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The Reservation Wage Unemployment Duration Nexus

  • John T. Addison
  • José A. F. Machado
  • Pedro Portugal

A thorny problem in identifying the determinants of reservation wages and particularly the role of continued joblessness in their evolution is the simultaneity issue. We deploy a natural control function approach to the problem that involves conditioning elapsed duration on completed unemployment duration in the reservation wage equation. Our analysis confirms that the use of elapsed duration alone compounds two separate and opposing influences. Only with the inclusion of completed duration is the negative effect of continued joblessness on reservation wages apparent. For its part, the completed duration coefficient suggests that higher reservation wages negatively influence the probability of exiting unemployment.

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Paper provided by Banco de Portugal, Economics and Research Department in its series Working Papers with number w201026.

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Date of creation: 2010
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Handle: RePEc:ptu:wpaper:w201026
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  1. Addison, John T. & Centeno, Mario & Portugal, Pedro, 2004. "Reservation Wages, Search Duration, and Accepted Wages in Europe," IZA Discussion Papers 1252, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  2. Paolo Sestito & Eliana Viviano, 2011. "Reservation Wages: Explaining Some Puzzling Regional Patterns," LABOUR, CEIS, vol. 25(1), pages 63-88, 03.
  3. Abraham, Katharine G & Farber, Henry S, 1987. "Job Duration, Seniority, and Earnings," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 77(3), pages 278-97, June.
  4. Jones, Stephen R G, 1988. "The Relationship between Unemployment Spells and Reservation Wages as a Test of Search Theory," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 103(4), pages 741-65, November.
  5. Lancaster, Tony & Chesher, Andrew, 1983. "An Econometric Analysis of Reservation Wages," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 51(6), pages 1661-76, November.
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