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Policy evaluation: labour market liberalization, unemployment and second home construction: Evidence from Switzerland

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Stricker L.
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This thesis is composed of three different chapters focusing on labour market policies, unemployment and the construction industry. The analyses aim to contribute to the microeconomic theory, proving three different concepts of externally caused variations, affecting both, the labour market equilibrium and the production function. In detail, the first part analyses the employment effects of changing legislation, examining the labour market liberalization in a difference-in-difference study. The second chapter is dedicated to the effects of the partial revision of the unemployment insurance law, examining in a synthetic control method the effects of a shorter insurance benefit period on unemployment. The last part focuses on the effects of a second home restriction on construction activity and quantifies in both, a classic difference-in-difference and in an event study design the changing construction investment behaviour. The main findings of the thesis can be listed as follows: The first chapter finds an increasing pressure of raising minimum wages on employment in the construction industry, as an effect of the bilateral free movement of persons agreement of Switzerland with the European Union countries, this effect is more accentuated considering the cantons as a box. The second part identifies the suppression of the possibility to additionally lengthen the maximum insured unemployment duration in economically disadvantaged cantons as an effective policy to increase and accelerate the job search, resulting in a lower regional unemployment rate. In the last chapter, the obtained results measure the negative impact of the second home restriction in the touristic municipalities in terms of new building investments and in a descriptive way on overnight stays of tourist in the major destinations.
Minimum wage; Construction sector; Spatial heterogeneity; Labour market outcomes; Labour market reforms; Unemployment; Treatment effects; Synthetic control method; Construction; Second homes; Housing investments; Tourism development; Switzerland