustrate that the estimated returns to education (the authors call it “skill”, which I find somewhat problematic) has almost doubled during the period, is perhaps worth a blog post of its own.

April 27, 2007 Posted by | denmark, economics, studies | Leave a comment

What not to do…

…when defending your phd.

HT: Peter Klein via Greg Mankiw.

Some of them made me smile. A lot more along the same lines here.

April 27, 2007 Posted by | fun | Leave a comment

Here we go again…

Hvis jeg sagde at jeg var overrasket, ville jeg lyve.

Det eneste positive jeg kan se ved den her sag er, at sagsanlægget måske vil få nogle til at overveje, om racismeparagraffen er “værd” at bevare. Måske vil enkelte ligefrem blive så skeptiske, at de også vil begynde at tvivle på det fornuftige i at have en paragraf, som er så åben for fortolkninger, at den reelt vil kunne konstituere et forbud mod at udøve religionskritik?

Nah, hvorfor drømme?

April 20, 2007 Posted by | ytringsfrihed | Leave a comment

A nice mate

Yesterday, I played a couple of blitz games on playchess. In one of the games, the above position was reached, and my opponent (black) in time trouble played …Qd2?? Before reading on, try to figure out what’s wrong with this move?

Now, the move is of course objectively bad, as it leads to mate. My response was: Nf6+ … Kh8, Qb1+ … Rc8, Qxc8! … Bxc8, Re8++

This mate, despite it’s simplicity, had almost everything! Queen sac, overburdened pieces, removing the guard, line clearance, a tied pawn. Such a mate is not common in blitz games for people of my strength, so I shall allow myself to feel a certain amount of pride that I found the combination with only 15 seconds left on the clock.

April 17, 2007 Posted by | Chess, personal | Leave a comment

Monty Python – German edition

Here, here, here, here and here (a couple of them overlap a little, but this should not stop you from seeing all of them). A little more here. They are, just like almost everything else these guys have made together, priceless. Includes a new version of The Little Red Ridinghood folktale, yet another unforgettable restaurant-scene and coverage of a marathon for incontinent people 🙂

All actors speak in German, it is not a dubbed version. The videos all have English subtitles, making them a little easier to understand.

Thanks to Tyler Cowen for the pointer.

April 15, 2007 Posted by | fun, random stuff | Leave a comment

Quote of the day

Do not do unto others as you would have them do unto you. They may have different tastes.

The quote is attributed George Bernard Shaw and I found it here.

I wonder what Kant would say to that?


After visiting marginalrevolution, this response from Cowen to a question from a reader deserves mentioning as well:

Do we need the tenure system anymore in higher education?

[Tyler’s response]: I do.

April 14, 2007 Posted by | quotes | Leave a comment

Who is most important II

This Japanese list of: “Histories 100 Most Influencial people: Hero Edition,” (Nice spelling…) is interesting (HT: Tyler Cowen).

Some things to think about:

1. Neither Jesus nor Mohammed are on the list (and Confucius is not on the list either).
Not that I’m comparing or anything, but neither are Hitler, Mao or Stalin.
Alexander Fleming also did not make it to the list and neither did Charles Darwin.
As one of the commenters at MR also notices, the list have included no ancient greeks.
From an economical/political point of view, it is interesting that Alexander Hamilton, Adam Smith and Karl Marx are not on the list.

2. Bruce Lee (#37) is considered far more important than Newton, who only just manages to make it to the list (#99).

3. Anne Frank is on this list. One of history’s most important people? Elvis Presley, John Lennon, Arthur Conan Doyle and Charlie Chaplin are on the list as well. Babe Ruth is on the list. Hell, even Freddie Mercury made it to the list.

4. Mozart is considered more important than Beethoven. Beethoven is considered more important than Chopin. I’m not sure I would have included three musicians (4 if you include John Lennon, I have not thoroughly checked if there are any more of them) on such a list, but given that they have, these three are not bad choises.

5. Half of the American presidents on the list were assasinated.

6. No Danes are on the list. I guess Roemer and Bohr were not considered important enough.

April 10, 2007 Posted by | random stuff | Leave a comment

Terrorisme virker…

Terrorisme gør regeringer mere ustabile og underminerer frihedsrettighederne. Nej, måske er det ikke nogen nyhed, men nu har videnskaben for første gang forsøgt at dokumentere det. Resultatet overrasker ikke.

April 2, 2007 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment