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Determinants of Lifetime Unemployment. A Micro Data Analysis with Censored Quantile Regressions


  • Achim Schmillen
  • Joachim Möller


The empirical literature on unemployment almost exclusively focuses on the duration of distinct unemployment spells. In contrast, we use a large German administrative micro data set for the time span 1975-2004 to investigate individual lifetime unemployment (defined as the total length of all unemployment spells over a 25-year period). This new perspective enables us to answer questions regarding the longterm distribution and determinants of unemployment for West German birth cohorts 1950-1954. We find that lifetime unemployment is highly unevenly distributed and employ censored quantile regressions to show that, for men, pursuing a disadvantageous occupation early in the professional career leads to a significantly higher amount of lifetime unemployment.

Suggested Citation

  • Achim Schmillen & Joachim Möller, 2010. "Determinants of Lifetime Unemployment. A Micro Data Analysis with Censored Quantile Regressions," Working Papers 090, Bavarian Graduate Program in Economics (BGPE).
  • Handle: RePEc:bav:wpaper:090_schmillen

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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Pradhan, Jaya Prakash, 2011. "Regional heterogeneity and firms’ innovation: the role of regional factors in industrial R&D in India," MPRA Paper 28096, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    2. Pradhan, Jaya Prakash, 2010. "R&D strategy of small and medium enterprises in India: Trends and determinants," MPRA Paper 20951, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    3. Münstermann, Leonard & Schneck, Stefan & Wolter, Hans-Jürgen, 2012. "Die Bedeutung des Kurzarbeitergeldes im Mittelstand," IfM-Materialien 215, Institut für Mittelstandsforschung (IfM) Bonn.
    4. Michael Stops, 2014. "Job matching across occupational labour markets," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 66(4), pages 940-958.
    5. Michael Stops, 2011. "Job Matching on non-separated Occupational Labour Markets," ERSA conference papers ersa11p372, European Regional Science Association.
    6. Tisch, Anita & Tophoven, Silke, 2011. "Erwerbseinstieg und bisheriges Erwerbsleben der deutschen Babyboomerkohorten 1959 und 1965 : Vorarbeiten zu einer Kohortenstudie," IAB-Forschungsbericht 201108, Institut für Arbeitsmarkt- und Berufsforschung (IAB), Nürnberg [Institute for Employment Research, Nuremberg, Germany].

    More about this item


    Lifetime unemployment; Censored quantile regressions; Occupation-specific human capital;

    JEL classification:

    • J64 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers - - - Unemployment: Models, Duration, Incidence, and Job Search
    • J24 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Human Capital; Skills; Occupational Choice; Labor Productivity


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