Hello. I'm Fabien Petit.

Research Fellow at University College London, Centre for Education Policy and Equalising Opportunities. I am interested in Labor Economics, Innovation Economics and Education Economics.

My research focuses on labor markets, technologies, skills, generations and inequality.

🚨📢 Latest news:

Research CV


"Research is an organized method for keeping you reasonably dissatisfied with what you have." - Charles F. Kettering.

📰 Publications

Abstract: The increase in employment polarization observed in several high-income economies has coincided with a reduction in inter-generational mobility. This paper argues that the disappearance of middling jobs can drive changes in mobility, notably by removing a stepping-stone towards high-paying occupations for those from less well-off family backgrounds. Using data for two British cohorts we examine how the occupational outcomes of children depend on both initial occupations and occupational upgrading during their careers. We find that transitions across occupations are key for mobility and that the effect of parental income on those transitions has become stronger over time. Moreover, the impact of parental income increased the most in the regions where the share of middling employment fell the most, suggesting that greater employment polarization may be one of the factors behind the observed decline in mobility.

📝 Working papers

The Employment Impact of Emerging Digital Technologies

with Ekaterina Prytkova, Deyu Li, Sugat Chaturvedi and Tommaso Ciarli | Working Paper | TechXposure Database
Best Paper Award at the 2nd CESifo / ifo Junior Workshop on Big Data
IMF Paper Award at the Armenian Economic Association 2024 Annual Meetings

Abstract: This paper measures the exposure of industries and occupations to 40 digital technologies that emerged over the past decade and estimates their impact on European employment. Using a novel approach that leverages sentence transformers, we calculate exposure scores based on the semantic similarity between patents and ISCO-08/NACE Rev.2 classifications to construct an open–access database, `TechXposure'. By combining our data with a shift–share approach, we instrument the regional exposure to emerging digital technologies to estimate their employment impact across European regions. We find an overall positive effect of emerging digital technologies on employment, with a one-standard-deviation increase in regional exposure leading to a 1.069 percentage point increase in the employment-to-population ratio. However, upon examining the individual effects of these technologies, we find that smart agriculture, the internet of things, industrial and mobile robots, digital advertising, mobile payment, electronic messaging, cloud storage, social network technologies, and machine learning negatively impact regional employment.

Life Events, Social Identity and Values

Working Paper

Abstract: This paper explores how life events change values and social identity when both are endogenous, i.e. when individuals identify with a social group based on shared values. Life events may introduce new information that shifts a value central to their social identity, misaligning individuals with their current social group’s values. Consequently, individuals may align with a new group, affecting previously unchanged values and creating spillover effects. Using cohort data, I find that life events, such as parenthood or sickness, significantly alter values and social identity. Overlooking the interdependence between values underestimates the extent to which life experiences affect individuals.

Automation and Employment over the Technology Life Cycle

Evidence from European Regions

with Florencia Jaccoud, Tommaso Ciarli and Maria Savona | Working Paper

Abstract: This paper examines the labor market implications of investment in automation over the life cycle of ICT and robot technologies from 1995 to 2017 in 163 European regions. We first identify major technological breakthroughs during this period and classify phases of acceleration and deceleration in investment. We then examine how exposure to automation technologies affects employment and wages across these different phases of their life cycle. We find that the negligible long-term impact of automation on employment conceals significant short-term positive and negative effects within phases of the technology life cycle. We also find that the negative impact of ICT investments on employment is driven by the phase of the cycle when investment decelerates (and the technology is more mature). The phases of the technology life cycles are more relevant than differences in regions' structural characteristics, such as productivity and sector specialization in explaining the impact of automation to on regional employment.

Heterogeneous adjustments of labor markets to automation technologies

with Florencia Jaccoud and Tommaso Ciarli | CESifo Working Paper

Abstract: This paper examines the labor market adjustments to four automation technologies (i.e. robots, communication technology, information technology, and software/database) in 227 regions across 22 European countries from 1995 to 2017. By constructing a measure of technology penetration, we estimate changes in regional employment and wages affected by automation technologies along with the reallocation of workers between sectors. We find that labor market adjustments to automation technologies differ according to i) the technology involved, ii) the sector of penetration, iii) the sectoral composition of the region, and iv) the region's technological capabilities. These adjustments are driven largely by the reallocation of low-paid workers across sectors.

Inter-generational conflict and the declining labor share

Working Paper

Abstract: The coincidence in timing between the start of the decline of the labor share and the entry of the baby-boomers cohort into adulthood—entering the labor market and reaching voting age—has received no attention. I argue that the observed shift away from labor toward capital is a response to changes in labor market institutions endogenously determined by the age structure of the population through voting. The size of the boomer cohort gives them large political weight and allows them to change public policy in their favor when they are young and then old. These institutional changes have consequences for the wage bargaining to which firms respond by substituting labor with capital to thwart workers' appropriation of the rents. I develop a model which links public policy to wage bargaining and calibrate it for France and the US. Numerical simulations can replicate the decline of the labor share and labor market dynamics.

🔜 Work in progress

Firms’ adoption of emerging technologies: Evidence from online job ads

with Ekaterina Prytkova | Data analysis

Generational inertia in skill adoption

Theoretical model derivation

✏️ Other writing

Workshop and Seminar Organizations

💬 Junior Research Day

2024 Junior Research Day — Spring Paris Meeting

co-organized with Elodie Andrieu, Olimpia Cutinelli-Rendina and Meng Yu Ngov | Collège de France | Call for Papers

2023 Junior Research Day — Autumn London Meeting

co-organized with Elodie Andrieu, Olimpia Cutinelli-Rendina and Meng Yu Ngov | King's College London | Program

💬 IFS-UCL-IoE Human Capital and Labour Markets Seminar Series

2024 Spring Edition

co-organized with Monica Costa Dias, Claire Crawford, Lindsey Macmillan, Imran Rasul and Imran Tahir | Institute for Fiscal Studies | Program

2023 Fall Edition

co-organized with Monica Costa Dias, Claire Crawford, Lindsey Macmillan, Imran Rasul and Imran Tahir | Institute for Fiscal Studies | Program


"A good teacher is like a candle – it consumes itself to light the way for others." - Mustafa Kemal Atatürk.

💡 Current

Economics of Education

Seminar Leader for Sam Sims

Undergraduate, UCL (Spring 2024)

🌟 Experience

Advanced Microeconomics I

Teaching Assistant for Roberta Ziparo

BSc Mathematics and Economics, AMU (2019-2021)

Advanced Microeconomics II

Teaching Assistant for Roberta Ziparo

BSc Mathematics and Economics, AMU (2019-2022)

Macroeconomics I

Teaching Assistant for Céline Poilly

BSc Economics and Law, AMU (2020-2022)
BSc Economics and Management, AMU (2019-2022)

International Monetary Mechanisms

Teaching Assistant for Gilbert Bougi

BSc Business and International Trade Management, AMU (Spring 2019)

Mathematics I

Teaching Assistant for Laurent Bruasse and Maxime Gilly

BSc Economics and Law, AMU (2019-2021)

Mathematics II

Teaching Assistant for Laurent Bruasse

BSc Economics and Management, AMU (Spring 2019)

Contact me

I would love to receive other emails than spam. For real.
Do not hesitate to send me an e-mail to f.petit@ucl.ac.uk

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