Ph.d.-forsvar: Jakob Egholt Søgaard: Assorted Essays in Economics: Inequality, Labor Supply and Gender Roles

The chapters collected in this PhD dissertation consist of 3 self-contained papers within the fields of public finance and labor economics.

In the first chapter written jointly with Anthony Atkinson, we use historical records and micro data on tax returns to construct internationally comparable estimates income inequality in Denmark over the last 140 years. The study shows that income inequality and top income shares have declined during several distinct phases in between periods of stability.

In the second chapter I investigate the nature of optimization frictions by studying the labor market of Danish students. I find that the considered labor market is significantly affected by optimizations frictions, which masks the bunching at kink points normally associated with a positive labor supply elasticity under standard theory.

In third chapter written jointly with Henrik Kleven and Camille Landais, we use Danish administrative data to show that most of the remaining gender gap in earnings can be attributed to the dynamic effects of having children. The arrival of children leads to a long-run penalty in female earnings of 21% driven in roughly equal proportions by labor force participation, hours of work, and wage rates. The fraction of the aggregate gender gap that can be explained by children is strongly increasing over time – from 30% in 1980 to 80% in 2011 – showing that non-child reasons for gender inequality have largely disappeared.