Three new research grants from IRFD

Mikkel Bennedsen and John Kennes have received almost DKK 3 million each from Independent Research Fund Denmark’s special pool for research on development of the economic principles. Torben M. Andersen, Michael Svarer and Jonas Maibom are members of a large interdisciplinary research project, which has received a DKK 8 million grant from the same pool.

2020.10.30 | Ingrid Marie Fossum

Assistant Professor Mikkel Bennedsen

Associate Professor John Kennes

Professor Torben M. Andersen

Professor Michael Svarer

Assistant Professor Jonas Maibom

As much as DKK 13,808,901 are recently granted projects with the participation of researchers from The Department of Economics and Business Economics. The grants are from the Independent Research Fund Denmark’s special pool for research on development of the economic principles.

Assistant Professor Mikkel Bennedsen has received DKK 2,877,410 to make statistical analysis of climate data and climate models. The purpose of his research project is to shed light on the uncertainty of the climate models and the implications hereof for our understanding of the future of the climate.

Mikkel Bennedsen is very happy to receive the grant:

"This grant will be a great help. The research related to the project is distinctly interdisciplinary, and the grant will ensure that I can establish and maintain contacts with leading researchers, including climate scientists, in and outside Denmark,” says Mikkel Bennedsen.

Professor Eric Hillebrand from the Department and Professor Siem Jan Koopman from Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam and CREATES fellow are also part of this project entitled “Statistical analysis of climate data and climate models”, which they describe as follows:

“This project aims to develop statistical methods for the analysis of climate data and climate models, with particular focus on the interplay between climate data and climate models.

In Part I of the project, we build a multivariate state space model for the analysis of a large data set on climate variables, related to the so-called global carbon cycle. By further extending the model to allow for data on economic variables, we will shed light on the effect that economic activity has on the climate system.

In Part II of the project, we construct a statistical climate model. We do this by introducing stochastic terms into the otherwise deterministic differential equations, which describe the physics behind the climate system. Our statistical model will allow us to assess how the climate model and underlying physical equations fit observational data, as well as facilitating the estimation of key climate parameters and attach uncertainties to the estimates.”

Associate Professor John Kennes has received DKK 2,877,659 for his research in more efficient daycare assignment systems. Assistant Professor Elena Mattana, also from the Department, is also part of the project entitled ”Welfare and efficient daycare assignment”, which they describe as follows:

”Little is known about how parents choose daycares and the optimal match between children/parents on the one side and the institutions/schools on the other side. Moreover, there is to the best of our knowledge no research into the role of policy-making to affect these selection processes, which are crucial for the development of an early socio-economic gradient in skills. In making their choice, parents need to obtain information about the daycares and are expected to solve a difficult forecasting problem. The forecasting problem concerns the expected date that a spot will become available at one of the two selected daycares.

We will answer: 

  • How well do parents forecast the expected start dates at daycares given current rules?
  • Is an accurate forecast of the daycare start date an important concern for the parents? How does each parent trade-off their ideal start date with other important attributes of daycares?
  • Is it possible to implement an efficient centralized daycare assignment that also allows parents to easily forecast start dates? 

Implementing ’easily forecastable start dates’ in a centralized assignment mechanism is relevant to many capacity-constrained assignments where young people and/or their parents submit preferences for education/care. Related assignment problems where forecasting by applicants has prompted concerns in the Danish media include the assignment of students to high schools and the assignment of medical interns to hospitals.”

Professors Torben M. Andersen and Michael Svarer and Assistant Professor Jonas Maibom take part in a large interdisciplinary research project with the goal of estimating the return on education. The project has received a DKK 8,053,832 grant and is led by Paul Bingley from VIVE. Researchers from Copenhagen University and the DREAMgroup are also part of the project.

The project is entitled “Dynamic Effects of Education on Productivity and Labor Supply” and is described as follows:

“This project contributes to the development of applied economic models and policy assessments of so-called welfare investments; that is, public activities and spending which affect future employment, income, and thus public finances (dynamic expenditure effects) making tax reductions partially self-financing.

The overarching theme of the project is investment in education.
Key questions include:

  • The effects of education on wages (the return to education). We propose a new and improved method.
  • How education affects labour supply, including responses to e.g. tax incentives. This is addressed using novel methods and theoretical development of institutional driven labour supply elasticities.
  • How will ongoing changes in the labour market driven by skill and task biases affect educational investments? This is a PhD project with focus on the substitution elasticity between types of labour and on general equilibrium effects.”

Please note that the amounts granted might be subject to budget adjustments.