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Individuals' Unemployment Durations over the Business Cycle

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  • Kalwij, Adriaan

    () (Utrecht School of Economics)

Abstract

Using a large panel of administrative records this study confirms the predictions of the ranking model of Blanchard and Diamond (1994) that an individual’s probability of leaving unemployment decreases with unemployment duration and increases with economic growth. However, the ranking model of Blanchard and Diamond (1994) makes the further prediction that negative genuine duration dependence will be stronger the more depressed the labour market. In conflict with this prediction this study provides persuasive empirical evidence that the pattern of negative genuine duration dependence does not change over the business cycle. Moreover it is shown that the finding in previous studies that negative genuine duration dependence becomes stronger the more depressed the labour market arises from failure to control for cyclical fluctuations in the composition of the newly unemployed. This finding carries a strong warning for policy assessment: unless controlled for cyclical fluctuations in the composition of the newly unemployed an evaluation of a policy designed to get the long-term unemployed into work will be biased towards a success in times of high economic growth and towards a failure in times of low economic growth.

Suggested Citation

  • Kalwij, Adriaan, 2001. "Individuals' Unemployment Durations over the Business Cycle," IZA Discussion Papers 369, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  • Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp369
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Heckman, James & Singer, Burton, 1984. "A Method for Minimizing the Impact of Distributional Assumptions in Econometric Models for Duration Data," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 52(2), pages 271-320, March.
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    5. Layard, Richard & Nickell, Stephen & Jackman, Richard, 2005. "Unemployment: Macroeconomic Performance and the Labour Market," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780199279173.
    6. Dynarski, Mark & Sheffrin, Steven M, 1990. "The Behavior of Unemployment Durations over the Cycle," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 72(2), pages 350-356, May.
    7. van den Berg, Gerard J & van Ours, Jan C, 1994. "Unemployment Dynamics and Duration Dependence in France, the Netherlands and the United Kingdom," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 104(423), pages 432-443, March.
    8. Abbring, Jaap H & van den Berg, Gerard J & van Ours, Jan C, 2001. "Business Cycles and Compositional Variation in U.S. Unemployment," Journal of Business & Economic Statistics, American Statistical Association, vol. 19(4), pages 436-448, October.
    9. Huh, Keun & Sickles, Robin C, 1994. "Estimation of the Duration Model by Nonparametric Maximum Likelihood, Maximum Penalized Likelihood, and Probability Simulators," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 76(4), pages 683-694, November.
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    12. Berg, G.J. & Ours, J.C., 1993. "Unemployment dynamics and duration dependence in France, the Netherlands and the UK," Serie Research Memoranda 0038, VU University Amsterdam, Faculty of Economics, Business Administration and Econometrics.
    13. Brian Bell & Richard Blundell & John Reenen, 1999. "Getting the Unemployed Back to Work: The Role of Targeted Wage Subsidies," International Tax and Public Finance, Springer;International Institute of Public Finance, vol. 6(3), pages 339-360, August.
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    Cited by:

    1. Muriel Dejemeppe & Yves Saks, 2002. "A New Light into Regional Unemployment Disparities in Belgium : Longitudinal Analysis of Grouped Duration Data," Discussion Papers (IRES - Institut de Recherches Economiques et Sociales) 2002019, Université catholique de Louvain, Institut de Recherches Economiques et Sociales (IRES).
    2. Knut Roed & Tao Zhang, 2003. "Does Unemployment Compensation Affect Unemployment Duration?," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 113(484), pages 190-206, January.
    3. Adriaan Kalwij, 2010. "Unemployment durations and the pattern of duration dependence over the business cycle of British males," Empirical Economics, Springer, vol. 38(2), pages 429-456, April.
    4. Muriel Dejemeppe & Bart Cockx, 2005. "Duration dependence in the exit rate out of unemployment in Belgium. Is it true or spurious?," Journal of Applied Econometrics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 20(1), pages 1-23.
    5. Turon, Hélène, 2003. "Separability of Duration Dependence and Unobserved Heterogeneity," IZA Discussion Papers 754, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Unemployment; duration model; business cycles;

    JEL classification:

    • J64 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers - - - Unemployment: Models, Duration, Incidence, and Job Search
    • C41 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Econometric and Statistical Methods: Special Topics - - - Duration Analysis; Optimal Timing Strategies
    • E32 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Prices, Business Fluctuations, and Cycles - - - Business Fluctuations; Cycles

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