IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this paper

The Duration of Unemployment and the Persistence of Wages


  • Leonard, Jonathan
  • Van Audenrode, Marc


In this paper we examine the persistent effects of past wages of displaced workers on the probability of finding a new job and on wages in the new job. We use a new database looking at the post-displacement experience of a sample of Belgian workers who have lost their jobs because of a sizeable reduction in the work-force of their firm. We decompose past wages into a market return to human capital, a firm-specific component (the `firm effect'), and an individual component. We develop an information model of wages and test its predictions. These predictions are validated by the evidence on subsequent wages. We also find that spells of unemployment are long, but that re-employed workers suffer limited wage losses on re-employment. This suggests that some institutional constraints prevent wages from falling.

Suggested Citation

  • Leonard, Jonathan & Van Audenrode, Marc, 1995. "The Duration of Unemployment and the Persistence of Wages," CEPR Discussion Papers 1227, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  • Handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:1227

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL:
    Download Restriction: CEPR Discussion Papers are free to download for our researchers, subscribers and members. If you fall into one of these categories but have trouble downloading our papers, please contact us at

    As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to search for a different version of it.

    References listed on IDEAS

    1. von Hagen, Jurgen & Hammond, George W, 1998. "Regional Insurance against Asymmetric Shocks: An Empirical Study for the European Community," The Manchester School of Economic & Social Studies, University of Manchester, vol. 66(3), pages 331-353, June.
    2. Willem H. Buiter & Giancarlo Corsetti & Paolo A. Pesenti, 1995. "A Center-Periphery Model of Monetary Coordination and Exchange Rate Crises," NBER Working Papers 5140, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    3. Willem H. Buiter, 1989. "A Viable Gold Standard Requires Flexible Monetary and Fiscal Policy," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 56(1), pages 101-117.
    4. Chamley, Christophe, 1986. "Optimal Taxation of Capital Income in General Equilibrium with Infinite Lives," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 54(3), pages 607-622, May.
    5. Xavier Sala-i-Martin & Jeffrey Sachs, 1991. "Fiscal Federalism and Optimum Currency Areas: Evidence for Europe From the United States," NBER Working Papers 3855, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    6. Masson, Paul R & Taylor, Mark P, 1992. "Common Currency Areas and Currency Unions: An Analysis of the Issues," CEPR Discussion Papers 617, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    7. Maurice Obstfeld, 1994. "The Logic of Currency Crises," NBER Working Papers 4640, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    8. F. Gulcin Ozkan & Alan Sutherland, "undated". "A Model of the ERM Crisis," EPRU Working Paper Series 93-09, Economic Policy Research Unit (EPRU), University of Copenhagen. Department of Economics.
    9. Bayoumi, Tamim & Masson, Paul R., 1995. "Fiscal flows in the United States and Canada: Lessons for monetary union in Europe," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 39(2), pages 253-274, February.
    10. De Grauwe, Paul & Vanhaverbeke, Wim, 1991. "Is Europe an Optimum Currency Area? Evidence from Regional Data," CEPR Discussion Papers 555, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    11. Zhu, Xiaodong, 1992. "Optimal fiscal policy in a stochastic growth model," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 58(2), pages 250-289, December.
    12. Jacques Mélitz, 1995. "A suggested reformulation of the theory of optimal currency areas," Open Economies Review, Springer, vol. 6(3), pages 281-298, July.
    13. Olivier Jean Blanchard & Lawrence F. Katz, 1992. "Regional Evolutions," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 23(1), pages 1-76.
    14. Mankiw, N. Gregory, 1987. "The optimal collection of seigniorage : Theory and evidence," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 20(2), pages 327-341, September.
    15. Dowd, Kevin & Greenaway, David, 1993. "Currency Competition, Network Externalities and Switching Costs: Towards an Alternative View of Optimum Currency Areas," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 103(420), pages 1180-1189, September.
    16. Barry Eichengreen & Charles Wyplosz, 1993. "The Unstable EMS," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 24(1), pages 51-144.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)


    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.

    Cited by:

    1. Leonard, J.S. & Van Audenrode, M., 1998. "The Dynamics of Wages and Employment," Papers 9806, Laval - Recherche en Politique Economique.
    2. Luigi Aldieri, 2009. "The Effects of Unemployment Experiences on Subsequent Wages in Italy," Brussels Economic Review, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles, vol. 52(2), pages 109-119.
    3. Arnaud Lefranc, 2000. "Wage Losses of Displaced Workers in France and the US?," Econometric Society World Congress 2000 Contributed Papers 1566, Econometric Society.
    4. Amynah Vanessa Gangji & Robert Plasman, 2007. "The Matthew effect of unemployment: how does it affect wages in Belgium," DULBEA Working Papers 07-19.RS, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles.
    5. Arnaud Lefranc, 2002. "Labor Market Dynamics and Wage Losses of Displaced Workers in France and the United-States," THEMA Working Papers 2002-15, THEMA (THéorie Economique, Modélisation et Applications), Université de Cergy-Pontoise.
    6. Burda, Michael C. & Mertens, Antje, 2001. "Estimating wage losses of displaced workers in Germany," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 8(1), pages 15-41, January.
    7. Bohacek, Radim & Myck, Michal, 2017. "Economic Consequences of Political Persecution," IZA Discussion Papers 11136, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    8. Olivia Ekert-Jaffé & Isabelle Terraz, 2011. "The scarring effect of unemployment in ten European countries : an analysis based on the ECHP," Working Papers of BETA 2011-09, Bureau d'Economie Théorique et Appliquée, UDS, Strasbourg.
    9. José M. Arranz & Carlos García-Serrano & María A. Davia, 2010. "Worker Turnover And Wages In Europe: The Influence Of Unemployment And Inactivity," Manchester School, University of Manchester, vol. 78(6), pages 678-701, December.

    More about this item


    Displaced Workers; Unemployment Duration; Wages;

    JEL classification:

    • J64 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers - - - Unemployment: Models, Duration, Incidence, and Job Search


    Access and download statistics


    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:1227. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (). General contact details of provider: .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    We have no references for this item. You can help adding them by using this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.