Work detail

Essays on Labour Force and its Productivity

Author: Martin Štěpánek (19.2.2020)
Year: 2020 - summer
Leaders: PhDr. Jaromír Baxa Ph.D.
Consultants:
Work type: Dissertations
Language: English
Pages: 137
Awards and prizes:
Link:
Abstract: This doctoral thesis presents four articles analysing labour force and
its productivity. It utilises simulation modelling to assess the impacts
of demographic changes, migration or shifts in productivity
determinants on public finances and the economies in the Czech
Republic and the USA, as well as statistical modelling to evaluate
determinants behind workplace productivity. The first three studies
assess the topic from a high-level perspective, providing economywide projections for the future decades. They also utilise the same
core simulation model, an overlapping generations (OLG)
framework coded in MATLAB, which is further developed for the
particular use in each study. The fourth study, on the other hand,
approaches the topic from the opposite direction, analysing the
individual-level factors affecting productivity.
Specifically, the first article deals with demographic changes --
population ageing and shrinking -- in the context of the Czech
pension system. The findings show that the existing system can
provide pensions increasing at the rate of change in nominal wages,
be financially sustainable in the long term, or increase the default
retirement age by only two years in the next decades -- but only two
of these three objectives can be achieved at the same time. On the
contrary, a structural change towards an alternative, partially funded
pension scheme may provide a better balance in the three outcomes
without putting an excessive debt burden on the next generations.
The second article broadly builds on the previous one by analysing
the economic impacts of demographic changes in the Czech
Republic, yet it extends the scope of the analysis to (un)anticipated
migration and sectoral effects. This is done by introducing a
computable general equilibrium (CGE) side of the simulation model
with a detailed representation of individuals of different ages,
educational attainment and occupations, as well as interrelations
among industrial sectors in producing intermediate and final outputs.
The results show that the annual net immigration would need to
increase by at least 8 thousand individuals on average in the 2020-
2035 period and by 17 thousand individuals in the 2036-2050 period
to offset the negative effects of the projected demographic changes
in the long term.
The third study investigates economic implications of later high
school start times in the United States by assessing the effect on
educational attainment and, in turn, on human capital accumulation
on one hand and on car accidents, one of the leading causes of death
among teenagers, on the other. The benefit–cost projections of this
study suggest that delaying school start times would be a costeffective population-level strategy with potentially a significant
positive impact on public health and the US economy.
Finally, the last study analyses productivity determinants at the
individual level by examining data on 31,950 employees in the UK
using structural equation modelling. The analysed factors comprise
socioeconomic characteristics, lifestyle, commuting, physical and
mental health, well-being, and job and workplace environment. The
study finds that, controlling for personal characteristics, mental and
physical health cover more than 84% of the direct effects on
productivity loss. In addition, 93% of the indirect influences are
mediated through mental and/or physical health, meaning that even
job or workplace factors, such as job satisfaction, support from
managers or feeling isolated ultimately affect productivity through
mental and/or physical health.

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