Empirical Labor Economics

The his first essay Antonio Dalla-Zuanna aims at understanding how the local labor market conditions affect the transmission of earnings between generations, by studying the boom of the Norwegian oil sector in the early 70s. Photo (Stavanger harbor): wikimedia
PhD Defense

2 March 2018 13:20

Empirical Labor Economics

On Friday 16 March 2018 Antonio Dalla-Zuanna will hold a trial lecture on a prescribed topic and defend his thesis for the PhD degree at NHH.

Antonio Dalla-Zuanna
PhD Candidate Antonio Dalla-Zuanna at the Department of Economics, NHH.

Prescribed topic for the trial lecture:

Discuss different theories for the question of the effect of work-related networks on earnings, and explain how they can be tested empirically

Trial lecture:

10:15 in Karl Borch Aud., NHH

Title of the thesis:

Essays in Empirical Labor Economics


This doctoral dissertation addresses different topics related to the labor market and to the accumulation of human capital from an empirical perspective. Thanks to the richness of the Norwegian administrative data, this thesis uncovers different novel findings.

The first essay aims at understanding how much the local labor market conditions affect the transmission of earnings between generations. By studying the boom of the Norwegian oil sector in the early 70s, the authors relate the change in returns to education and in earnings distribution, which followed this event, to the changes in intergenerational mobility in the affected areas. A drop in returns to academic education and a reduction in the dispersion in earnings lead to a significant increase in intergenerational mobility.

The second essay focuses on the school system and on the effects of merit based school allocation. Exploiting a reform taking place in Bergen, they show that merit based systems increase the proportion of good students who attend the schools with the best reputation. However, there is no effect on the outcome of these students in terms of increased grades or better enrollment in universities, suggesting that reforms improving school quality for the best students are usually not effective in improving their outcomes.

The third essay shows the consequences of finding a job through the informal social network, as compared to using different channels. I show that displaced workers spend less time in unemployment if they can benefit of the help of social contacts. However, in the long term the jobs found through these informal channels provide worse outcomes, in terms of earnings 7 years after the displacement. Dalla-Zuanna argues that the reason is that workers tradeoff between jobs found faster (through the help of social connections) and jobs where they are better matched, but which take longer to be found.


12:15 in Karl Borch Aud., NHH

Members of the evaluation committee:

Professor Katrine Vellesen Løken (leader of the committee), Department of Economics, NHH

Senior Economist Bhash Mazumder, Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago

Professor Mikael Lindahl, University of Gothenburg


Professor Kjell Gunnar Salvanes (main supervisor), Department of Economics, NHH

Associate Professor Aline Bütikofer, Department of Economics, NHH

Dr. Kai Liu, University of Cambridge

The trial lecture and thesis defence will be open to the public. Copies of the thesis will be available from presse@nhh.no.