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The Reservation Wage of Unemployed Persons in the Federal Republic of Germany: Theory and Empirical Tests

  • Wolfgang Franz

This study examines the determinants of the reservation wage of unemployed persons in the Federal Republic of Germany in 1976. The theoretical section presents the derivation of an optimal reservation wage and shows the source of an ambiguity of some explanatory variables. The data basis are unemployed persons leaving the unemployment register within a given sample week. For a subset of them, we know their reservation wage and a set of personal characteristics. Other variables, such as the wage offer distribution and demand side variables, are obtained by employing other data. Methodological problems, such as as a sample selection bias, are taken into account. As a result, individual characteristics and the wage offer distribution are dominant causes of the reservation wage, but demand side variables and the entitlement to unemployment compensation play minor roles.

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File URL: http://www.nber.org/papers/w0578.pdf
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Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 0578.

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Date of creation: Nov 1980
Date of revision:
Publication status: published as Franz, W. and K. Konig. "The Nature And Causes Of Unemployment In The Federal Republic Of Germany Since The 1970s: An Empirical Investigation," Economica, 1986, v53(210S), S219-S244
Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:0578
Note: LS
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  1. Heckman, James, 2013. "Sample selection bias as a specification error," Applied Econometrics, Publishing House "SINERGIA PRESS", vol. 31(3), pages 129-137.
  2. John M. Barron & Wesley Mellow, 1979. "Search Effort in the Labor Market," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 14(3), pages 389-404.
  3. Spence, Michael & Zeckhauser, Richard J, 1972. "The Effect of the Timing of Consumption Decisions and the Resolution of Lotteries on the Choice of Lotteries," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 40(2), pages 401-03, March.
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  9. Salant, Stephen W, 1977. "Search Theory and Duration Data: A Theory of Sorts," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 91(1), pages 39-57, February.
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  12. Kohn, Meir G. & Shavell, Steven, 1974. "The theory of search," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 9(2), pages 93-123, October.
  13. Burdett, Kenneth & Mortensen, Dale T, 1980. "Search, Layoffs, and Labor Market Equilibrium," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 88(4), pages 652-72, August.
  14. Mellow, Wesley, 1978. "Search Costs and the Duration of Unemployment," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 16(3), pages 423-30, July.
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  16. Feinberg, Robert M, 1977. "Risk Aversion, Risk, and the Duration of Unemployment," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 59(3), pages 264-71, August.
  17. Steven H. Sandell, 1980. "Job search by unemployed women: Determinants of the asking wage," Industrial and Labor Relations Review, ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 33(3), pages 368-378, April.
  18. Wolfgang Franz, 1979. "The Duration of Youth Unemployment in West Germany: Some Theoretical Considerations," NBER Working Papers 0397, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  19. Kim B. Clark & Lawrence H. Summers, 1979. "Labor Market Dynamics and Unemployemnt: A Reconsideration," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 10(1), pages 13-72.
  20. Hicks, J. R., 1975. "Value and Capital: An Inquiry into some Fundamental Principles of Economic Theory," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, edition 2, number 9780198282693, March.
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