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Microeconomic analysis of unemployment persistence in Belgium

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Author Info

  • Amynah Gangji
  • Robert Plasman

Abstract

Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to investigate the causes of unemployment persistence among the Belgian labour force. The underlying issue is to determine the eventual existence of a true causal relationship between successive unemployment spells. Design/methodology/approach – The model used is a dynamic random effects probit model controlling for unobserved heterogeneity and the initial condition problem. It was applied to the Panel Study on Belgian Households (1994-2002). Findings – The results suggest that while observed and unobserved heterogeneity explain between 57 per cent and 82 per cent of unemployment persistence, the remainder is induced by the presence of state dependence. All else being equal, an individual unemployed this year will be between 11.4 and 33 percentage points more likely to be unemployed next year as compared with an employed person. Practical implications – The presence of a stigmatisation effect of unemployment means that the costs of unemployment are much higher than the simple loss of income and human capital associated with the current job loss. The study demonstrates the importance of concentrating efforts on the prevention of unemployment. Originality/value – The paper's contribution is to test again the hypothesis of the presence of state dependence in unemployment using a different technique, allowing, among other things, to control for exogenous variables. The paper demonstrates its existence and measures its contribution in the explanation of unemployment persistence in Belgium, besides that of observed and unobserved characteristics.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Emerald Group Publishing in its journal International Journal of Manpower.

Volume (Year): 29 (2008)
Issue (Month): 3 (July)
Pages: 280-298

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Handle: RePEc:eme:ijmpps:v:29:y:2008:i:3:p:280-298

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Related research

Keywords: Belgium; Labour; Mathematical modelling; Social welfare; Unemployment;

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References

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  1. Gregg, Paul, 2001. "The Impact of Youth Unemployment on Adult Unemployment in the NCDS," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 111(475), pages F626-53, November.
  2. Chamberlain, Gary, 1984. "Panel data," Handbook of Econometrics, in: Z. Griliches† & M. D. Intriligator (ed.), Handbook of Econometrics, edition 1, volume 2, chapter 22, pages 1247-1318 Elsevier.
  3. Jeffrey M. Wooldridge, 2005. "Simple solutions to the initial conditions problem in dynamic, nonlinear panel data models with unobserved heterogeneity," Journal of Applied Econometrics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 20(1), pages 39-54.
  4. Narendranathan, Wiji & Elias, Peter, 1993. "Influences of Past History on the Incidence of Youth Unemployment: Empirical Findings for the UK," Oxford Bulletin of Economics and Statistics, Department of Economics, University of Oxford, vol. 55(2), pages 161-85, May.
  5. Mundlak, Yair, 1978. "On the Pooling of Time Series and Cross Section Data," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 46(1), pages 69-85, January.
  6. Arulampalam, Wiji & Booth, Alison L & Taylor, Mark P, 2000. "Unemployment Persistence," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 52(1), pages 24-50, January.
  7. Stéfan Lollivier, 2000. "Récurrence du chômage dans l'insertion des jeunes : des trajectoires hétérogènes," Économie et Statistique, Programme National Persée, vol. 334(1), pages 49-63.
  8. Butler, J S & Moffitt, Robert, 1982. "A Computationally Efficient Quadrature Procedure for the One-Factor Multinomial Probit Model," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 50(3), pages 761-64, May.
  9. Flaig, Gebhard & Licht, Georg & Steiner, Viktor, 1993. "Testing for state dependence effects in a dynamic model of male unemployment behaviour," ZEW Discussion Papers 93-07, ZEW - Zentrum für Europäische Wirtschaftsforschung / Center for European Economic Research.
  10. Guilkey, David K. & Murphy, James L., 1993. "Estimation and testing in the random effects probit model," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 59(3), pages 301-317, October.
  11. Arulampalam, Wiji, 2002. "State Dependence in Unemployment Incidence: Evidence for British Men Revisited," IZA Discussion Papers 630, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  12. Arulampalam, W., 1998. "A Note on Estimated Coefficients in Random Effects Probit Models," The Warwick Economics Research Paper Series (TWERPS) 520, University of Warwick, Department of Economics.
  13. Winter-Ebmer, Rudolf & Zweimuller, Josef, 1992. "Do They Come Back Again? Job Search, Labour Market Segmentation and State Dependence as Explanations of Repeat Unemployment," Empirical Economics, Springer, vol. 17(2), pages 273-92.
  14. Winter-Ebmer, Rudolf, 1991. "Some Micro Evidence on Unemployment Persistence," Oxford Bulletin of Economics and Statistics, Department of Economics, University of Oxford, vol. 53(1), pages 27-43, February.
  15. Wiji Arulampalam & Alison L. Booth, 2000. "Union status of young men in Britain: a decade of change," Journal of Applied Econometrics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 15(3), pages 289-310.
  16. Eric Cahuzac, 1998. "Past unemployment influences on the incidence of Belgian employees unemployment," Brussels Economic Review, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles, vol. 159, pages 231-254.
  17. Lockwood, Ben, 1991. "Information Externalities in the Labour Market and the Duration of Unemployment," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 58(4), pages 733-53, July.
  18. Muhleisen, Martin & Zimmermann, Klaus F., 1994. "A panel analysis of job changes and unemployment," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 38(3-4), pages 793-801, April.
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Bernal, Oscar & Oosterlinck, Kim & Szafarz, Ariane, 2010. "Observing bailout expectations during a total eclipse of the sun," Journal of International Money and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 29(7), pages 1193-1205, November.
  2. Charles Plaigin, 2009. "Exploratory study on the presence of cultural and institutional growth spillovers," DULBEA Working Papers 09-03.RS, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles.
  3. Olivier Debande & Jean Luc De Meulemeester, 2008. "Quality and variety competition in higher education," DULBEA Working Papers 08-12.RS, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles.
  4. Sile Padraigin O'Dorchai, 2008. "Pay inequality in 25 European countries," DULBEA Working Papers 08-06rs, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles.
  5. Ariane Szafarz, 2007. "Hiring people-like-yourself: a representation of discrimination on the job market," DULBEA Working Papers 07-21.RS, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles.
  6. Abdeslam Marfouk, 2008. "The African brain drain: scope and determinants," DULBEA Working Papers 08-07.RS, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles.
  7. Benoît Mahy & François Rycx & Mélanie Volral, 2008. "L'influence de la dispersion salariale sur la performance des grandes entreprises belges," ULB Institutional Repository 2013/13474, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles.
  8. Pierre-Guillaume Méon & Ariane Szafarz, 2008. "Labour market discrimination as an agency cost," Working Papers CEB 08-019.RS, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles.
  9. Amynah Vanessa Gangji & Robert Plasman, 2007. "The Matthew effect of unemployment: how does it affect wages in Belgium," DULBEA Working Papers 07-19.RS, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles.
  10. Luigi Aldieri, 2009. "The Effects of Unemployment Experiences on Subsequent Wages in Italy," Brussels Economic Review, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles, vol. 52(2), pages 109-119.
  11. Caroline Gerschlager, 2008. "Foolishness and identity: Amartya Sen and Adam Smith," DULBEA Working Papers 08-03.RS, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles.
  12. Hassan Ayoub & Jérôme Creel & Etienne Farvaque, 2008. "Détermination du niveau des prix et finances: le cas du Liban 1965-2005," DULBEA Working Papers 08-10.RS, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles.

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