The three chapters of this thesis contribute to the understanding of how economic shocks and discriminatory behaviors of recruiters and stakeholders impact the allocation of workers in different jobs as well as their performance at work. Chapter one shows that shocks on international prices impact foreign investments and delocalization decisions of firms, and consequently their demand for skills. Chapter two studies how the stereotypical behavior of recruiters affects hiring and how forbidding discriminatory signals can reduce workplace gender segregation without deteriorating the job match efficiency. Chapter three provides evidence of the negative effect of racist harassment by supporters on the performance of non-white athletes.
This thesis explores the role of the rapid obsolescence of widely used computing technology on economic growth, income distribution, and interplay between economic and political competition. The first chapter of the thesis shows, taking U.S. data as a baseline, that rapid technological obsolescence could lead to the rise of giant firms limiting economic growth and competition, the deterioration of income distribution in favor of owners of these firms, and thus a decrease in payments to workers and small entrepreneurs. The second chapter empirically exposes economic power concentrated in the corporate sector by measuring the market power of large firms in the product markets of different countries. Finally, the third chapter examines whether the concentration of market power among this limited group of large firms has led to a concentration of political power that ultimately undermines democracy. This study reveals that a significant portion of the global democratic decline is directly related to large businesses increasingly becoming more influential in the political and economic arena.
The chapters of my thesis provide coherent studies on distinct dimensions of individual subjective well-being (SWB) and how they relate to important economic outcomes, such as consumption and health. As a portrayal of human well-being, SWB complements standard aggregate well-being measures, such as GDP, and reflects a wider range of experiences, including those unrelated to market exchange. Owing to recent state-of-theart surveying techniques, these distinct SWB dimensions can be reliably and quantitatively measured.
Using SWB as a proxy for utility, chapter one provides evidence for health-state dependence of the utility function and shows that the marginal utility of consumption increases as health deteriorates, highlighting the capacity of consumption to provide a buffer against the negative impact of health shocks on well-being.
Chapter two studies the association of pain with SWB and shows both evaluative and experienced (emotional) well-being dimensions to be markedly lower for people living with pain than they are for those without pain. Further, pain-related differences in time use between people with pain and those without pain are shown as providing only a small compensating effect. Finally, chapter three documents the direct relationship between evaluative and experienced (emotional) well-being dimensions and highlights the importance of the multidimensional nature of SWB.