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Unemployment Duration: Competing and Defective Risks

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  • Addison, John T.

    (University of South Carolina)

  • Portugal, Pedro

    (Banco de Portugal)

Abstract

This paper examines the determinants of unemployment duration in a competing risks framework with two destination states, namely, inactivity and employment. The major innovation is our recognition of defective risks. We first use a polynomial hazard function to test for the presence of two-sources of defective risks: search involving a random process of unlucky draws that yields a non-proper duration distribution; and a split-population model in which the decision by some individuals not to consider certain destination states produces a defective distribution. Having established the primacy of the latter model, we refine it using a more flexible piecewise-constant baseline hazard function. This specification broadly confirms our earlier findings but offers a more convincing explanation for positive and zero transition rates out of unemployment. Although we do not reject the null of proportionality, abandoning the proportionality assumption does not materially alter our conclusions.

Suggested Citation

  • Addison, John T. & Portugal, Pedro, 2001. "Unemployment Duration: Competing and Defective Risks," IZA Discussion Papers 350, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
  • Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp350
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    unemployment duration; competing risks; defective risks; non-proper distribution; split-population model;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • C41 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Econometric and Statistical Methods: Special Topics - - - Duration Analysis; Optimal Timing Strategies
    • 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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