Household Level Economic Incentives, Unemployment Trap and Job Finding Probability
This paper considers the sensitivity of the household's disposable income with respect to the labour market states and the labour market transitions of unemployed workers. The paper analyses the following questions: (i) which are the determinants of starting wages? (ii) how many unemployed are in the unemployment trap? (iii) how do household level economic incentives affect the conditional probability of finding a job? The empirical analysis is based on individual panel data covering the years 1987–1993 in Finland, when the unemployment rate rose from about 4% to 18%. We have estimated the starting wage equation to calculate the effects of hypothetical re-employment on the household's disposable income and to evaluate the frequency of the unemployment trap. To analyse factors affecting the transition out of unemployment to employment in open labour market, we estimate unemployment duration using a semi-parametric proportional risk model. The paper shows that the impact of the economic incentives, measured by the hypothetical change in household disposable income, on employment is more important in the recession than in the boom. Copyright Kluwer Academic Publishers 1999
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