Mr Andreas Ek

Mr Andreas Ek

PhD Candidate in Economics

Department of Economics

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English, Swedish
Key Expertise
Macroeconomics, Labour Economics

About me

Job Market Placement
Assistant Professor (Tenure Track) and Browaldh Scholar, Lund University

Research interests
Macroeconomics, Labour Economics (primary)
Development Economics, Finance, Political Economy (secondary)

Job market paper
Cultural Values and Productivity


Read the abstract and download the paper

Income differences across countries are large. The literature has yet to settle on what share of those differences can be attributed to human capital, as well as on what determines differences in human capital. This paper contributes to both questions. It uses unique Swedish employer-employee linked administrative data to estimate differences in human capital as country-of-origin specific labor productivity terms in firm production functions. Unlike previous migrant-based measures in the literature, the one in this paper is immune to concerns related to wage discrimination and robust to other varieties of discrimination. After accounting for education and experience, estimated human capital still varies by a factor of 3 between the countries at the 90th and 10th percentile of the human-capital distribution. When I investigate which country-of-origin characteristics most closely correlate with my estimates of human capital, cultural values elicited from the World Values Survey are the only robust predictor. This relationship also persists among the children of migrants, which lends further credence to the cultural interpretation of human-capital differences unexplained by education and experience. Finally, adjusting human-capital stocks by the estimated cultural component in a development accounting exercise decreases the amount of unexplained variation in income by 16 percentage points relative to “traditional” development accounting.

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Publications and additional papers

Cross-Country Differences in Preferences for Leisure

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Placement Officer
Professor Mark Schankerman 

Professor Francesco Caselli 

Professor Francesco Caselli
Professor Wouter den Haan
Dr Ethan Ilzetzki

Contact information


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Office Address
Department of Economics,
London School of Economics and Political Science,
Houghton Street, London WC2A 2AE