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Unemployment Benefits and Unemployment Rates of Low-Skilled and Elder Workers in West Germany: A Search Equilibrium Approach

Author

Listed:
  • Launov, Andrey

    () (University of Kent)

  • Wolff, Joachim

    () (Institute for Employment Research (IAB), Nuremberg)

  • Klasen, Stephan

    () (University of Göttingen)

Abstract

In this paper we investigate whether the extension of the entitlement to unemployment benefits in the mid 80s can explain the increase in the unemployment rates of unskilled and elder workers in western Germany. To answer this question we estimate a version of the Burdett-Mortensen search equilibrium model and analyze how workers’ search behaviour responded to these reforms. We try both nonparametric and fully-parametric estimation methods and identify the cases in which the nonparametric approach cannot be applied. We find that the entitlement reforms are largely responsible for the increase of unemployment among unskilled workers.

Suggested Citation

  • Launov, Andrey & Wolff, Joachim & Klasen, Stephan, 2004. "Unemployment Benefits and Unemployment Rates of Low-Skilled and Elder Workers in West Germany: A Search Equilibrium Approach," IZA Discussion Papers 1161, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
  • Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp1161
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Bowlus, Audra J & Kiefer, Nicholas M & Neumann, George R, 1995. "Estimation of Equilibrium Wage Distributions with Heterogeneity," Journal of Applied Econometrics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 10(S), pages 119-131, Suppl. De.
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    3. Nickell, Stephen & Layard, Richard, 1999. "Labor market institutions and economic performance," Handbook of Labor Economics, in: O. Ashenfelter & D. Card (ed.),Handbook of Labor Economics, edition 1, volume 3, chapter 46, pages 3029-3084, Elsevier.
    4. Bowlus, Audra J & Kiefer, Nicholas M & Neumann, George R, 2001. "Equilibrium Search Models and the Transition from School to Work," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 42(2), pages 317-343, May.
    5. Stephen Nickell, 1997. "Unemployment and Labor Market Rigidities: Europe versus North America," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 11(3), pages 55-74, Summer.
    6. Hunt, Jennifer, 1995. "The Effect of Unemployment Compensation on Unemployment Duration in Germany," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 13(1), pages 88-120, January.
    7. Gerard J. van den Berg & Geert Ridder, 1998. "An Empirical Equilibrium Search Model of the Labor Market," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 66(5), pages 1183-1222, September.
    8. Goffe, William L. & Ferrier, Gary D. & Rogers, John, 1994. "Global optimization of statistical functions with simulated annealing," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 60(1-2), pages 65-99.
    9. C, Bontemps & Jean-Marc Robin & G, Van Den Berg, 1997. "Equilibrium Search with Productivity Dispersion : Theory and Estimation," Working Papers 97-09, Center for Research in Economics and Statistics.
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    11. Belzil, Christian, 1995. "Unemployment Insurance and Unemployment over Time: An Analysis with Event History Data," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 77(1), pages 113-126, February.
    12. Arnds, Pascal & Bonin, Holger, 2002. "Frühverrentung in Deutschland: Ökonomische Anreize und institutionelle Strukturen," IZA Discussion Papers 666, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    13. Burdett, Kenneth & Mortensen, Dale T, 1998. "Wage Differentials, Employer Size, and Unemployment," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 39(2), pages 257-273, May.
    14. Steiner, Viktor, 1997. "Extended benefit entitlement periods and the duration of unemployment in West Germany," ZEW Discussion Papers 97-14, ZEW - Leibniz Centre for European Economic Research.
    15. Christian Belzil, 2001. "Unemployment insurance and subsequent job duration: job matching versus unobserved heterogeneity," Journal of Applied Econometrics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 16(5), pages 619-636.
    16. Koning, Pierre & Ridder, Geert & van den Berg, Gerard J, 1995. "Structural and Frictional Unemployment in an Equilibrium Search Model with Heterogeneous Agents," Journal of Applied Econometrics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 10(S), pages 133-151, Suppl. De.
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    Cited by:

    1. Giovanni Sulis, 2008. "Wage Dispersion and Equilibrium Search Models: Some Evidence from Italy," LABOUR, CEIS, vol. 22(4), pages 593-627, December.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    search equilibrium; unemployment benefit; parametric estimation; Germany;

    JEL classification:

    • J64 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers - - - Unemployment: Models, Duration, Incidence, and Job Search
    • J65 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers - - - Unemployment Insurance; Severance Pay; Plant Closings

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