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The Causal Effect of Unemployment Duration on Wages: Evidence from Unemployment Insurance Extensions

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  • Johannes F. Schmieder
  • Till von Wachter
  • Stefan Bender

Abstract

This paper provides quasi-experimental estimates of the causal effect of long-term unemployment on wages. Using standard job search theory, the paper derives and tests conditions on reemployment wages under which Unemployment Insurance (UI) extensions can be used as instrumental variables (IV) for unemployment duration. Using a regression discontinuity design, the paper shows that UI extensions at age thresholds reduced reemployment wages of job searchers in Germany. The UI extensions do not affect the reemployment wages conditional on the month of unemployment exit, implying reservation wages do not bind on average. Hence, UI extensions affect mean wages only through unemployment durations. Our IV estimates imply substantial negative effects of unemployment duration on wages of 0.8% per month.

Suggested Citation

  • Johannes F. Schmieder & Till von Wachter & Stefan Bender, 2013. "The Causal Effect of Unemployment Duration on Wages: Evidence from Unemployment Insurance Extensions," NBER Working Papers 19772, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:19772
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    Cited by:

    1. Steffen Altmann & Armin Falk & Simon Jäger & Florian Zimmermann, 2015. "Learning about Job Search: A Field Experiment with Job Seekers in Germany," Working Paper 254671, Harvard University OpenScholar.
    2. Lien Laureys, 2014. "Optimal Monetary Policy in the Presence of Human Capital Depreciation during Unemployment," Discussion Papers 1415, Centre for Macroeconomics (CFM).
    3. Abraham, Katharine G. & Haltiwanger, John C. & Sandusky, L. Kristin & Spletzer, James R., 2016. "The Consequences of Long Term Unemployment: Evidence from Matched Employer-Employee Data," IZA Discussion Papers 10223, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    4. Laureys, Lien, 2014. "The cost of human capital depreciation during unemployment," Bank of England working papers 505, Bank of England.
    5. Sterk, Vincent, 2016. "The dark corners of the labor market," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 86244, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
    6. Kunze, Lars & Suppa, Nicolai, 2017. "Bowling alone or bowling at all? The effect of unemployment on social participation," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 133(C), pages 213-235.
    7. Brian Clark & Clément Joubert & Arnaud Maurel, 2017. "The career prospects of overeducated Americans," IZA Journal of Labor Economics, Springer;Forschungsinstitut zur Zukunft der Arbeit GmbH (IZA), vol. 6(1), pages 1-29, December.
    8. Den Haan, Wouter & Rendahl, Pontus & Riegler, Markus, 2015. "Unemployment (Fears) and Deflationary Spirals," CEPR Discussion Papers 10814, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    9. Den Haan, Wouter J. & Rendahl, Pontus & Riegler, Markus, 2015. "Unemployment (fears) and deflationary spirals," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 86288, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
    10. Bruce D. Meyer & Wallace K. C. Mok, 2014. "A Short Review of Recent Evidence on the Disincentive Effects of Unemployment Insurance and New Evidence From New York State," National Tax Journal, National Tax Association;National Tax Journal, vol. 67(1), pages 219-252, March.
    11. Elisa Guglielminetti & Rafael Lalive & Philippe Ruh & Etienne Wasmer, 2015. "Spatial search strategies of job seekers and the role of unemployment insurance," Sciences Po publications info:hdl:2441/4n249fe9fu9, Sciences Po.
    12. Andrew C. Johnston & Alexandre Mas, 2015. "Potential Unemployment Insurance Duration and Labor Supply: The Individual and Market-Level Response to a Benefit Cut," Working Papers 590, Princeton University, Department of Economics, Industrial Relations Section..
    13. Kyle Herkenhoff & Lee Ohanian, . "The Impact of Foreclosure Delay on U.S. Employment," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics.
    14. Vincent Sterk, 2016. "The Dark Corners of the Labor Market," Discussion Papers 1603, Centre for Macroeconomics (CFM).
    15. De Groot, Nynke & van der Klaauw, Bas, 2014. "The Effects of Reducing the Entitlement Period to Unemployment Insurance Benefits," IZA Discussion Papers 8336, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    16. Katharine G. Abraham & John C. Haltiwanger & Kristin Sandusky & James Spletzer, 2016. "The Consequences of Long-Term Unemployment: Evidence from Linked Survey and Administrative Data," NBER Working Papers 22665, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • 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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