En effektutvärdering av regeringens förändringar av lönetaken för subventionerade anställningar år 2017

Detta är en Magister-uppsats från Lunds universitet/Nationalekonomiska institutionen

Sammanfattning: For many decades, Sweden has been famous for its ambitious investments in active labour market policy programs, particularly in different types of wage subsidies/subsidy programs. There are important characteristics distinguishing the programs, but they have in common that the hiring company receives a substantial subsidy from the Public Employment Service (PES) for hiring either long-term unemployed individuals, newly arrived migrants, or unemployed with disabilities. The purpose is to stimulate employers to employ persons who have difficulties in getting a job, and to facilitate the transition to ordinary employment. Earlier research on wage subsidies has found positive effects on the transition to ordinary employment, but also on the employment development of the hiring companies and their financial results. Some studies, however, observe that wage subsidies are concentrated to some specific segments of the labour market, more specifically low-paid, low-qualified service jobs in e.g. hotels and restaurants, retail and the cleaning industry. No published studies have discovered the explanations for this concentration. One important reason is probably that many of the program participants have weak educational backgrounds and lack the competence to perform more high-skilled (and often well-paid) work, but there could also be some systematic and regulation-oriented explanations. The hypothesis of this study is that the low government-set wage roof of 20.000 SEK/month may play a role for the low salaries of the individuals who are employed with wage subsidies. The wage roof means that a company employing a person with a wage subsidy will not receive any subsidy for the part of the wage that exceeds this amount. The subsidy programs may be more attractive for employers paying low wages, since a larger part of the wage cost is subsidized. This study analyzes the effects of the Swedish government’s wage roof reforms of 2017, by using an RDD-approach (Regression-discontinuity-design) and two unique sets of registry data of decisions made by PES; one for subsidy programs for which the wage roof increased, and the other one for new start jobs, where the wage roof decreased. The results indicate that a higher wage roof. ceteris paribus, leads to decisions with higher wages, while a lower wage roof leads to lower wages. Therefore, the conclusion of the study is that a causal relationship exists between the wage roof and actual wages in the decisions made by PES. In other words, the low wage roof may play an important role for the concentration of subsidy employments to low-paid jobs, which is new and important information for policymakers and other stakeholders.

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