Jonas Kolsrud

I'm a senior lecturer at the Department of Economics, Linnaeus University and affiliated researcher at the National Institute of Economic Research, Stockholm, and Swedish Institute of Social Research (SOFI), Stockholm University.

Email: jonas.kolsrud[at]

I do research on consumption and saving and how the two are affected by public social insurance programs. I am also doing work on wage formation.

Click here for my CV

Work in progress

Wealth Taxation and Migration Patterns of the Very Wealthy (with Katrine Jakobsen, Henrik Kleven, Camille Landais and Mathilde Muñoz)

Labor market effects of high minimum wages: Evidence from Sweden 

I study the effect of collective agreed minimum wages on employment and wage formation in the retail and hospitality sectors in Sweden. In the sectors, which traditionally employs many workers with a lower degree of labor market attachment, the minimum wage bite rose from 60% in year 2000 to 70% in 2010. This makes it an interesting case study to see how high minimum wages can become before they start having adverse effects on employment. I find that higher minimum wages increase the likelihood of non-employment among incumbent workers; minimum wages raise total wages but that the relationship is inelastic suggesting that workers earning more than the minimum wage are compensated for the minimum wage increments; labor earnings drop since higher wages cannot compensate for reduced employment on both the intensive and extensive margins. I also find that minimum wages affect employment negatively when the minimum wage bite rise but not when it is kept constant, albeit at a relatively high level.

See the NIER's Wage formation report (2021) for a shorter version in Swedish.


Working papers

Retirement consumption and pension design  (Revise and resubmit, American Economic Review)

(with Camille Landais, Daniel Reck and Johannes Spinnewijn)

This paper develops and implements a framework that leverages consumption data to evaluate the welfare effects of pension reforms. Several countries have reformed their pension profiles to incentivize later retirement. Using administrative data in Sweden, we find that such pension reforms entail substantial redistributive costs. On average, individuals retiring later have higher consumption levels than those retiring earlier, implying that recent pension reforms redistributed from low- to high-consumption households. We show that the differences in retirement consumption are mostly driven by differential changes in consumption around retirement, and also that the marginal propensities to consume are lower for later retirees. Accounting for selection on health and life expectancy further increases the redistributive cost of recent reforms. While the overall gradient is clear, we also document a striking non-monotonicity in consumption levels between the early and normal retirement age, implying that the redistributive cost of incentivizing later retirement is the lowest in that age range. We find similar patterns in consumption data from other countries, including the non-monotonicity, suggesting that our findings are not unique to Sweden. 

Link to paper

Link to Vox column

Business-cycle effects on precautionary saving estimates: Evidence from Swedish administrative data (2019)

Precautionary saving behavior is a cornerstone of many structural models, yet empirical evidence is inconclusive. Estimates of the size of precautionary wealth range between 0-50% of total wealth while Euler equation regressions have estimated relative risk aversion below conventionally assumed levels. The paper shows theoretically and empirically that (i) saving is non-linear function of income or consumption growth variance, and (ii) that the relationship between saving and income or consumption variance is highly dependent on the business cycle. Accounting for non-linearities and removing business cycle effects show that linear models underestimates precautionary wealth with at least 30% and that the coefficient of relative risk aversion is estimated to 1. The paper uses Swedish registry data on income and wealth and a residual measure of consumption to estimate Euler equations. The results are robust to asset risk, habit persistence and credit constraints. A heterogeneity analysis shows that increased income risk leads to a rebalancing to less risky assets, and that groups who face higher income variance change their net worth less when income risk rises.

Link to paper


The Value of Registry Data for Consumption Analysis: An Application to Health Shocks (2020)

(with Camille Landais and Johannes Spinnewijn)

Journal of Public Economics, 189

Link to paper

Link to Vox column

The Optimal Timing of Unemployment Benefits: Theory and Evidence from Sweden (2018)

American Economic Review, 108(4-5), 985-1033.

(with Camille Landais, Peter Nilsson and Johannes Spinnewijn)

Link to paper

Voluntary unemployment insurance as an option for non-standard work – the case of Sweden, OECD (2018)

Link to paper