Marek Ignaszak

I am a Ph.D. candidate in Economics at the University of Bonn.

In September 2020, I will join the Department of Money and Macroeconomics at Goethe University in Frankfurt and the Frankfurt Quantitative Macro Group.

My research interests include macroeconomics, labor economics, and firm dynamics.

Email: ignaszak(at)uni-bonn(dot)de



Work in Progress

Composition of Labor Supply and Business Dynamism

[show abstract]

Population aging and the increase in the relative supply of college-educated workers have transformed the labor force in developed economies. How do these secular trends affect the characteristics of firms in the economy? To answer this question, I develop a general equilibrium model in which both workers and firms are heterogeneous. In the model, firms of different sizes rely on different types of workers due to capital-skill complementarity in production. I estimate the model using administrative linked employer-employee data from Germany. The model predicts that the changes in the labor force composition entail the reallocation of production towards firms with a larger capital stock, which tend to be older and less dynamic. The quantitative results indicate that the demographic trends can account for most of the recently documented shift in the size distribution of firms, the falling number of new firms, and the increasing market concentration. The patterns of business dynamism across German industries provide reduced-form empirical support for the model's predictions.

Demand-Driven Growth

with Petr Sedláček

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Human capital accumulation is vital to economic growth. What are the firm-level origins of this aggregate regularity? Using matched employer-employee data we find a strong link between workers' human capital and firm growth at the micro-level. Crucially, we show that activity not related to R&D is also an important driver of growth. Motivated by these new facts, we propose a novel model in which skilled workers can be either employed as researchers or help the firm to accumulate customer base. The latter cannot be source of the aggregate economic growth on its own. However, demand accumulation increases firm's market size and raises the scope for innovation. We show that the non-R&D activity of skilled workers generates almost half of the aggregate economic growth.

European Unemployment Insurance

with Keith Kuester and Philip Jung

[show abstract]

The paper explores the scope for a federal unemployment insurance scheme in the euro area. It models a union of atomistic member states that have authority over a wide range of domestic labor-market policies. Member states are faced with idiosyncratic business-cycle shocks, but are prevented from international borrowing. Labor-market frictions and wage rigidities mean that business cycles are inefficient. Federal UI transfers are financed through a lump-sum tax on member states. For fixed local labor-market policies, optimal federal unemployment-based transfers provide insurance against regional shocks, and smooth the business cycle. If member states can adjust labor-market policies in response, however, optimal federal UI is much less generous, rendering federal UI ineffective. Indexation of payouts to past unemployment rates does not address the dynamic incentives to free-ride.