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Survey Non-Response and Unemployment Duration

  • van den Berg, Gerard J.


    (University of Mannheim)

  • Lindeboom, Maarten


    (VU University Amsterdam)

  • Dolton, Peter


    (University of Sussex)

Social surveys are often used to estimate unemployment duration distributions. Survey non-response may then cause a bias. We study this using a unique dataset that combines survey information of individual workers with administrative records of the same workers. The latter provide information on unemployment durations and personal characteristics of all survey respondents and non-respondents. We develop a method to empirically distinguish between two explanations for a bias in results based on only survey data: (1) selectivity due to related unobserved determinants of unemployment durations and non-response, and (2) a causal effect of a job exit on non-response. The latter may occur even in fully homogeneous populations. The methodology exploits variation in the timing of the duration outcome relative to the survey moment. The results show evidence for both explanations. We discuss implications for standard methods to deal with non-response bias.

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Paper provided by Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA) in its series IZA Discussion Papers with number 1303.

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Length: 41 pages
Date of creation: Sep 2004
Date of revision:
Publication status: published in: Journal of the Royal Statistical Society: Series A (Statistics in Society), 2006, 169 (3), 585-604
Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp1303
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  1. Van den Berg, G J & Lindeboom, M & Ridder, G, 1994. "Attrition in Longitudinal Panel Data and the Empirical Analysis of Dynamic Labour Market Behaviour," Journal of Applied Econometrics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 9(4), pages 421-35, Oct.-Dec..
  2. Thierry Kamionka & Guy Lacroix, 2003. "Assessing the Impact of Non-Response on the Treatment Effect in the Canadian Self-Sufficiency Experiment," Cahiers de recherche 0336, CIRPEE.
  3. van den Berg, Gerard J. & Lindeboom, Maarten & Dolton, Peter, 2004. "Survey Non-Response and Unemployment Duration," IZA Discussion Papers 1303, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  4. Schröder, Lena, 2004. "The role of youth programmes in the transition from school to work," Working Paper Series 2004:5, IFAU - Institute for Evaluation of Labour Market and Education Policy.
  5. Dolton, Peter & O'Neill, Donal, 1996. "Unemployment Duration and the Restart Effect: Some Experimental Evidence," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 106(435), pages 387-400, March.
  6. Dahlberg, Matz & Mörk, Eva, 2005. "Public Employment and the Double Role of Bureaucrats," Working Paper Series 2005:3, Uppsala University, Department of Economics.
  7. Holmes, Thomas J & Schmitz, James A, Jr, 1996. "Nonresponse Bias and Business Turnover Rates: The Case of the Characteristics of Business Owners Survey," Journal of Business & Economic Statistics, American Statistical Association, vol. 14(2), pages 231-41, April.
  8. Horowitz, Joel L. & Manski, Charles F., 1998. "Censoring of outcomes and regressors due to survey nonresponse: Identification and estimation using weights and imputations," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 84(1), pages 37-58, May.
  9. C. O'Muircheartaigh & P. Campanelli, 1999. "A multilevel exploration of the role of interviewers in survey non-response," Journal of the Royal Statistical Society Series A, Royal Statistical Society, vol. 162(3), pages 437-446.
  10. Nilsson, Anna, 2004. "Income inequality and crime: The case of Sweden," Working Paper Series 2004:6, IFAU - Institute for Evaluation of Labour Market and Education Policy.
  11. Peter Dolton; & Donal O'Neill, 1997. "The Long-Run Effects of Unemployment Monitoring and Work-Search Programs: Some Experimental Evidence from the U.K," Economics, Finance and Accounting Department Working Paper Series n710897, Department of Economics, Finance and Accounting, National University of Ireland - Maynooth.
  12. Van den Berg, Gerard J., 2001. "Duration models: specification, identification and multiple durations," Handbook of Econometrics, in: J.J. Heckman & E.E. Leamer (ed.), Handbook of Econometrics, edition 1, volume 5, chapter 55, pages 3381-3460 Elsevier.
  13. Anders Forslund & Daniela Froberg & Linus Lindqvist, 2004. "The Swedish Activity Guarantee," OECD Social, Employment and Migration Working Papers 16, OECD Publishing.
  14. Larsson, Laura, 2004. "Harmonizing unemployment and sickness insurance: Why (not)?," Working Paper Series 2004:8, IFAU - Institute for Evaluation of Labour Market and Education Policy.
  15. Heckman, James J. & Lalonde, Robert J. & Smith, Jeffrey A., 1999. "The economics and econometrics of active labor market programs," Handbook of Labor Economics, in: O. Ashenfelter & D. Card (ed.), Handbook of Labor Economics, edition 1, volume 3, chapter 31, pages 1865-2097 Elsevier.
  16. Nilsson, Anna, 2004. "Income Inequality and Crime: The Case of Sweden," Research Papers in Economics 2004:3, Stockholm University, Department of Economics.
  17. Dolton, Peter & O'Neill, Donal, 1995. "The Impact of Restart on Reservation Wages and Long-Term Unemployment," Oxford Bulletin of Economics and Statistics, Department of Economics, University of Oxford, vol. 57(4), pages 451-70, November.
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