Essays on Politics, Law, and Economics
2016 (English)Doctoral thesis, monograph (Other academic)
Essay 1: Several countries practice a system where laymen, who lack legal education, participate in the judicial decision making. Yet, little is known about their potential influence on the court rulings. In Sweden lay judges (nämndemän) are affiliated with the political parties and appointed in proportion to political party representation in the last local elections. This paper investigates the influence of their partisan belonging when ruling in asylum appeals in the Migration Courts, where laymen are effectively randomly assigned to cases. The results show that the approval rate is affected by the policy position of the laymen's political parties. In particular, asylum appeals are more likely to be rejected when laymen from the anti-immigrant party the Swedish Democrats participate, and less likely to be rejected when laymen from the Left Party, the Christian Democrats or the Green Party participate. This indicates that asylum seekers do not receive an impartial trial, and raises concerns that laymen in the courts can compromise the legal security in general.
Essay 2: Although economic circumstances have been argued to be a major determining factor of attitudes to redistribution, there is little well identified evidence at the individual level. Utilizing a unique dataset, with detailed individual information, provides new and convincing evidence on the link between economic circumstances and demand for redistribution (in the form of social benefits). The Swedish National Election Studies are constructed as a rotating survey panel, which makes it possible to estimate the causal effect of economic changes. The empirical analysis shows that individuals who experience a job loss become considerably more supportive of redistribution. Yet, attitudes to redistribution return to their initial level as economic prospects improve, suggesting that the effect is only temporary. Although a job loss also changes attitudes to the political parties, the probability to vote for the left-wing is not affected.
Essay 3: A well-functioning labor market is characterized by job reallocations, but the individual costs can be vast. We examine if individual's ability to cope with such adjustments depends on their cognitive and non-cognitive skills (measured by the enlistment tests). Since selection into unemployment is a function of skills, we solve the endogeneity of a job loss by using the exogenous labor market shock provided by the military base closures in Sweden following the end of the Cold War. We find, first, that, on average, labor earnings decrease and unemployment and labor-related benefits increase for those affected. Second, there are heterogeneous treatment effects in terms of unemployment; the treated individuals with high non-cognitive and cognitive skills face lower unemployment effects than the treated individuals with low non-cognitive and cognitive skills.
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Uppsala: Department of Economics, Uppsala University , 2016. , 150 p.
Economic studies, ISSN 0283-7668 ; 160
Political attitudes, Decision making, Court, Immigration, Legal system, Redistribution, Social insurance, Unemployment, Cognitive and Non-cognitive skills, Displaced workers, Plant closure, Defense draw down
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-282782ISBN: 978-91-85519-67-5OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-282782DiVA: diva2:917540
2016-05-28, Lecture Hall 2, Ekonomikum, Kyrkogårdsgatan 10, Uppsala, 13:15 (English)
Erik Snowberg, Professor
Dahlberg, Matz, ProfessorFolke, Olle, Docent