Hello. I'm Fabien Petit.

Research Fellow at the University of Sussex Business School, Science Policy Research Unit. I am interested in Labor, Macro and Behavioral Economics. My research project focuses on the labor market consequences of technological change and changing inter-generational relationships.

🚨📢 Latest news:

Projects CV


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

đź“ť Working papers

Can workers still climb the social ladder as middling jobs become scarce?

Evidence from two British Cohorts

with Cecilia García-Peñalosa and Tanguy van Ypersele | Revise and Resubmit at Labour Economics | Working Paper

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.

Heterogeneous labor market adjustment to automation technologies

with Tommaso Ciarli and Florencia Jaccoud | Working paper in preparation

Abstract: This paper examines the differences in the adjustments of employment and wages to four automation technologies—i.e. robots, communication technology, information technology, and software/database—across 227 regions in 22 European countries from 1995 to 2017. By constructing a measure of technology penetration, we estimate how automation technologies transform regional labor markets and how workers are reallocated across sectors. Based on their characteristics, we classify regions into seven clusters. We find that labor market adjustments to automation technologies differ according to: i) the technology which penetrates; ii) the sector of penetration; iii) the sectoral composition of the region; and iv) the productivity of its labor force. These adjustments are largely the result of the reallocation of low-paid workers across sectors.

Inter-generational conflict and the declining labor share

Under review | 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.

Spillover effects across values

Working Paper

Abstract: Values characterize preferences that themselves shape individuals’ decisions explaining future gaps in economic outcomes. I study the dynamics of values when values are inter-dependent and shocked by life events and I show that spillover effects across values do exist. Individuals choose to identify with a group with which they share values, but there are psychological costs to have values that are not consistent with those of the group. Whenever an event occurs in someone’s life—bringing new information—this may change some of her values. This shock can drive the individual to identify with a new group if the shocked values have taken her too far from her previous group. By identifying with the new group, she changes all her values—including not initially affected values—toward those of that new group. By changing values that are not affected by the shock, life events generate spillover effects across values.

🔜 Work in progress

Reallocation of employment over automation waves

with Tommaso Ciarli, Teresa Farinha, Florencia Jaccoud and Maria Savona| Data analysis

Generational inertia in skills

Theoretical model


"There is considerable evidence that people are more likely to arrive at conclusions that they want to arrive at, but their ability to do so is constrained by their ability to construct seemingly reasonable justifications for these conclusions. — Ziva Kunda

✏️ Other writing


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

Advanced Microeconomics I

Teaching Assistant for Roberta Ziparo

BSc Mathematics and Economics (2019-2021)

Advanced Microeconomics II

Teaching Assistant for Roberta Ziparo

BSc Mathematics and Economics (2019-2022)

Macroeconomics I

Teaching Assistant for CĂ©line Poilly

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

International Monetary Mechanisms

Teaching Assistant for Gilbert Bougi

BSc Business and International Trade Management (Spring 2019)

Mathematics I

Teaching Assistant for Laurent Bruasse and Maxime Gilly

BSc Economics and Law (2019-2021)

Mathematics II

Teaching Assistant for Laurent Bruasse

BSc Economics and Management (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 fabien.petit@sussex.ac.uk

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