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Unemployment Duration among Immigrants and Natives: Unobserved Heterogeneity in a Multi-Spell Duration Model

  • Raquel Carrasco

    ()

    (Departamento de Economía, Universidad Carlos III de Madrid)

  • José Ignacio García Pérez

    ()

    (Department of Economics, Universidad Pablo de Olavide)

This paper studies whether the unemployment dynamics of immigrants differ from those of natives, paying special attention to the impact of accounting for unobserved heterogeneity among individuals. Using a large administrative data set for Spain, we estimate multiple-spell discrete duration models which disentangle unobserved heterogeneity from duration dependence. Specifically, we estimate random effects models assuming that the distribution of the effects is discrete with finite support, and fixed effects models in which the distribution of the unobserved effects is left unrestricted. Our results show the importance of accounting for unobserved heterogeneity and that mistaken policy implications can be derived due to improper treatment of unmeasured variables. We find that lack of control for unobserved heterogeneity leads to the conclusion that immigrant males have a higher probability of leaving unemployment than natives and that the negative effect of unemployment benefits for immigrants lasts longer than for natives. Nonetheless, the estimates which do control for unobserved heterogeneity show the opposite results.

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File URL: http://www.upo.es/serv/bib/wps/econ0813.pdf
File Function: First version, 2008
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Paper provided by Universidad Pablo de Olavide, Department of Economics in its series Working Papers with number 08.13.

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Length: 47 pages
Date of creation: Dec 2008
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:pab:wpaper:08.13
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  1. Arne Uhlendorff & Klaus F. Zimmermann, 2006. "Unemployment Dynamics among Migrants and Natives," Discussion Papers of DIW Berlin 617, DIW Berlin, German Institute for Economic Research.
  2. Giovanni Peri & Gianmarco I.P. Ottaviano, 2006. "Rethinking the Effects of Immigration on Wages," Working Papers 634, University of California, Davis, Department of Economics.
  3. Jenkins, Stephen P, 1995. "Easy Estimation Methods for Discrete-Time Duration Models," Oxford Bulletin of Economics and Statistics, Department of Economics, University of Oxford, vol. 57(1), pages 129-38, February.
  4. David Card, 2005. "Is the New Immigration Really So Bad?," NBER Working Papers 11547, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. Ridder, Geert & Tunali, Insan, 1999. "Stratified partial likelihood estimation," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 92(2), pages 193-232, October.
  6. Robert J. LaLonde & Robert H. Topel, 1990. "The Assimilation of Immigrants in the U.S. Labor Markets," NBER Working Papers 3573, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  7. Barry R. Chiswick & Yinon Cohen & Tzippi Zach, 1997. "The labor market status of immigrants: Effects of the unemployment rate at arrival and duration of residence," Industrial and Labor Relations Review, ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 50(2), pages 289-303, January.
  8. George J. Borjas, 2003. "The Labor Demand Curve Is Downward Sloping: Reexamining The Impact Of Immigration On The Labor Market," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 118(4), pages 1335-1374, November.
  9. Kalwij, Adriaan, 2001. "Individuals' Unemployment Experiences: Heterogeneity and Business Cycle Effects," IZA Discussion Papers 370, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  10. Jeffrey M. Wooldridge, 2005. "Simple solutions to the initial conditions problem in dynamic, nonlinear panel data models with unobserved heterogeneity," Journal of Applied Econometrics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 20(1), pages 39-54.
  11. Arellano, Manuel & Bentolila, Samuel & Bover, Olympia, 1998. "Unemployment Duration, Benefit Duration and the Business Cycle," CEPR Discussion Papers 1840, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  12. Frederiksen, Anders & Honore, Bo E. & Hu, Luojia, 2007. "Discrete time duration models with group-level heterogeneity," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 141(2), pages 1014-1043, December.
  13. Barry R. Chiswick & Yinon Cohen & Tzippi Zach, 1997. "The Labor Market Status of Immigrants: Effects of the Unemployment Rate at Arrival and Duration of Residence," ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 50(2), pages 289-303, January.
  14. Hansen, Jörgen & Lofstrom, Magnus, 1999. "Immigrant Assimilation and Welfare Participation: Do Immigrants Assimilate Into or Out-of Welfare," IZA Discussion Papers 100, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  15. Chesher, Andrew & Lancaster, Tony, 1983. "The Estimation of Models of Labour Market Behavior," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 50(4), pages 609-24, October.
  16. George J. Borjas, 1994. "The Economics of Immigration," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 32(4), pages 1667-1717, December.
  17. Hansen, Jörgen, 2000. "The Duration of Immigrants' Unemployment Spells: Evidence from Sweden," IZA Discussion Papers 155, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  18. Francine D. Blau, 1984. "The use of transfer payments by immigrants," Industrial and Labor Relations Review, ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 37(2), pages 222-239, January.
  19. Carling, Kenneth & Edin, Per-Anders & Harkman, Anders & Holmlund, Bertil, 1996. "Unemployment duration, unemployment benefits, and labor market programs in Sweden," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 59(3), pages 313-334, March.
  20. Chiswick, Barry R, 1986. "Is the New Immigration Less Skilled Than the Old?," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 4(2), pages 168-92, April.
  21. George J. Borjas & Lynette Hilton, 1995. "Immigration and the Welfare State: Immigrant Participation in Means- Tested Entitlement Programs," NBER Working Papers 5372, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  22. J. Ignacio García Pérez, 2001. "Non-stationary job search when jobs are not forever: A structural estimation," Economics Working Papers 556, Department of Economics and Business, Universitat Pompeu Fabra.
  23. 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.
  24. Heckman, James J, 1991. "Identifying the Hand of the Past: Distinguishing State Dependence from Heterogeneity," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 81(2), pages 75-79, May.
  25. John M. Abowd & Richard B. Freeman, 1991. "Immigration, Trade, and the Labor Market," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number abow91-1, June.
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