Lena Hensvik

Professor, Department of Economics, Uppsala University.

My research focuses on labor economics, with a current interest in job search, worker-firm matching and wage determination.

Email:        lena.hensvik@nek.uu.se 

Research Affiliates: Uppsala Center for Labor Studies (UCLS),  Center for Economic Policy Research (CEPR), Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA), and Institute for Evaluation of Labor Market and Education Policy (IFAU). 

Member of Executive Committee European Association of Labour Economists 

Upcoming presentations: Pompeu Fabra University (May), Autonoma University (May), University of Warwick (May), IFN (June), EALE (September), Tinbergen Institute (October), Aalto University (October), IIES (November), University of Vienna (November),  Utrecht University (May -25), University of Glasgow (June, -25)


Hensvik L. and O. Nordström Skans (2022), ”The Skill-Specific Impact of Past and Projected Occupational Decline”, Labour Economics 81:102326.

Azmat, G., Hensvik, L. and Rosenqvist, O. (2022) “Workplace Preseenteism, Job Substitutability and Gender Inequality”, Journal of Human Resources, 1121-12014R2.

Hensvik L., D. Müller and ON Skans, (2022) "Connecting the Young: High School Graduates' Matching to First jobs in Booms and Great Recessions", Economic Journal, 133.652 (2023): 1466-1509. 

Adermon, A. and Hensvik. L. (2022), "Gig-jobs: stepping stones or dead ends?", Labour Economics, 76 (2022):102171.

Eliason M, L Hensvik, F Kramarz and O N Skans, (2022) "Social Connections and the Sorting of Workers to Firms", Journal of Econometrics (2022).

Grönqvist E., Hensvik L. and Thoresson A. (2021) "Teacher Career Opportunities and School Quality", Labour Economics, 2021: 101997.

Hensvik L., Le Barbanchon T. and Rathelot, R. (2021) "Job Search During the COVID-19 Crisis", Journal of Public Economics, vol. 194 (2021): 104349

Hensvik L., and O. Rosenqvist, (2019), "Keeping the Production Line Running: Internal Substitution and Employee Absence", Journal of Human Resources 54.1 (2019): 200-224.

Fredriksson P., Hensvik L and O N Skans, (2018) "Mismatch of Talent? Evidence on Match Quality, Job Mobility and Entry Wages",  American Economic Review, vol 108, No. 11, November.

Hensvik L. and O N Skans (2016),"Social Networks, Employee Selection and Labor Market Outcomes", Journal of Labor Economics, volume 34, no. 4, pp 825-867 (Awarded the H. Gregg Lewis Prize for best paper in Journal of Labor Economics 2016-17).

Hensvik L. and O N Skans, (2014), "Networks and Youth Labor Market Entry", Nordic Economic Policy Review, Issue 1 pp. 81-117.

Hensvik L. (2014), "Manager Impartiality? Worker-Firm Matching and the Gender Wage Gap", Industrial and Labor Relations Review, Vol. 67, No. 2, April.

Åslund, O, Hensvik L and O N Skans (2014), "Seeking Similarity: How Immigrants and Natives Manage at the Labor Market", Journal of Labor Economics, Vol. 32, No. 3, July.

Hensvik L (2012), "Competition, Wages and Teacher Sorting: Lessons Learned from a Voucher Reform", Economic Journal, Vol. 122, Issue 561, pp.799-824. (Awarded the CESifo Prize in Employment and Social Protection)


Eliason M, L Hensvik, F Kramarz and O N Skans, (2017) "The Causal Impact of Social Connections on Firm's Outcomes", CEPR Discussion Paper DP12135.

Nilsson P and Hensvik L, "Businesses, Buddies and Babies: Social Ties and Fertility at Work", IFAU Working Paper 2010:9.


Recommender systems and the labor market, with Thomas Le Barbanchon and Roland Rathelot (draft avaliable upon request)

Abstract: We explore how Artificial Intelligence can be leveraged to help frictional markets to clear. We design a collaborative-filtering machine-learning job recommender system that uses job seekers' click history to generate relevant personalized job recommendations. We deploy it at scale on the largest online job board in Sweden, and design a clustered two-sided randomized experiment to evaluate its impact on job search and labor-market outcomes. Combining platform data with unemployment and employment registers, we find that treated job seekers are more likely to click and apply to recommended jobs, and have 0.6\% higher employment within the 6 months following first exposure to recommendations. At the job-worker pair level, we document that recommending a vacancy to a job seeker increases the probability to work at this workplace by 5\%. Leveraging the two-sided vacancy-worker randomization or the market-level randomization, we find limited congestion effects.  We find that employment effects are larger for workers that are less-educated, unemployed, and have initially a large geographic scope of search, for jobs that are attached to several jobs, and are relatively older. Results also suggest that recommendations expanding the occupational scope yield higher effects. 

Women's Labor Market Opportunities and Equality in the Household, with Erik Grönqvist, Yoko Okuyama and Anna Thoresson (draft avaliable upon request)

Abstract: We examine how changes in couples' pay gap impact their division of childcare responsibilities. Theoretically, we expect that changes in parents’ comparative advantage should reallocate their childcare time, the degree to which depends on the substitutability of their time. Empirically, we exploit shifts in household relative wages stemming both from unpredicted female wage shocks and from a wage reform. A higher female relative wage reduces the childcare time gap, which is primarily driven by women’s reduced contribution. Importantly, traditional couples make smaller adjustments. Our findings emphasize that policies addressing female pay can foster household equality, contingent on prevailing gender attitudes.

Outside options and the sharing of match-specific rents, with Simon Ek, Peter Fredriksson and Oskar Skans (draft avaliable upon request)

Abstract: We estimate how workers’ capacity to extract rents from match-specific productivity relate to their outside options. Using a measure of match quality, derived from the relationship between workers' multidimensional skills and job-specific skill requirements, we show that: (i) wages within ongoing matches are much more closely aligned with match quality following an improvement of local labor market conditions; (ii) wages of job-to-job movers are positively related to the match quality in the previous job, even when controlling for current match quality and the previous wage. These findings are consistent with a framework where workers use counteroffers to extract rents from match-specific productivity.

What happens when discrimination in academia becomes salient?, with Peter Nilsson (wp coming soon)

Abstract: We document individual, organizational, and field wide impacts following a public disclosure of substantial gender bias in the competence assessments of newly minted PhDs in biomedicine applying for a prestigious individual grant from the Swedish Medical Research Council (MFR) - the Swedish equivalent of the NIH. We show that the revelation triggered several changes: within two years, the share all-male review committees decreased from 55 percent to zero; within five years, female authored reviews increased from 10 to 45 percent, while maintaining the scientific competence of the committees. Pre‑disclosure, the share of female reviewers and the reviewers screening ability (scientific competence and career exposure to female PhDs) is correlated with lower bias, and the bias varied substantially within and across review‑committees. Post‑disclosure, individual reviewers changed their decision‑making process and the average gender bias vanished, immediately and completely, while the merit basis of the assessments increased. Pre‑disclosure, male applicants had much better long‑run outcomes compared to their female peers - they produced substantially more impactful research, were much more likely to be promoted to full‑professor, and had higher earnings throughout their careers. Yet, we find no indication that the elimination of the average gender bias generated a gender‑equity/research output trade‑off. To the contrary, allocative efficiency seems to increase: in comparison to the non‑granted – the long-run research impact of grantees assigned to review committees with highest pre‑disclosure bias improved by 48% compared to grantees assigned to committees with the lowest pre‑disclosure bias. Our main findings provide evidence on the extent to which revealing biases in academia, and the concerted efforts to reduced such biases, can increase scientific output and generate more efficient use of the public funds channeled through major research funding agencies such as the MFR. In addition, female enrollment in PhD programs increased relative to other research fields, especially in medical fields with the highest pre-disclosure competence assessment bias, indicating that the disclosure of bias triggered coordinated efforts with impact on Swedish medical research more broadly.