Francesco Pascucci - Essays on Macroeconomics with Heterogeneity

ESPO Louvain-La-Neuve, Mons

13 décembre 2021


Le Recteur de l'Université catholique de Louvain fait savoir que

Mr Francesco Pascucci

soutiendra publiquement sa dissertation pour l'obtention du titre de Docteur en sciences économiques et de gestion

Essays on Macroeconomics with Heterogeneity

Lien Zoom


This dissertation is composed of three chapters investigating three different macroeconomic patterns and their connection with the micro-level heterogeneity observed in disaggregated data.

The first chapter studies the role of household joint labour supply as an insurance device against unemployment shocks. In particular, it investigates the economic mechanisms behind the rise of the Added Worker Effect, i.e., the tendency of spouses to enter into the labour force when the partner suffers a job loss. After showing that the likelihood of occurrence of this phenomenon has been increasing between 1980s and the 2000s in the US, we formulate and calibrate a job-search model with heterogeneous agents to explore the mechanisms at play. We find that several structural changes that occurred in that period contributed to this trend: the decrease in the gender pay gap, the loosening of labour market frictions, and the reduction in the female cost of participation to the labour market.

The second chapter focuses on the spatial heterogeneity in local unemployment rates across districts in Belgium, and it investigates the impact of wage regulation on aggregate and local outcomes. We build and calibrate a quantitative spatial equilibrium model to take into account the choice of workers with regard to where to live and work. We show that, were workers’ choices determined solely by preferences for locations and not by the potential real income they could earn, we would observe a substantial reallocation of labour from Brussels towards the more external districts of Belgium, resulting in a less geographically clustered distribution of the population. Moreover, we find that, were wages free to adjust and clear the local labour markets, the increase in aggregate production could be significant, whereas the gain in workers’ real income would only be modest.

The third and last chapter instead investigates the long-run fertility decline typical of all the countries in the world from a distributional perspective. Here I provide an account of the dynamics of the completed fertility distribution across multiple countries in the world, for cohorts born between the end of the 19th century and the second half of the 20th. I show that most of the decline in the completed fertility rate was mostly attributable to the decrease in the number of women having a high number of children, e.g., 6 or more, over their lifetime. Finally, I find that the fertility distributions changed along a similar trend across levels of maternal education and across very different countries, suggesting the convergence to a narrow distribution centered around a mode of 2 children per woman.

Membres du jury

Prof. Fabio Mariani (UCLouvain), promoteur et secrétaire du jury
Prof. Alessandro Sommacal (University of Verona), promoteur
Prof. Claudio Zoli (University of Verona), président du jury
Prof. Gabriele Cardullo (University of Genova)
Prof. Paula Gobbi (Université Libre de Bruxelles)
Prof. Luca Pensieroso (UCLouvain)

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