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Distribution and determinants of lifetime unemployment

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  • Schmillen, Achim
  • Möller, Joachim

Abstract

The empirical literature on unemployment almost exclusively focuses on the duration of distinct unemployment spells. In contrast, we use a unique administrative micro data set for the time span 1975–2004 to investigate individual lifetime unemployment — defined as the cumulative length of all unemployment spells over a 25-year period. This new perspective enables us to answer questions regarding the long-term distribution and determinants of unemployment for birth cohorts 1950–1954. We show that lifetime unemployment is highly concentrated on a small part of the population. With censored quantile regressions we investigate the long-lasting influence of bad luck early in the professional career: Controlling for individual and firm characteristics we find that choosing at a young age what turns out to be an unfavorable occupation significantly increases the predicted amount of lifetime unemployment.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Labour Economics.

Volume (Year): 19 (2012)
Issue (Month): 1 ()
Pages: 33-47

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Handle: RePEc:eee:labeco:v:19:y:2012:i:1:p:33-47

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Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/labeco

Related research

Keywords: Lifetime unemployment; Censored quantile regressions; Occupation-specific human capital;

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References

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Cited by:
  1. Wölfel, Oliver & Heineck, Guido, 2012. "Parental risk attitudes and children's secondary school track choice," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 31(5), pages 727-743.
  2. Lucht, Michael & Haas, Anette, 2012. "Heterogeneous Firms and Substitution by Tasks: the Productivity Effect of Migrants," Annual Conference 2012 (Goettingen): New Approaches and Challenges for the Labor Market of the 21st Century 62053, Verein für Socialpolitik / German Economic Association.
  3. Haas, Anette & Lucht, Michael & Schanne, Norbert, 2013. "Why to employ both migrants and natives? A study on task-specific substitutability," Journal for Labour Market Research, Institut für Arbeitsmarkt- und Berufsforschung (IAB), Nürnberg [Institute for Employment Research, Nuremberg, Germany], vol. 46(3), pages 201-214.
  4. Daniel Pollmann & Thomas Dohmen & Franz Palm, 2013. "Robust Estimation of Wage Dispersion with Censored Data: An Application to Occupational Earnings Risk and Risk Attitudes," SOEPpapers on Multidisciplinary Panel Data Research 572, DIW Berlin, The German Socio-Economic Panel (SOEP).
  5. Schmillen, Achim & Umkehrer, Matthias, 2013. "The scars of youth : effects of early-career unemployment on future unemployment experience," IAB Discussion Paper 201306, Institut für Arbeitsmarkt- und Berufsforschung (IAB), Nürnberg [Institute for Employment Research, Nuremberg, Germany].

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