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Unemployment insurance and subsequent job duration: job matching versus unobserved heterogeneity

  • Christian Belzil

    (Concordia University, CIRANO and IZA, Department of Economics, Montreal, H3G 1M8, QC, Canada)

The relationship between Unemployment Insurance (UI) benefit duration, unemployment duration and subsequent job duration is investigated using a multi-state duration model with state specific unobserved heterogeneity. I examine two potential explanations for the negative correlation between unemployment and job spell durations; UI benefits increase job matching quality (the 'Matching' effect) versus unobserved heterogeneity ('Adverse Selection'). The Matching effect is found to be weak. Although new jobs accepted within 5 weeks of benefit termination seem to have a higher dissolution rate, the negative correlation between unemployment and job duration is mostly explained by unobserved heterogeneity. Various simulations indicate that increasing the maximum benefit duration by one week will raise expected unemployment duration by 1.0 to 1.5 days but will raise expected job duration by 0.5 to 0.8 day only. Copyright © 2001 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

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Article provided by John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. in its journal Journal of Applied Econometrics.

Volume (Year): 16 (2001)
Issue (Month): 5 ()
Pages: 619-636

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Handle: RePEc:jae:japmet:v:16:y:2001:i:5:p:619-636
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  1. Kathleen P. Classen, 1977. "The effect of unemployment insurance on the duration of unemployment and subsequent earnings," Industrial and Labor Relations Review, ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 30(4), pages 438-444, July.
  2. Ehrenberg, Ronald G & Oaxaca, Ronald L, 1976. "Unemployment Insurance, Duration of Unemployment, and Subsequent Wage Gain," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 66(5), pages 754-66, December.
  3. John C. Ham & Samuel Rea, 1986. "Unemployment Insurance and Male Unemployment Duration in Canada," Working Papers 592, Princeton University, Department of Economics, Industrial Relations Section..
  4. Bruce D. Meyer, 1988. "Unemployment Insurance And Unemployment Spells," NBER Working Papers 2546, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. Han, Aaron & Hausman, Jerry A, 1990. "Flexible Parametric Estimation of Duration and Competing Risk Models," Journal of Applied Econometrics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 5(1), pages 1-28, January-M.
  6. Hopenhayn, H. & Nicolini, P.J., 1996. "Optimal Unemployment Insurance," RCER Working Papers 421, University of Rochester - Center for Economic Research (RCER).
  7. Belzil, Christian, 1995. "Unemployment Insurance and Unemployment over Time: An Analysis with Event History Data," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 77(1), pages 113-26, February.
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