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MORE THAN 30 YEARS OF RESEARCH USING DANISH MICRO DATA In the late 1970 and early 1980 Statistics Denmark started to offer samples of data on persons, their education, income, labor market status, and weekly data on unemployment spells. We received the first data in August 1982, it was a 5% sample covering the period 1976-1980. Lars Muus returned all enthusiastic from a course taught by Dale T. Mortensen and Kenn Burdett at Oslo University and demanded that we arranged a conference with four brilliant economists to enhance the research in these unique data. This was the start of a very long and exciting cooperation with Dale T. Mortensen, Kenn Burdett, George Neumann , and Nick Kiefer. The first conference took place at Sandbjerg Manor in 1982. The first research papers used data driven models to describe the dynamics on the labor market, like H.B. Kaitz 1970 paper on analyzing the length of spells of unemployment, and models for the flows between the three states Employed, Unemployed, and Not-in-Labor-Market. But the really important benefit of the cooperation with The Fours was their theoretical models allowing us to construct structural models for the labor market dynamics. And Dale and coauthors worked hard to extend his theoretical models such that the models can explain the observed data. For sure this did not make the models simple, easy to solve or estimate, but gave a very fruitful interaction between theory and data. In 1980’s a lot happened at Statistics Denmark, DS - Many new data sets became available - DS ‘lost’ all data priori to 1980 - We were no longer allowed to get samples, but must do the analysis within Statistics Denmark - IDA, Integrated Employee Data, was constructed during the years 1988-1991 covering the period since 1980 and all Employees and Establishments. It is longitudinal data and variables were constructed for working hours and hourly wages.

In 1993-1998 Niels Westergård-Nielsen and co were Excellence, CLS, by Danish National Research Foundation

granted a Center of

- With the support of Danish National Research Foundation CLS succeeded in getting research computers installed at Statistics Denmark and a DS Office was established in Aarhus allowing easier access to the server and the data. Later on DS allowed access from the researcher’s own workplace and hosting your own servers. Today it is a very efficient research environment. - CLS got a grant from Aarhus University to create a merged employeremployee data set covering 1992-1997. - Dale T. Mortensen and George Neumann visited CLS to work on this new data set in spring and summer of 1998. In the beginning of 2000’s we wanted to extend this merged employer-employee data set, but DS was not able to determine how the data set was constructed. However, DS had started new projects on how to merge enterprise data with employee data. Since 2000 the enterprise data covers all activities. Today it is possible, but not easy to create an MEE data set for 1995-2012. We are working on two issues, which currently are not solved by DS - Making the matches across data sets better - And most of all creating an enterprise identifier, which is valid over time The IDA data sets are yearly, end of November, matches of employees and establishments. In later 1980s Peter Jensen and other started to create weekly labor market event data for all persons age 15-74, starting in 1984. We have been constructing new spells data for the period 1984-2012, using more data and the new Enterprise_Over_Time_Identifier. The demand for this new data set is very high. In summary the amount and quality of data has increased a lot over the 30 years. And such have the theoretical models. In fall of 2006 Professor Dale T. Mortensen was appointed a Niels Bohr Visiting Professor at Economics, Aarhus University, by the Danish National Research

Foundation. For these five years Dale spent four months in residence as a member of the center LMDG, Labor Market Dynamic Growth. This appointment allowed Dale to work intensively with the Danish MEE data. During this period Dale together with Espen Moen started the yearly, Nordic workshops on MEE data available in all Nordic countries. LMDG received a grant from DCSC for a cluster with 16 nodes which is installed at Statistics Denmark. Some of the work done by Dale and others in these years will be published in a forthcoming book. In his introduction to the book Dale noticed, that one of most surprising aspects of micro data is the extent of firm heterogeneity. Dale’s approach basing his theories on the flows in the labor market proved very fruitful. And the available micro data made it possible to include enterprise and worker heterogeneity in the estimated structural models. This has proved to be a very important addition to the models allowing them to fit the data. An example is Robert Shimer’s, The Probability of Finding a Job. Since Kaitz, 1970, economists have known that the job finding probability falls with unemployment duration. Rob’s model allows heterogeneity among the unemployed. An important research issue is how to explain this heterogeneity, and as a result of this giving better policy advises on reducing unemployment, increase productivity and growth, etc. And of course Dale’s and Rasmus’ Econometrica paper using the first Danish MEE data set is another important model and application. In the next 3 days researcher using the Danish data will once more meet at Sandbjerg and one of the topics will be future research within MEE data. I know that Dale’s work and ideas still will have a strong influence on these projects and thereby paying a tribute to his legacy.

Henning Bunzel

References Bunzel, H., Honoré, B., Larsen, R., Muus, L., Pederen,P.J, Smith,N., and N. Westergård-Nielsen, Arbejdsløshed og beskæftigelse- Bevægelser på det Danske Arbejdsmarked, Studies in Labor market Dynamics, 83-4. Bunzel, H., Bent J. Christensen, and Dale T. Mortensen (eds), Implications of Firm Heterogeneity for Labor Markets and International Trade: Evidence from Danish Matched Employer-Employee Data. Forthcoming. IDA – en integreret database for arbejdsmarkedsforskning, Hovedrapport, Danmarks Statistik, Januar 1991 Kaitz, Hyman B, Analyzing the length of unemployment, Monthly Labor Review, 1970, vol 93(11), pp 11-20 Lentz, Rasmus and Dale T. Mortensen, An Empirical Model of Growth Through Product Innovation, Econometrica, Vol 76, no 6, pp1317-1373 Shimer, Robert, The Probability of finding a job. The American Economic Review, Vol 98, no2, pp 268-273.

CONFERENCES 1982 – Workshop on Labor Market Dynamics. Sandbjerg Published in: Studies in Labor Market Dynamics. Proceedings, Sandbjerg, Denmark, August 1982. Springer-Verlag 1984. Contributions by: Per Kragh Anderen, Kenneth Burdett, Andrew Chesher, Jean Marcel Dalbarade, Siv Gustafsson, Bertil Holmlund, Boyan Jovanovic, Nicholas M. Kiefer, Tony Lancaster, Linda Leighton, Shelly Lundberg, Dale T. Mortensen, George R. Neumann, Geert Ridder, Finn Spieker, Stuart E. Weiner, and Niels Westergård-Nielsen., 1988 – Symposium on Panel Data and Labor Market Studies, Amsterdam Published in: Panel Data and Labor Market Studies, North-Holland, 1990 Contributions by: Rob J.M. Alessie, Richard W. Blundell, John Bound, Charles Brown, Kenneth Burdett, Thomas MaCurdy, Greg J. Duncan, John C. Ham, James J. Heckman, Guido Imbens, Peter Jensen, Arie Kapteyn, Nicholas M. Kiefer, Robert J. Lalonde, Tony Lancaster, John Berno van Lochem, Jacques Mairesse, Costas H. Meghir, Dale T. Mortensen, S. Wiji Narendranathan, Jan C. van Ours, Geert Ridder, Willard L. Rodgers, Frans Spinnewijn, Mark B. Stewart, Tom J. Wansbeek, Niels Westergård-Nielsen, Eckhard Wurzel 1992 - Conference on Panel Data and Labour Market Dynamics. Sandbjerg Published in: Panel Data and Labour Market Dynamics, North-Holland 1993 Contributions by: Karsten Albæk, Gerard J. van den Berg, Niels H. Bjørn, Audra Bowlus, Henning Bunzel, Kenneth Burdett, Bent J. Christensen, Theresa J. Devine, Tor Eriksson, Gebhard Flaig, Bo Honoré, Peter Jensen, Nicholas M. Kiefer, Anders Holm Larsen, Michael Lechner, Georg Licht, Maarten Lindeboom, E. Strøjer Madsen, Inge S. Mikkelsen, Dale T. Mortensen, George R. Neumann, Jan van Ours, Peder J. Pedersen, Torben M. Pedersen, Geert Ridder, Christoph M.Schmidt, Nina Smith, Viktor Steiner,

Nicola Torelli, Ugo Trivellato, Tara Vishwanath, Ian Walker, Niels WestergårdNielsen, Rainer Winkelmann, Randall Wright, Klaus F. Zimmermann 1998 - Conference on Panel Data and Structural Labour Market Models. Sandbjerg. Published in: Panel Data and Structural Labour Market Models (2000) Contributions by: S. Aiyar, Karsten Albæk, Mark Y. An, Gerard J. van den Berg, Paul Bingley, Audra J. Bowlus, Henning Bunzel, Kenneth Burdett, Bent J. Christensen, Melvyn G. Coles, Trine Filges, Per Jensen, Nicholas M. Kiefer, Pierre Koning, Lars Korsholm, Tony Lancaster, Birthe Larsen, Gauthier Lanot, Dale T. Mortensen, Lars Muus, George R. Neumann, Michael S. Nielsen, Kim Poulsen, Geert Ridder, Richard Rogerson, Michael Rosholm, Peter Rupert, Shannon N. Seitz, Niels Westergård-Nielsen, Randall Wright 2004 - Conference on Labor Market Models and Matched Employer-Employee Data. Sandbjerg. Published in: Structural Models of Wage and Employment Dynamics. 2006 Contributions by: J.M. Abowd, Gerard J. van den Berg, Joydeep Bhattacharya, Paul Bingley, Stéphanne Bonhomme, Roberto Bonilla, Audra S. Bowlus, Kenneth Burdett, Bent J. Christensen, Damien Gaumont, Pieter A. Gautier, Grégory Jolivet, John Kennes, Nicholas M. Kiefer, F. Kramarz, Rasmus Lentz, Stéfan Lollivier, Dale T. Mortensen, Éva Nagypál, George R. Neumann, Fabien Postel-Vinay, Laurence Rioux, Robert R. Reed, JeanMarc Robin, S. Roux, Francois Rycx, Michael Sattinger, Martin Schindler, Shouyong Shi, Robert Shimer, Coen N. Teulings, Ilan Tojerow, Aico van Vuuren, Niels Westergård-Nielsen, Linda Y. Wong, Randall Wright, EranYashiv 2007 - Conference on Labour Market Dynamic Growth (LMDG). Sandbjerg. Contributions by: Joseph Altonji, Jesper Bagger, Sebastian Buhai, Carlos Henrique Corseuil, Arnaud Dupuy, Francois Fontaine, Jeremy Fox, Florian Hoffman, Juanna S. Joensen, John Kennes, Søren Leth-Sørensen, Jeremy Lise, Daniel le Maire, Espen Moen, Dale T. Mortensen, Niels Pedersen, Mauro Pisu, Michael Sattinger, Christian Scheuer,Valerie Smeets, Giovanni Sulis, Ronald Wolthoff

2008 - Conference on Labor Economics and International Trade. Sandbjerg Contributions by: Amit Friedman, Francois Fontaine, Raquel Fonseca, Sarah Guillou, John Haltiwanger, Tetsugen Haruyama, Alfonso Irarrazabal, John Kennes, Samuel Kortum, Martina Lawless, Wolfgang Lechthaler, Rasmus Lentz, Daniel Le Maire, Marc Melitz, Guy Navon, Daniel Nguyen, Niels K Pedersen, Christopher Pissarides, Hans-Jörg Schmerer, Enrico Sette Allan Sørensen, Chris Taber, Hãle Utar, Frederic Warzynski, Niels Westergaard-Nielsen 2010 - Conference on Matched Employer-Employee Data: Developments since AKM. Sandbjerg. Contributions by: John Abowd, Jesper Bagger, Erling Barth, Stefan Bender, Alex Bryson, Bruno Contini, Hermann Gartner, John Haltiwanger, Lisa Jönsson, Francis Kramarz, Rasmus Lentz, Espen Moen, Edgar Preugschat, Ian Schmütte, Robert Shimer, Pedro Silos, Oskar Skans, Ija Trapeznikova, Rune Vejlin Niels Westergård-Nielsen 2012 - Conference on Credit, Unemployment, Supply and Demand. Sandbjerg. Contributions by: David Andolfatto, Jesper Bagger, Aleksander Berentsen, Ofer Cornfeld, James Costain, Angela Fiedler, Marcus Hagedorn, Philip Jung, John Kennan, Nicholas M. Kiefer, Philipp Kircher, John Knowles, Mark Strøm Kristoffersen, Ricardo Lagos, Jeremy Lise, Monika Merz, Espen Moen, Victor Ortego-Marti, Lasse Heje Pedersen, Fabien Postel-Vinay, Shouyong Shi, Eric Smith, Rani Spiegler, Murat Tasci, Coen Teulings, Fabien Tripier, Ludo Visschers, Etienne Wasmer, Linda Yuet-Yee Wong, Randall Wright

PICTURES With contributions from Kirsten Stentoft, Niels Westergård-Nielsen, and George Neumann.

From 1982, The First Labor Conference

From the 1992 conference.

This conference was held just few days after Denmark won the EM Soccer Competition, beating first The Netherlands, then Germany. Several conference participants came from these countries, and this fact was of course used by Nick, George and Kenn who always are responsible for the dinner talks.

Peter Jensen was awarded the first and only Bloody Towel Award for his opposition.

Some of the defeated persons flying the Danish flag.

A mandatory hike to Sottrup Kro through the woods.

And a mandatory soccer game. All pictures seem to indicate that I solely played BJ, Peter, and Inge. I am sure BJ could not stop the ball, he is out of balance. The young people have requested that soccer is put on the program of the upcoming Sandbjerg Meeting.

One dinner – sandwiches and beers – was served on a ship departing from Sottrup and ending at Sottrup Kro


The dinning room and library.

2004 Celebrating Dale’s 65’s birthday.

Many of Dale’s phd students and coauthors were present. And a hike to Sottrup Kro where George treated us with Gammel Dansk.

Executive meeting in the evening.

From the lectures

From the conference dinner

The 2010 Conference