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Determinants of Non-employment and Unemployment Durations in East Germany

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  • Jennifer Hunt

Abstract

Following monetary union with the west in June 1990, the employment rate for east German 18-54 year olds fell from 89% to 73% in six years, and the decline for women was considerably larger. This employment fall is possibly the worst of any European transition economy, yet one might have expected the east German transition to have been the most successful. I seek insight into the problem by examining the determinants of transitions between non-employment (or unemployment) and employment, using the 1990-1996 survey years of the German Socio- Economic Panel. Individuals over fifty and women have much longer non-employment durations, but the presence of children, and hence child care, does not appear to be important. More skilled individuals, as measured by their education and 1990 wage, have shorter non-employment spells. I also present results for employment duration. The most important similarity between the duration of non-employment and employment is the influence of the 1990 wage, which is consistent with the theory that trade-union wage rises for the less-skilled reduced employment. The most important difference is that the addition of covariates, particularly the 1990 wage, explains most of the gender gap in employment duration but little in non-employment duration.

Suggested Citation

  • Jennifer Hunt, 1999. "Determinants of Non-employment and Unemployment Durations in East Germany," NBER Working Papers 7128, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:7128
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Alan B. Krueger & Jorn-Steffen Pischke, 1995. "A Comparative Analysis of East and West German Labor Markets: Before and After Unification," NBER Chapters,in: Differences and Changes in Wage Structures, pages 405-446 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    2. Jennifer Hunt, 2001. "Post-Unification Wage Growth in East Germany," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 83(1), pages 190-195, February.
    3. James C. Witte & Gert Wagner, 1995. "Employment and Fertility in East Germany after Unification," Discussion Papers of DIW Berlin 125, DIW Berlin, German Institute for Economic Research.
    4. Jennifer Hunt, 2002. "The Transition in East Germany: When Is a Ten-Point Fall in the Gender Wage Gap Bad News?," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 20(1), pages 148-169, January.
    5. Hunt, Jennifer, 1995. "The Effect of Unemployment Compensation on Unemployment Duration in Germany," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 13(1), pages 88-120, January.
    6. David Begg & Richard Portes, 1993. "Eastern Germany since unification: wage subsidies remain a better way," The Economics of Transition, The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, vol. 1(4), pages 383-400, December.
    7. Licht, Georg & Steiner, Viktor, 1992. "Where have all the workers gone? Employment termination in East Germany after unification," ZEW Discussion Papers 92-12, ZEW - Zentrum für Europäische Wirtschaftsforschung / Center for European Economic Research.
    8. Richard B. Freeman & Lawrence F. Katz, 1995. "Differences and Changes in Wage Structures," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number free95-1, June.
    9. Elke Holst & Jürgen Schupp, 1992. "Umbruch am ostdeutschen Arbeitsmarkt benachteiligt auch die weiterhin erwerbstätigen Frauen - dennoch anhaltend hohe Berufsorientierung," DIW Wochenbericht, DIW Berlin, German Institute for Economic Research, vol. 59(18), pages 235-241.
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    Cited by:

    1. Colacelli, Mariana & Blackburn, David J.H., 2009. "Secondary currency: An empirical analysis," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 56(3), pages 295-308, April.
    2. van Praag, B. M. S. & Frijters, P. & Ferrer-i-Carbonell, A., 2003. "The anatomy of subjective well-being," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 51(1), pages 29-49, May.
    3. Ada Ferrer-i-Carbonell & Bernard Van Praag, 2003. "Income Satisfaction Inequality and its Causes," The Journal of Economic Inequality, Springer;Society for the Study of Economic Inequality, vol. 1(2), pages 107-127, August.
    4. Ada Ferrer-i-Carbonell & Bernard M.S. van Praag, 2002. "The subjective costs of health losses due to chronic diseases. An alternative model for monetary appraisal," Health Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 11(8), pages 709-722.
    5. Bonin, Holger & Euwals, Rob, 2001. "Participation Behavior of East German Women after German Unification," IZA Discussion Papers 413, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    6. Wolfgang Franz & Viktor Steiner, 2000. "Wages in the East German Transition Process: Facts and Explanations," German Economic Review, Verein für Socialpolitik, vol. 1(3), pages 241-269, August.
    7. Ferrer-i-Carbonell, Ada & van Praag, Bernard M. S., 2001. "The Subjective Costs of Health Losses due to Chronic Diseases: An Alternative Model Appraisal," IZA Discussion Papers 313, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    8. Ada Ferrer-i-Carbonell & Bernard M.S. van Praag, 2002. "The Subjective Costs of Health Losses due to Chronic Diseases," Tinbergen Institute Discussion Papers 02-023/3, Tinbergen Institute.
    9. Dong, Xiao-yuan & Pandey, Manish, 2012. "Gender and labor retrenchment in Chinese state owned enterprises: Investigation using firm-level panel data," China Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 23(2), pages 385-395.
    10. Lauer, Charlotte, 2003. "Education and Unemployment: A French-German Comparison," ZEW Discussion Papers 03-34, ZEW - Zentrum für Europäische Wirtschaftsforschung / Center for European Economic Research.
    11. Kathryn Anderson & Richard Pomfret, 2000. "Gender Effects of Transition: The Kyrgyz Republic," School of Economics Working Papers 2000-08, University of Adelaide, School of Economics.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • J6 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers
    • J3 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Wages, Compensation, and Labor Costs

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