Working Papers 2024
Working paper 1-2024
Espen R. Moen, Eran Yashiv
This paper studies the matching of workers within the firm when the productivity of workers depends on how well they match with their co-workers. The firm acts as a coordinating device and derives value from this role. It is shown that a worker's contribution to firm value changes over time in a non-trivial way as co-workers are replaced by new workers. The paper derives optimal hiring and replacement policies, including an optimal stopping rule, and characterizes the resulting equilibrium in terms of worker ows, firm output and the distribution of rm values. Simulations of the model reveal a rich pattern of worker turnover dynamics and their connections to the resulting firm values distribution. The paper stresses the role of horizontal di¤erences in worker productivity, which are di¤erent from vertical, assortative matching issues. It derives the rent from organizational capital, with worker complementarities playing a key role. We compare the model to match-specific productivity models and explore the essential differences, with the emphasis laid on worker interactions and complementarities.
Working paper 2-2024
The uneven effect of the COVID-19 pandemic on US fatal road accidents
Maya Fuks, Keith Gandal, Neil Gandal
One of the lesser-known categories of excess deaths of the COVID-19 pandemic in the US was that of fatal car crashes went up despite the fact that driving decreased due to the lockdowns. Remarkably, then, while there was significantly less traffic in 2020 compared to 2019—the total miles traveled by car decreased by 11% in 2020—there was at the same time a 6.8% increase in fatal car crashes. This meant that the fatality rate per vehicle miles traveled increased by 21% from 2019 to 2020.
But the increase was not uniform: states that voted for Biden in 2020 had a much larger percentage increase in fatal car accidents per miles driven during the March to June 2020 period (the first four months of the pandemic) relative to the same period in 2019. In the case of states that voted for Biden, the average percentage increase in fatal car accidents per miles driven per state was 45 percent while the increase was just 22 percent in states that voted for Trump. During the next four months of the pandemic (July – October 2020), when COVID-19 was less prominent in the news and lockdowns had eased, the differences in the percentage increase in fatal car accidents per miles driven between Biden and Trump states was much smaller: 29% for Biden states versus 25% for states that voted for Trump.
Using regression analysis, we show that a higher percentage vote for Biden in 2020 is associated with a statistically significant increase in fatal accidents per vehicle miles travelled during the first four months (March – June 2020) of the pandemic relative to the same period in 2019. On the other hand, there is no statistical difference between the next four months of the pandemic (July-October 2020) relative to 2019.