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Unemployment duration among immigrants and natives: unobserved heterogeneity in a multi-spell duration model

  • Carrasco, Raquel
  • García Pérez, J. Ignacio

This paper studies whether the unemployment dynamics of immigrants differ from those of natives, paying special attention to the impact of accounting for unobserved heterogeneity among individuals. Using a large administrative data set for Spain, we estimate multiple-spell discrete duration models which disentangle unobserved heterogeneity from duration dependence. Specifically, we estimate random effects models assuming that the distribution of the effects is discrete with finite support, and fixed effects models in which the distribution of the unobserved effects is left unrestricted. Our results show the importance of accounting for unobserved heterogeneity and that mistaken policy implications can be derived due to improper treatment of unmeasured variables. We find that lack of control for unobserved heterogeneity leads to the conclusion that immigrant males have a higher probability of leaving unemployment than natives and that the negative effect of unemployment benefits for immigrants lasts longer than for natives. Nonetheless, the estimates which do control for unobserved heterogeneity show the opposite results.

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Paper provided by Universidad Carlos III de Madrid. Departamento de Economía in its series UC3M Working papers. Economics with number we086933.

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Date of creation: Dec 2008
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Handle: RePEc:cte:werepe:we086933
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.eco.uc3m.es/

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  1. Carling, Kenneth & Edin, Per-Anders & Harkman, Anders & Holmlund, Bertil, 1996. "Unemployment duration, unemployment benefits, and labor market programs in Sweden," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 59(3), pages 313-334, March.
  2. Robert J. LaLonde & Robert H. Topel, 1992. "The Assimilation of Immigrants in the U. S. Labor Market," NBER Chapters, in: Immigration and the Workforce: Economic Consequences for the United States and Source Areas, pages 67-92 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Ridder, G. & Tunali, I., 1997. "Stratified Partial Likelihood Estimation," Papers 1997/17, Koc University.
  4. Uhlendorff, Arne & Zimmermann, Klaus F, 2006. "Unemployment Dynamics among Migrants and Natives," CEPR Discussion Papers 5872, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  5. George J. Borjas, 2003. "The Labor Demand Curve is Downward Sloping: Reexamining the Impact of Immigration on the Labor Market," NBER Working Papers 9755, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  6. David Card, 2005. "Is the New Immigration Really so Bad?," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 115(507), pages F300-F323, November.
  7. Frederiksen, Anders & Honore, Bo E. & Hu, Luojia, 2007. "Discrete time duration models with group-level heterogeneity," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 141(2), pages 1014-1043, December.
  8. Jeffrey M Wooldridge, 2002. "Simple solutions to the initial conditions problem in dynamic, nonlinear panel data models with unobserved heterogeneity," CeMMAP working papers CWP18/02, Centre for Microdata Methods and Practice, Institute for Fiscal Studies.
  9. Francine D. Blau, 1984. "The Use of Transfer Payments by Immigrants," ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 37(2), pages 222-239, January.
  10. Jörgen Hansen & Magnus Lofstrom, 2010. "Immigrant Assimilation and Welfare Participation: Do Immigrants Assimilate Into or Out-of Welfare," Working Papers id:2647, eSocialSciences.
  11. Arellano, Manuel & Bentolila, Samuel & Bover, Olympia, 1998. "Unemployment Duration, Benefit Duration and the Business Cycle," CEPR Discussion Papers 1840, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  12. George J. Borjas, 1994. "The Economics of Immigration," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 32(4), pages 1667-1717, December.
  13. Gianmarco I. P. Ottaviano & Giovanni Peri, 2012. "Rethinking The Effect Of Immigration On Wages," Journal of the European Economic Association, European Economic Association, vol. 10(1), pages 152-197, 02.
  14. Chiswick, Barry R, 1986. "Is the New Immigration Less Skilled Than the Old?," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 4(2), pages 168-92, April.
  15. Andrew Chesher & Tony Lancaster, 1983. "The Estimation of Models of Labour Market Behaviour," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 50(4), pages 609-624.
  16. George J. Borjas, 2003. "The Labor Demand Curve is Downward Sloping: Reexamining the Impact of Immigration on the Labor Market," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 118(4), pages 1335-1374.
  17. J. Ignacio García Pérez, 2001. "Non-stationary job search when jobs are not forever: A structural estimation," Economics Working Papers 556, Department of Economics and Business, Universitat Pompeu Fabra.
  18. Heckman, James J, 1991. "Identifying the Hand of the Past: Distinguishing State Dependence from Heterogeneity," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 81(2), pages 75-79, May.
  19. Jenkins, Stephen P, 1995. "Easy Estimation Methods for Discrete-Time Duration Models," Oxford Bulletin of Economics and Statistics, Department of Economics, University of Oxford, vol. 57(1), pages 129-38, February.
  20. Hansen, Jörgen, 2000. "The Duration of Immigrants' Unemployment Spells: Evidence from Sweden," IZA Discussion Papers 155, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  21. John M. Abowd & Richard B. Freeman, 1991. "Immigration, Trade, and the Labor Market," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number abow91-1, September.
  22. Kalwij, Adriaan, 2001. "Individuals' Unemployment Experiences: Heterogeneity and Business Cycle Effects," IZA Discussion Papers 370, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  23. George J. Borjas & Lynette Hilton, 1996. "Immigration and the Welfare State: Immigrant Participation in Means-Tested Entitlement Programs," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 111(2), pages 575-604.
  24. Barry R. Chiswick & Yinon Cohen & Tzippi Zach, 1997. "The Labor Market Status of Immigrants: Effects of the Unemployment Rate at Arrival and Duration of Residence," ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 50(2), pages 289-303, January.
  25. 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.
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