Bjørn Bjørnsson Meyer forsvarer sin ph.d.-afhandling

Bjørn Bjørnsson Meyer forsvarer sin ph.d.-afhandling :"Post-secondary Education, Technology and Labor Markets"


Bjørn Bjørnsson Meyer


"Post-secondary Education, Technology and Labor Markets"

Tid og sted

3. november 2020 kl. 15:00. Link til at logge på overværelse af forsvaret følger her: 


  • Lektor Torben Heien Nielsen, Økonomisk Institut, Københavns Universitet, Danmark (formand)
  • Professor Edwin Leuven, Oslo Universitet
  • Professor Christopher Neilson, Princeton Universitetet, US


This thesis consists of three self-contained chapters in the fields of labor economics and economics of education. The first chapter analyzes the effects of a large scale university reform that mandated higher course loads for Danish university students. I find that the reform increased average course progression by around six percent at the country’s largest university. Furthermore, I use the reform to leverage results on how students respond to mandatory full-time studies at other margins. I find that students forced to study full-time lowered their part-time work hours by one third. I also find evidence of negative impacts on grades and completion of courses from forced full-time studies. 

In the second chapter, we set up a dynamic choice model describing how various pecuniary and nonpecuniary incentives influence university students’ decisions on part-time work, dropout, and delayed graduation. We estimate the model using Danish register micro data combined with administrative data from the country’s largest university. Counterfactual simulations using the estimated model show that: (i) About half of the average delay in time-to-graduation can be explained by students following economic incentives to prepare for the labor market with work experience. The other half is due to a range of factors, such as income through part-time work and grants and the cost of effort for heavy course load. (ii) Cutting financial aid with one year reduces average time-to-graduation by 0.3 year, but also increases dropout. The chapter is co authored with Patrick Kofod Mogensen.

In the third chapter, we study how Artificial Intelligence (AI) relates to college majors. Using new micro data from Denmark, we rank college majors according to whether their graduates work in AI firms. We find that AI cuts through the category of STEM degrees: while computer science and mathematics majors specialize in AI producer firms, we find that the laboratory sciences concentrate in firms that only use AI. We document that AI producer majors earn higher wages, and that these earnings premiums are on the rise. Using an admission cutoff regression discontinuity design, we estimate that the causal earnings effects of higher AI producer relevance are at least as large as suggested by the correlation. The chapter is co-authored with Anders Humlum.

For at overvære ph.d.-forsvaret, se venligst link: