I am a professor of Economics at SOFI, Stockholm University. My research interests include labor economics, with a special focus on discrimination, health economics and economics of education.
Newly published or accepted studies
1. Long-Term Effects of Childhood Nutrition: Evidence from a School Lunch Reform (co-authored with Petter Lundborg and Jesper Alex-Petersen, forthcoming in the Review of Economic Studies. See also Microeconomic Insights, CESifo Forum and voxEU for summaries.
2. Does integration change gender attitudes? The effect of randomly assigning women to traditionally male teams. (co-authored with Gordon Dahl and Andreas Kotsadam, Quarterly Journal of Economics, 136(2): 987-1030. See also Microeconomic Insights, The World Financial Review and voxEU for summaries.
3. Backlash in attitudes after the election of extreme political parties (co-authored with Magnus Carlsson and Gordon Dahl). See NBER WP#21062. Forthcoming in Journal of Public Economics.
4. High School Majors and Future Earnings (co-authored with Gordon Dahl and Anders Stenberg). See NBER WP#27524. See voxEU for a summary. Forthcoming in American Economic Journal: Applied Economics.
Work in Progress
5. Familiy Spillovers in Field of Study in High School (co-authored with Gordon Dahl and Anders Stenberg). See NBER WP#27618.
6. Language skills and hiring: The causal return to Swedish for immigrants (co-authored with Magnus Carlsson and Stefan Eriksson).
A selection from Stockholm University publication database
Birth Weight in the Long Run
2018. Prashant Bharadwaj, Petter Lundborg, Dan-Olof Rooth. The Journal of human resources 53 (1), 189-231Article
We study the effect of birth weight on long-run outcomes using data on Swedish twins born between 1926 and 1958 linked to administrative records spanning entire life-time labor market histories. We find that birth weight positively affects permanent income and income across large parts of the lifecycle. The timing of the birth weight–income relationship is in line with the role of birth weight in determining takeup of sickness benefits and morbidity. The effect of birth weight on labor market outcomes even for cohorts born 30 years apart are similar; for short run health outcomes, birth weight plays a decreasing role over time.
Neighborhood signaling effects, commuting time, and employment
2018. Magnus Carlsson, Abdulaziz Abrar Reshid, Dan-Olof Rooth. International journal of manpower 39 (4), 534-549Article
Purpose - The purpose of this paper is to investigate whether there is unequal treatment in hiring depending on whether a job applicant signals living in a bad (deprived) neighborhood or in a good (affluent) neighborhood.
Design/methodology/approach - The authors conducted a field experiment where fictitious job applications were sent to employers with an advertised vacancy. Each job application was randomly assigned a residential address in either a bad or a good neighborhood. The measured outcome is the fraction of invitations for a job interview (the callback rate).
Findings - The authors find no evidence of general neighborhood signaling effects. However, job applicants with a foreign background have callback rates that are 42 percent lower if they signal living in a bad neighborhood rather than in a good neighborhood. In addition, the authors find that applicants with commuting times longer than 90 minutes have lower callback rates, and this is unrelated to the neighborhood signaling effect.
Originality/value - Empirical evidence of causal neighborhood effects on labor market outcomes is scant, and causal evidence on the mechanisms involved is even more scant. The paper provides such evidence.
The intergenerational transmission of human capital
2018. Petter Lundborg, Martin Nordin, Dan Olof Rooth. Journal of Population Economics 31 (4), 1035-1065Article
We provide new evidence on some of the mechanisms reflected in the intergenerational transmission of human capital. Applying both an adoption and a twin design to rich data from the Swedish military enlistment, we show that greater parental education increases sons' cognitive and non-cognitive skills, as well as their health. The estimates are in many cases similar across research designs and suggest that a substantial part of the effect of parental education on their young adult children's human capital works through improving their skills and health.
Family Spillovers in Field of Study
2020. Gordon B. Dahl, Dan-Olof Rooth, Anders Stenberg.Report
This paper estimates peer effects both from older to younger siblings and from parents to children in academic fields of study. Our setting is secondary school in Sweden, where admissions to oversubscribed fields is determined based on a student's GPA. Using an RD design, we find strong spillovers in field choices that depend on the gender mix of siblings and whether the field is gender conforming. There are also large intergenerational effects from fathers and mothers to sons, except in female-dominated fields, but little effect for daughters. These spillovers have long-term consequences for occupational segregation and wage gaps by gender.
Long-Run Returns to Field of Study in Secondary School
2020. Gordon B. Dahl, Dan-Olof Rooth, Anders Stenberg.Report
This paper studies whether specialized academic fields of study in secondary school, which are common in many countries, affect earnings as an adult. Identification is challenging, because it requires not just quasi-random variation into fields of study, but also an accounting of individuals’ next-best alternatives. Our setting is Sweden, where at the end of ninth grade students rank fields of study and admissions to oversubscribed fields is determined based on a student’s GPA. We use a regression discontinuity design which allows for different labor market returns for each combination of preferred versus next-best choice, together with nationwide register data for school cohorts from 1977-1991 linked to their earnings as adults. Our analysis yields four main findings. First, Engineering, Natural Science, and Business yield higher earnings relative to most second-best choices, while Social Science and Humanities result in sizable drops, even relative to non-academic vocational programs. Second, the return to completing a field varies substantially as a function of a student’s next-best alternative. The magnitudes are often as large as estimates of the return to two years of additional education. Third, the pattern of returns for individuals with different first and second best choices is consistent with comparative advantage for many field choice combinations, while others exhibit either random sorting or comparative disadvantage. Fourth, most of the differences in adult earnings can be attributed to differences in college major and occupation. Taken together, these results highlight that the field choices students make at age 16, when they may have limited information about their skills and the labor market, have effects which last into adulthood.