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A Structural Estimation to Evaluate the Wage Penalty after Unemployment in Europe



We develop a partial equilibrium job search model to analyse wage mobility and its relation to job mobility. The basic job search model is generalized by introducing wage renegotiation at the firm level, on-the-job search and heterogeneity of individuals through the value of time while unemployed. Transitions into and out of unemployment, movement from one job to another without passing through unemployment, and wage growth on the job are all outcomes of this model. We estimate the model structurally in order to identify the sources of wage mobility in four European countries: Spain, Germany, France and Portugal. We find that German and Spanish workers tend to suffer larger wage penalties after unemployment than their French and Portuguese counterparts. Wage losses in Germany are larger and mainly related to better wage opportunities when employed, while in Spain wage losses are lower but tend to remain longer since wage growth while employed is lower than in Germany. We also use the model's structural parameters to evaluate the effect that different changes in the Unemployment Benefit system may have on wage changes after unemployment. We determine that a sole level for unemployment benefits (dependent on the national average wage level) reduces wage penalties for all workers with the exception of the highly educated.

Suggested Citation

  • José Ignacio García Pérez & Yolanda Rebollo Sanz, 2005. "A Structural Estimation to Evaluate the Wage Penalty after Unemployment in Europe," Economic Working Papers at Centro de Estudios Andaluces E2005/15, Centro de Estudios Andaluces.
  • Handle: RePEc:cea:doctra:e2005_15

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. J. Ignacio García-Pérez, 2006. "Job separation in a non-stationary search model: a structural estimation to evaluate alternative unemployment insurance systems," Journal of Applied Econometrics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 21(2), pages 245-272.
    2. Meyer, Bruce D, 1990. "Unemployment Insurance and Unemployment Spells," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 58(4), pages 757-782, July.
    3. Dolado, Juan J. & Jimeno, Juan F, 1995. "Why is Spanish Unemployment so High?," CEPR Discussion Papers 1184, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    4. Pierre Cahuc & Fabien Postel-Vinay & Jean-Marc Robin, 2006. "Wage Bargaining with On-the-Job Search: Theory and Evidence," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 74(2), pages 323-364, March.
    5. Alfonso Rosolia & Gilles Saint Paul, 1998. "The effect of unemployment spells on subsequent wages in Spain," Economics Working Papers 295, Department of Economics and Business, Universitat Pompeu Fabra.
    6. Silvio Rendón, 2000. "Job creation under liquidity constraints: The Spanish case," Economics Working Papers 488, Department of Economics and Business, Universitat Pompeu Fabra.
    7. Namkee Ahn & José Ignacio García-Pérez, 2002. "Unemployment duration and workers' wage aspirations in Spain," Spanish Economic Review, Springer;Spanish Economic Association, vol. 4(2), pages 103-118.
    8. Pissarides, C. & Wadsworth, J., 1988. "On-The-Job Search: Some Empirical Evidence," Papers 317, London School of Economics - Centre for Labour Economics.
    9. Mortensen, Dale T., 1987. "Job search and labor market analysis," Handbook of Labor Economics,in: O. Ashenfelter & R. Layard (ed.), Handbook of Labor Economics, edition 1, volume 2, chapter 15, pages 849-919 Elsevier.
    10. Jackman, R & Layard, Richard & Pissarides, C, 1989. "On Vacancies," Oxford Bulletin of Economics and Statistics, Department of Economics, University of Oxford, vol. 51(4), pages 377-394, November.
    11. Abraham, Katharine G & Farber, Henry S, 1987. "Job Duration, Seniority, and Earnings," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 77(3), pages 278-297, June.
    12. Flinn, C. & Heckman, J., 1982. "New methods for analyzing structural models of labor force dynamics," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 18(1), pages 115-168, January.
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    Cited by:

    1. Jahn, Elke J. & Wagner, Thomas, 2008. "Do Targeted Hiring Subsidies and Profiling Techniques Reduce Unemployment?," IZA Discussion Papers 3768, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    2. Garcia Perez, Jose Ignacio & Rebollo Sanz, Yolanda, 2005. "Wage changes through job mobility in Europe: A multinomial endogenous switching approach," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 12(4), pages 531-555, August.

    More about this item


    Structural estimation; wage mobility; job mobility;

    JEL classification:

    • J60 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers - - - General
    • J64 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers - - - Unemployment: Models, Duration, Incidence, and Job Search
    • J31 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Wages, Compensation, and Labor Costs - - - Wage Level and Structure; Wage Differentials

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