Panu Poutvaara is Professor of Economics at the University of Munich and Director of the Ifo Center for International Institutional Comparisons and Migration Research.

Poutvaara received his doctorate in 2002 from the University of Helsinki. In 1999-2000, he was Visiting Fellow at Harvard University through Fulbright Program. He worked as Research Fellow at CEBR in Denmark from 2002 to 2005, and as professor at the University of Helsinki from 2005 until September 2010.

Poutvaara's main research interests are in public economics, political economics and labor economics. His main research topics are migration, education, social security, military draft, and electoral competition, including the role of beauty in politics. His work has been published in the Journal of the European Economic Association, European Economic Review, Journal of Public Economics, Journal of Health Economics, Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, and Scandinavian Journal of Economics, among other journals. His work has been covered in different media outlets, including the Economist, New York Times, and der Spiegel.

Poutvaara is the the managing editor of the CESifo Economic Studies.

He joined IZA as a Research Fellow in May 2004.

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Publications

IZA Discussion Paper No. 10003

We estimate the effect of getting elected on future income development of political candidates. We present a bootstrap approach for measuring electoral closeness, which can be used to implement a regression discontinuity design in any electoral system. We apply the method to the Finnish proportional open list system. Being elected...

IZA Discussion Paper No. 9434

We show that the Roy model has more precise predictions about the self‐selection of migrants than previously realized. The same conditions that have been shown to result in positive or negative selection in terms of expected earnings also imply a stochastic dominance relationship between the earnings distributions of migrants and...

IZA Discussion Paper No. 8574
forthcoming in: Journal of the European Economic Association

We study the effects of immigration on native welfare in a general equilibrium model featuring two skill types, search frictions, wage bargaining, and a redistributive welfare state. Our quantitative analysis suggests that, in all 20 countries studied, immigration attenuates the effects of search frictions. These gains tend to outweigh the...

IZA Discussion Paper No. 8352

We present a theory on migration of dual-earner couples and test it in the context of international migration. Our model predicts that the probability that a couple emigrates increases in the home-country earnings of the primary earner. The effect of the home-country earnings of the secondary earner may go either...

IZA Discussion Paper No. 5513
published in: Journal of Public Economics, 2017, 146, 79–86

Previous research has established that good-looking political candidates win more votes. We extend this line of research by examining differences between parties on the left and on the right of the political spectrum. Our study combines data on personal votes in real elections with a web survey in which 2,513...

IZA Discussion Paper No. 5009
forthcoming in: European Journal of Political Economy

In this paper, we study how high school students reacted to the shocking news of a school shooting. The shooting coincided with national high-school matriculation exams. As there were exams both before and after the shooting, we can perform a difference-in-differences analysis to uncover how the school shooting affected the...

IZA Discussion Paper No. 4429
published in: Christopher J. Coyne and Rachel L. Mathers (eds.), The Handbook on the Political Economy of War, Edward Elgar Publishing, 2011

Though in decline recently, military conscription is still a widely used mode of staffing armies. Since not many valid economic, social or military arguments in favor of the draft can be put forward, the question emerges why societies choose to rely on it. In this survey we explain the political...

IZA Discussion Paper No. 4399
published in: FinanzArchiv, 2010, 66 (2), 97-120

Using data from 1960-2000 for OECD countries, we analyze the impact of compulsory military service on the demand for higher education, measured by students enrolled in tertiary education as a share of the working-age population. Based on a theoretical model, we hypothesize that military draft has a negative effect on...

IZA Discussion Paper No. 4235
published in: Journal of Public Economics, 2011, 95 (7-8), 877 - 885

In this paper, we estimate the effect of pay for politicians on who wants to be a politician. We take advantage of a considerable 35 percent salary increase of Finnish MPs in the year 2000, intended to make the pay for parliamentarians more competitive. A difference-indifferences analysis, using candidates in...

IZA Discussion Paper No. 4144

Following a seminal contribution by Borjas (1987), a large literature has analyzed how income distribution and redistribution are related to immigration to various rich countries. In this paper, we take a look at the other side of the coin. We analyze emigration from Denmark, which is one of the richest...

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