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Justifying Functional Forms in Models for Transitions between Discrete States, with Particular Reference to Employment-Unemployment Dynamics

  • Dagsvik, John K.


    (Research Department, Statistics Norway and the Ragnar Frisch Centre for)

This paper proposes a particular axiomatic approach to motivate the choice of functional forms and distribution of unobservables in continuous time models for discrete panel data analysis. We discuss in particular applications with data on transitions between employment and unemployment. This framework yields a characterization of transition probabilities and duration distributions in terms of structural parameters of the utility function and choice constraints. Moreover, it is discussed how the modeling framework can be extended to allow for involuntary transitions, structural state dependence and random effects.

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Paper provided by Oslo University, Department of Economics in its series Memorandum with number 06/2006.

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Length: 40 pages
Date of creation: 25 Apr 2006
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:hhs:osloec:2006_006
Contact details of provider: Postal: Department of Economics, University of Oslo, P.O Box 1095 Blindern, N-0317 Oslo, Norway
Phone: 22 85 51 27
Fax: 22 85 50 35
Web page:

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  1. Dagsvik, John K. & Strøm, Steinar, 2004. "Sectoral labor supply, choice restrictions and functional form," Memorandum 13/2004, Oslo University, Department of Economics.
  2. Jain, Dipak C & Vilcassim, Naufel J & Chintagunta, Pradeep K, 1994. "A Random-Coefficients Logit Brand-Choice Model Applied to Panel Data," Journal of Business & Economic Statistics, American Statistical Association, vol. 12(3), pages 317-28, July.
  3. Dagsvik, J.K., 1998. "On the Structure of Behavioral Multistate Duration Models," Memorandum 11/1998, Oslo University, Department of Economics.
  4. John K. Dagsvik & Steinar Strøm & Zhiyang Jia, 2005. "Utility of Income as a Random Function. Behavioral Characterization and Empirical Evidence," Discussion Papers 431, Statistics Norway, Research Department.
  5. Heckman, James J. & Singer, Burton, 1984. "Econometric duration analysis," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 24(1-2), pages 63-132.
  6. 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.
  7. Gaure, Simen & Røed, Knut & Zhang, Tao, 2005. "Time and Causality: A Monte Carlo Assessment of the Timing-of-Events Approach," Memorandum 19/2005, Oslo University, Department of Economics.
  8. John K. Dagsvik, 2002. "Discrete Choice in Continuous Time: Implications of an Intertemporal Version of the Iia Property," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 70(2), pages 817-831, March.
  9. Gerard Debreu, 1957. "Stochastic Choice and Cardinal Utility," Cowles Foundation Discussion Papers 39, Cowles Foundation for Research in Economics, Yale University.
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