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Reform of Unemployment Compensation in Germany: A Nonparametric Bounds Analysis Using Register Data

  • Lee, Sokbae
  • Wilke, Ralf A.

Economic theory suggests that an extension of the maximum length of entitlement for unemployment benefits increases the duration of unemployment. Empirical results for the reform of the unemployment compensation system in Germany during the 1980s are less clear. The analysis in this paper is motivated by the controversial empirical findings and by recent developments in econometrics for partial identification. We use extensive administrative data with the drawback that registered unemployment is not directly observed. For this reason we bound the reform effect on unemployment duration over different definitions of unemployment. By exploiting the richness of the data we use a nonparametric approach without imposing critical parametric model assumptions. We identify a systematic increase in unemployment duration in response to the reform in samples that amount to less than 15% of the unemployment spells for the treatment group.

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File URL: http://pubs.amstat.org/doi/abs/10.1198/jbes.2009.0014
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Article provided by American Statistical Association in its journal Journal of Business and Economic Statistics.

Volume (Year): 27 (2009)
Issue (Month): 2 ()
Pages: 193-205

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Handle: RePEc:bes:jnlbes:v:27:i:2:y:2009:p:193-205
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  1. Tomi Kyyrä & Ralf Wilke, 2004. "Reduction in the Long-Term Unemployment of the Elderly: A Success Story from Finland," Discussion Papers 346, Government Institute for Economic Research Finland (VATT).
  2. Richard Blundell & Amanda Gosling & Hidehiko Ichimura & Costas Meghir, 2006. "Changes in the Distribution of Male and Female Wages Accounting for Employment Composition Using Bounds," CIRJE F-Series CIRJE-F-420, CIRJE, Faculty of Economics, University of Tokyo.
  3. Manski, Charles F, 1990. "Nonparametric Bounds on Treatment Effects," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 80(2), pages 319-23, May.
  4. Michael Lechner, 1999. "Nonparametric bounds on employment and income effects of continuous vocational training in East Germany," Econometrics Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 2(1), pages 1-28.
  5. Jennifer Hunt, 1992. "The Effect of Unemployment Compensation on Unemployment Duration in Germany," Discussion Papers of DIW Berlin 50, DIW Berlin, German Institute for Economic Research.
  6. Bo E. Honore & Adriana Lleras Muney, 2004. "Bounds in Competing Risks Models and the War on Cancer," NBER Working Papers 10963, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  7. Charles F. Manski & John V. Pepper, 1998. "Monotone Instrumental Variables: With an Application to the Returns to Schooling," Virginia Economics Online Papers 308, University of Virginia, Department of Economics.
  8. Susan Athey & Guido Imbens, 2003. "Identification and Inference in Nonlinear Difference-in-Differences Models," Levine's Working Paper Archive 506439000000000079, David K. Levine.
  9. Lüdemann, Elke & Wilke, Ralf A. & Zhang, Xuan, 2004. "Censored Quantile Regressions and the Length of Unemployment Periods in West Germany," ZEW Discussion Papers 04-57, ZEW - Zentrum für Europäische Wirtschaftsforschung / Center for European Economic Research.
  10. Lawrence F. Katz & Bruce D. Meyer, 1988. "The Impact of the Potential Duration of Unemployment Benefits on the Duration of Unemployment," NBER Working Papers 2741, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  11. repec:att:wimass:9604 is not listed on IDEAS
  12. Bo E. Honoré & Adriana Lleras-Muney, 2004. "Bounds in Competing Risks Models and the War on Cancer," CAM Working Papers 2004-08, University of Copenhagen. Department of Economics. Centre for Applied Microeconometrics.
  13. Biewen, Martin & Wilke, Ralf A., 2005. "Unemployment Duration and the Length of Entitlement Periods for Unemployment Benefits: Do the IAB Employment Subsample and the German Socio-Economic Panel Yield the Same Results?," ZEW Discussion Papers 05-05, ZEW - Zentrum für Europäische Wirtschaftsforschung / Center for European Economic Research.
  14. Charles F. Manski, 1997. "Monotone Treatment Response," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 65(6), pages 1311-1334, November.
  15. Fitzenberger, Bernd & Wilke, Ralf A., 2004. "Unemployment Durations in West-Germany Before and After the Reform of the Unemployment Compensation System During the 1980s," ZEW Discussion Papers 04-24, ZEW - Zentrum für Europäische Wirtschaftsforschung / Center for European Economic Research.
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