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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.

Suggested Citation

  • Christian Belzil, 2001. "Unemployment insurance and subsequent job duration: job matching versus unobserved heterogeneity," Journal of Applied Econometrics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 16(5), pages 619-636.
  • Handle: RePEc:jae:japmet:v:16:y:2001:i:5:p:619-636

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Meyer, Bruce D, 1990. "Unemployment Insurance and Unemployment Spells," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 58(4), pages 757-782, July.
    2. Ham, John C & Rea, Samuel A, Jr, 1987. "Unemployment Insurance and Male Unemployment Duration in Canada," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 5(3), pages 325-353, July.
    3. 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 754-766, December.
    4. 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 113-126, February.
    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, Hugo A & Nicolini, Juan Pablo, 1997. "Optimal Unemployment Insurance," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 105(2), pages 412-438, April.
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