Polina Knutsson

PhD Candidate in Economics at Lund University


Geography of Jobs (with Alexandra Tsvetkova and Alexander C. Lembcke, work in progress)

This paper describes the dataset on online job postings provided by a software company Burning Glass Technologies (BG) with a focus on its potential for the research on spatial organization of economic activity. We first describe the contents of the dataset and discuss the representativeness of the data relative to the official data on vacancies and employment. We discuss BG’s potential for empirical analysis in the intersection between economic geography and labor economics and provide two examples of such analysis.

The spatial dimension of productivity: Connecting the dots across industries, firms and places (with Alexandra Tsvetkova, Rudiger Ahrend, Joaquim Oliveira Martins, Alexander C. Lembcke, Dylan Jong and Nikolaos Terzidis, OECD working paper)

This working paper offers a synthesis of the current knowledge on the determinants of productivity. It carefully reviews both “spatial” (e.g. agglomerations, infrastructure, geography) and “aspatial” (e.g. human capital, labour regulations, industry-level innovation and dynamism) productivity drivers and demonstrates how the underlying spatial dynamics behind the latter group makes all productivity determinants “spatial” in nature. The paper demonstrates that productivity is inherently a spatial phenomenon and its understanding without a local/regional dimension is incomplete.

Lasting effects of an import shock: channels of adjustment (work in progress)

This paper exploits a quasi-natural experiment to study the channels of labor market adjustment to trade shocks. Using matched employer-employee data from Sweden, I study workers' adjustment after the removal of quotas set out by the Multi-Fiber Arrangement from China upon its entry in WTO. I find evidence of substantial losses in terms of both earnings and employment. Sectoral mobility mitigates a portion of these losses, but gives rise to substantial adjustment frictions. Consistent with theories on specificity of human capital, the largest losses accrue to the workers who have invested in skills specific to the exposed industry. Although some workers adjust through finding jobs in more remote locations, skill-specificity of the local labor market turns out to be an important determinant of adjustment.

Spatial effects of import competition (with Joakim Gullstrand, working paper)

Exposure to international competition has a potential to improve efficiency of domestic producers. We study how the pro-competitive effects of import competition vary with the distance between domestic producers and importing firms. Using detailed geographical information about location of firms in Sweden for 2005-2014, we find that the magnitude of the effect is stronger for imports taking place in close proximity to producers and the effect decays with distance. Our results suggest that the effects of import competition are highly localized.

Sorting on Unobserved Skills into New Firms (working paper)

Human capital features prominently in theoretical work on post-entry performance of new firms. Empirical analysis has, however, to a large extent overlooked the unobserved component of human capital focusing on years of education or labor market experience. This paper adds to the literature on worker characteristics and post-entry firm performance by putting the unobserved quality of workers in the center of analysis. I find strong evidence that on average workers in new firms have lower unobserved quality relative to the employees of incumbents. I further show that sorting upon unobserved quality persists among new firms with spin-offs and incorporated new firms hosting workers of greater unobserved quality. I further argue that unobserved quality of workers is important for the performance of new firms as it is an important predictor of new firm survival.

See my Github profile for additional projects.