Erik Plug

Research Fellow

University of Amsterdam

Erik Plug is Professor of Economics at the University of Amsterdam. Erik is the current president of the European Association of Labour Economists (EALE). He is also research fellow at Tinbergen Institute, Uppsala Center for Labor Studies (UCLS), and past president of the European Society of Population Economics (ESPE). His current research interests relate to family, education and labor economics. His work is published in among others American Economic Review, Industrial and Labor Relations Review, Journal of Economic Literature, Journal of Labor Economics, Journal of Political Economy and the Quarterly Journal of Economics. Erik received his Ph.D in Economics from the University of Amsterdam in 1997.

He joined IZA as a Research Fellow in November 2000.



IZA Discussion Paper No. 10836

We conduct a study under 2,400 third grade students at three large secondary comprehensive schools to evaluate a gifted and talented (GT) program with selective program admission based on past achievement. We construct three complementary estimates of the program's impact on student achievement. First, we use the fragmented GT program...

IZA Discussion Paper No. 9757

We examine the effect of a gifted and talented program in academic secondary education. Students are assigned based on a cutoff score in a cognitive aptitude test, which we exploit in a fuzzy regression discontinuity framework to identify program effects. We find that assigned students obtain higher grades, follow a...

IZA Discussion Paper No. 9382

It is an established fact that gay men earn less than other men and lesbian women earn more than other women. In this paper we study whether differences in competitive preferences, which have emerged as a likely determinant of labour market differences between men and women, can provide a plausible...

IZA Discussion Paper No. 9077
forthcoming as "Is There a Penalty for Registered Women? Is There a Premium for Registered Men? Evidence from a Sample of Transsexual Workers" in: European Economic Review, 2018

We study the earnings of transsexuals using Dutch administrative labor force data. First, we compare transsexuals to other women and men, and find that transsexuals earn more than women and less than men. Second, we compare transsexuals before and after transition using worker fixed effects models, and find a fall...

IZA Discussion Paper No. 9074
forthcoming in: Scandinavian Journal of Economics

This paper examines whether children are better off if their parents have stronger social networks. Using data on high-school friendships of parents, we analyze whether the number and characteristics of friends affect the labor-market outcomes of children. While parental friendships formed in high school appear long lasting, we find no...

IZA Discussion Paper No. 8609
published as "Can Women Have Children and a Career? IV Evidence from IVF Treatments" in: American Economic Review, June 2017, 107 (6), 1611-37

This paper introduces a new IV strategy based on IVF induced fertility variation in childless families to estimate the causal effect of having children on female labor supply using IVF treated women in Denmark. Because observed chances of IVF success do not depend on labor market histories, IVF treatment success...

IZA Discussion Paper No. 8130
published in: World Bank Economic Review, 2017, 31 (3), 786–808

We estimate the impact of changes in unearned income on the height and weight of young children in a developing country. As source of variation we use changes in the eligibility criteria for receipt of an unconditional cash transfer in Ecuador. Two years after families lost the transfer, which they...

IZA Discussion Paper No. 7956
published in: Labour Economics, 2016, 43, 106-121

There exists a strong educational gradient in cancer risk, which has been documented in a wide range of populations. Yet relatively little is known about the extent to which education is causally linked to cancer incidence and mortality. This paper exploits a large social experiment where an education reform expanded...

IZA Discussion Paper No. 6706
Monique de Haan, Erik Plug, José Rosero
published in: Journal of Human Resources, 2014, 49 (2), 359-392

In this paper we examine the effect of birth order on human capital development in Ecuador using a large national database together with self-collected survey data. Using family fixed effects models we find significant positive birth order effects; earlier born children stay behind in their human capital development from early...

IZA Discussion Paper No. 5772
published in: Journal of Labor Economics, 2014, 32 (1), 123-159

This paper examines whether gay and lesbian workers sort into tolerant occupations. With information on sexual orientation, prejudice and occupational choice taken from Australian Twin Registers, we find that gays and lesbians shy away from prejudiced occupations. We show that our segregation results are largely driven by those gay and...