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Unemployment Duration: Competing and Defective Risks

Author

Listed:
  • 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 for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  • Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp350
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
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    5. Pedro Portugal & Olivier Blanchard, 2001. "What Hides Behind an Unemployment Rate: Comparing Portuguese and U.S. Labor Markets," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 91(1), pages 187-207, March.
    6. Pudney, Stephen & Thomas, Jonathan, 1995. "Specification Tests for the Competing Risks Duration Model: An Application to Unemployment Duration and Sectoral Movement," Oxford Bulletin of Economics and Statistics, Department of Economics, University of Oxford, vol. 57(3), pages 323-347, August.
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    11. Portugal, Pedro & Addison, John T, 1995. "Short- and Long-Term Unemployment. A Parametric Model with Time-Varying Effects," Oxford Bulletin of Economics and Statistics, Department of Economics, University of Oxford, vol. 57(2), pages 205-227, May.
    12. John T. Addison & Pedro Portugal, 2002. "Job search methods and outcomes," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 54(3), pages 505-533, July.
    13. Melkersson, Maria, 1999. "Unemployment duration and heterogenous search behavior among Swedish disabled workers," Working Paper Series 1999:5, IFAU - Institute for Evaluation of Labour Market and Education Policy.
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    unemployment duration; competing risks; defective risks; non-proper distribution; split-population model;

    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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