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Household Level Economic Incentives, Unemployment Trap and Job Finding Probability

  • Pasi Holm
  • Tomi Kyyrä
  • Juha Rantala

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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File URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10.1023/A:1008707618520
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Article provided by Springer in its journal International Tax and Public Finance.

Volume (Year): 6 (1999)
Issue (Month): 3 (August)
Pages: 361-378

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Handle: RePEc:kap:itaxpf:v:6:y:1999:i:3:p:361-378
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  1. Moffitt, Robert, 1993. "Identification and estimation of dynamic models with a time series of repeated cross-sections," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 59(1-2), pages 99-123, September.
  2. van den Berg, Gerard J, 1990. "Nonstationarity in Job Search Theory," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 57(2), pages 255-77, April.
  3. Bruce D. Meyer, 1988. "Unemployment Insurance And Unemployment Spells," NBER Working Papers 2546, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. Reija Lilja, 1993. "Unemployment benefit system and unemployment duration in Finland," Finnish Economic Papers, Finnish Economic Association, vol. 6(1), pages 25-37, Spring.
  5. Lippman, Steven A & McCall, John J, 1976. "The Economics of Job Search: A Survey," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 14(3), pages 347-68, September.
  6. Narendranathan, W & Nickell, S & Stern, J, 1985. "Unemployment Benefits Revisited," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 95(378), pages 307-29, June.
  7. Chesher, Andrew D, 1984. "Testing for Neglected Heterogeneity," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 52(4), pages 865-72, July.
  8. Heckman, James & Singer, Burton, 1984. "A Method for Minimizing the Impact of Distributional Assumptions in Econometric Models for Duration Data," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 52(2), pages 271-320, March.
  9. Arulampalam, Wiji & Stewart, Mark B, 1995. "The Determinants of Individual Unemployment Durations in an Era of High Unemployment," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 105(429), pages 321-32, March.
  10. Deaton, Angus, 1985. "Panel data from time series of cross-sections," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 30(1-2), pages 109-126.
  11. Narendranathan, W. & Stewart, M.B., 1989. "Modelling The Probability Of Leaving Unemployment: Competing Risks Models With Flexible Baseline Hazards," The Warwick Economics Research Paper Series (TWERPS) 331, University of Warwick, Department of Economics.
  12. Chesher, Andrew & Lancaster, Tony, 1983. "The Estimation of Models of Labour Market Behavior," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 50(4), pages 609-24, October.
  13. Green, David A & Riddell, W Craig, 1997. "Qualifying for Unemployment Insurance: An Empirical Analysis," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 107(440), pages 67-84, January.
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