Thijs van Rens is associate professor at the University of Warwick and a research affiliate at the Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR) in London. He studied economics at the University of Amsterdam and Princeton University, where he obtained his Ph.D. degree in June 2005. Thijs’s research interests are on the intersection of labor economics and macroeconomics, addressing questions why so many workers lose their jobs in a recession and why it takes such a long time before the unemployment rate goes down after the economy recovers.

He joined IZA as a Research Fellow in November 2007.



IZA Discussion Paper No. 8884

We investigate unemployment due to mismatch in the US over the past three decades. We propose an accounting framework that allows us to estimate the overall amount of mismatch unemployment as well as the contribution of the frictions that caused the mismatch. Mismatch is quantitatively important for unemployment and the...

IZA Discussion Paper No. 6294

Firms select not only how many, but also which workers to hire. Yet, in standard search models of the labor market, all workers have the same probability of being hired. We argue that selective hiring crucially affects welfare analysis. Our model is isomorphic to a search model under random hiring...

IZA Discussion Paper No. 5099

We document three changes in postwar US macroeconomic dynamics: (i) the procyclicality of labor productivity has vanished, (ii) the relative volatility of employment has risen, and (iii) the relative (and absolute) volatility of the real wage has risen. We propose an explanation for all three changes that is based on...

IZA Discussion Paper No. 4258
published as 'Skill-Biased Technological Change and the Business Cycle' in: Review of Economics and Statistics, 2013, 95(4), 1222-1237

Over the past two decades, technological progress has been biased towards making skilled labor more productive. What does skill-biased technological change imply for business cycles? To answer this question, we construct a quarterly series for the skill premium from the CPS and use it to identify skill-biased technology shocks in...

IZA Discussion Paper No. 3714
published in: Journal of Monetary Economics, 2013, 60, 887 - 899.

Standard macroeconomic models underpredict the volatility of unemployment fluctuations. A common solution is to assume wages are rigid. We explore whether this explanation is consistent with the data. We show that the wage of newly hired workers, unlike the aggregate wage, is volatile and responds one-to-one to changes in labor...

IZA Discussion Paper No. 3239
published in: Journal of Monetary Economics, 2009, 56(1), 20-39

Was the increase in income inequality in the US due to permanent shocks or merely to an increase in the variance of transitory shocks? The implications for consumption and welfare depend crucially on the answer to this question. We use CEX repeated cross-section data on consumption and income to decompose...