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Determinants of Unemployment Duration


  • Samer Kherfi

    () (American University of Sharjah)


This study uses a set of dates on unemployment, employment, mobility, marriage, and birth, from the 2006 and 2012 rounds of the Egyptian Labor Market Panel Survey, to construct a cross-section of first-unemployment spells, and to measure selected individual-specific attributes (age, residency, cohort, and marital status) at the time of the spell. After conducting a 2006-2012 comparison of Kaplan-Meier estimates of the probability of staying unemployed, along several characteristics, the 2012 data is employed to estimate a discrete hazard regression model to quantify the effect of these characteristics on the duration of unemployment, after controlling for gender, educational level, as well as father’s education and occupation. It is found that unemployment duration was longer among women and persons with secondary and higher education. Individuals who entered the labor market as adolescents experienced longer spells, in comparison to older youth. Father’s education and unemployment duration were negatively associated for men, but were unrelated among women. Men whose fathers had no or unskilled jobs exited unemployment faster, with no recorded effect of father’s occupation on the likelihood of leaving unemployment among women. Regional variations in duration were more pronounced for women than for men. Marriage was associated with longer spells of unemployment, maybe due to stronger support from (rather than to) immediate family (spouse and children). The duration of unemployment increased over time for entrants of the same age. The baseline hazard was flat for women, and hump-shaped for men, suggesting a time dependent duration for the latter group.

Suggested Citation

  • Samer Kherfi, 2015. "Determinants of Unemployment Duration," Working Papers 909, Economic Research Forum, revised May 2015.
  • Handle: RePEc:erg:wpaper:909

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Ragui Assaad & Christine Binzel & May Gadallah, 2010. "Transitions To Employment And Marriage Among Young Men In Egypt," Middle East Development Journal (MEDJ), World Scientific Publishing Co. Pte. Ltd., vol. 2(01), pages 39-88.
    2. 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 129-138, February.
    3. Machado, José & Portugal, Pedro & Guimarães, Juliana, 2006. "U.S. Unemployment Duration: Has Long Become Longer or Short Become Shorter?," IZA Discussion Papers 2174, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    4. Aysit Tansel & H. Mehmet Taşçı, 2010. "Hazard Analysis of Unemployment Duration by Gender in a Developing Country: The Case of Turkey," LABOUR, CEIS, vol. 24(4), pages 501-530, December.
    5. Mario Cleves & William W. Gould & Roberto G. Gutierrez & Yulia Marchenko, 2010. "An Introduction to Survival Analysis Using Stata," Stata Press books, StataCorp LP, edition 3, number saus3, April.
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