The aggregate labor market effects of the Swedish knowledge lift program
Summary of Working paper 2008:1
The Swedish adult education program known as the Knowledge Lift (1997–2002) was unprecedented in its size and scope, aiming to raise the skill level of large numbers of low-skill workers. This paper evaluates the potential effects of this program on aggregate labor market outcomes. This is done by calibrating an equilibrium search model with heterogeneous worker skills using pre-program data and then forecasting the program impacts. Our calibrations suggest that the equilibrium treatment effects were positive – wages are predicted to increase, as are the employment rates of the treated. The equilibrium effects magnify the partial effects by a factor 1.5 to 2. This is due to the increase in demand for skills that is triggered by the increase in its supply.
Keywords: job search, policy evaluation, wages, unemployment, Swedish labor market, calibration, adult education, equilibrium effects.
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