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A Search Model of Discouragement

  • Rosholm, Michael

    ()

    (Aarhus University)

  • Toomet, Ott

    ()

    (University of Tartu)

Discouragement is a process occurring during an unemployment spell. As the spell prolongs, an individual gradually realises that the returns to search can no longer outweigh search costs, and hence she may eventually leave the labour force. This is analysed theoretically in a framework of unemployed search. We construct a search model, which is stationary from the point of view of the individual, but which has nonstationary features. Namely, the unemployed worker is occasionally hit by shocks leading to a decline in job offer arrival rates. These shocks can be due to stigmatisation or to psychological consequences of unemployement affecting search effectiveness. This model enables us to analyse the issue of discouragement, as the returns to search will gradually decline. Even so, the model is actually stationary from the point of view of the individual, which implies that many interesting theoretical results may be derived. Moreover, from the point of view of the researcher, the model exhibits negative duration dependence in the hazard rate into employment and positive duration dependence in the hazard rate into non-participation, features which correspond well to real data. We use the model to analyse theoretically the impact of changes in unemployment insurance and social assistance benefits, and we conduct some simulation exercises based on a calibrated model.

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Paper provided by Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA) in its series IZA Discussion Papers with number 1633.

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Length: 31 pages
Date of creation: Jun 2005
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp1633
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  1. Goldsmith, Arthur H. & Veum, Jonathan R. & Darity, William Jr., 1995. "Are being unemployed and being out of the labor force distinct states?: A psychological approach," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 16(2), pages 275-295, July.
  2. Addison, John T. & Portugal, Pedro, 2001. "Unemployment Duration: Competing and Defective Risks," IZA Discussion Papers 350, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  3. Frijters, Paul & van der Klaauw, Bas, 2004. "Job Search with Nonparticipation," IZA Discussion Papers 1407, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  4. Meyer, Bruce D, 1990. "Unemployment Insurance and Unemployment Spells," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 58(4), pages 757-82, July.
  5. van den Berg, Gerard J, 1990. "Search Behaviour, Transitions to Nonparticipation and the Duration of Unemployment," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 100(402), pages 842-65, September.
  6. 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.
  7. Theodossiou, I., 1998. "The effects of low-pay and unemployment on psychological well-being: A logistic regression approach," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 17(1), pages 85-104, January.
  8. Winkelmann, Liliana & Winkelmann, Rainer, 1998. "Why Are the Unemployed So Unhappy? Evidence from Panel Data," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 65(257), pages 1-15, February.
  9. Fredriksson, P. & Holmlund, B., 1998. "Optimal Unemployment Insurance in Search Equilibrium," Papers 1998-2, Uppsala - Working Paper Series.
  10. Mark Yuying An, 1996. "Log-concave Probability Distributions: Theory and Statistical Testing," Game Theory and Information 9611002, EconWPA.
  11. Burdett, Kenneth, et al, 1984. "Earnings, Unemployment, and the Allocation of Time over Time," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 51(4), pages 559-78, October.
  12. Atkinson, Anthony B & Micklewright, John, 1991. "Unemployment Compensation and Labor Market Transitions: A Critical Review," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 29(4), pages 1679-1727, December.
  13. Micklewright, John & Nagy, Gyula, 1999. "Living standards and incentives in transition: the implications of UI exhaustion in Hungary," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 73(3), pages 297-319, September.
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