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How can employment be increased across all age groups?

Length of life is increasing in most populations and it is necessary to raise employment to finance pension payments in the future. As a Wallenberg Academy Fellow, Johanna Wallenius will investigate the effect of government programs on individual decisions, particularly employment.

Associate Professor Johanna Wallenius from the Stockholm School of Economics is appointed Wallenberg Academy Fellow which is the largest private investment in young researchers in Sweden. The program is funded by the Knut and Alice Wallenberg Foundation with the aim to provide young researchers with the ability to tackle difficult and long-term research issues.

The research program supports some of Sweden’s, and the world’s, most promising researchers in medicine, natural sciences, engineering sciences, humanities and social science.

Johanna Wallenius will investigate how countries should design their economic policies to boost employment, focusing on three different policy instruments: the higher education system, the government provision of family services and pension programs.

“I am so excited and grateful for this opportunity. This grant will further the study of important policy questions plaguing governments around the world”, says Johanna Wallenius.

As regards higher education, it is probable that the financing system plays a major role in determining how many people study and for how long. For example, could the absence of tuition fees explain why young people in the Nordic countries study for such a long time? Could credit constraints and a low return to a college education explain the low number of highly educated people and the high youth unemployment in Southern Europe?

Reforms such as subsidized childcare may explain why Sweden has achieved high employment among women, but the wage gap between men and women remains. What reforms could even out the differences without reducing employment? How do various government policies influence the birth rate?

As regards employment among older people, it is likely that pension programs, disability insurance schemes and health insurance play an important role. Johanna Wallenius will investigate how these policies should be designed to motivate people of all ages to work.

The grant totals between SEK 5 and 9 million per researcher for a period of five years depending on research area.

For more information, please contact:

Johanna Wallenius, Associate Professor at the Stockholm School of Economics appointed Wallenberg Academy Fellow 2014.
+46 8-736 9214