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Reservation Wages, Expected wages and the duration of Unemployment: evidence from British Panel data

  • Sarah Brown


    (Department of Economics, The University of Sheffield)

  • Karl Taylor

In this paper we analyse the role of wage expectations in an empirical model of incomplete spells of unemployment and reservation wages. To be specific, we model the duration of unemployment, reservation wages and expected wages simultaneously for a sample of individuals who are not in work, where wage expectations are identified via an exogenous policy shock based upon the introduction of Working Family Tax Credits (WFTC) in the UK. The results from the empirical analysis, which is based on the British Household Panel Survey, suggest that WFTC eligibility served to increase expected wages and that expected wages are positively associated with reservation wages. In addition, incorporating wage expectations into the econometric framework was found to influence the magnitude of the key elasticities: namely the elasticity of unemployment duration with respect to the reservation wage and the elasticity of the reservation wage with respect to unemployment duration.

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Paper provided by The University of Sheffield, Department of Economics in its series Working Papers with number 2009001.

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Length: 30 pages
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Handle: RePEc:shf:wpaper:2009001
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  1. Sarah Brown & Gaia Garino & Karl Taylor & Stephen Wheatley Price, 2005. "Debt and Financial Expectations: An Individual- and Household-Level Analysis," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 43(1), pages 100-120, January.
  2. Brewer, Mike & Duncan, Alan & Shephard, Andrew & Suarez, Maria Jose, 2006. "Did working families' tax credit work? The impact of in-work support on labour supply in Great Britain," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 13(6), pages 699-720, December.
  3. Blackaby, David H. & Latreille, Paul L. & Murphy, Philip D. & O'Leary, Nigel C. & Sloane, Peter J., 2006. "An Analysis of Reservation Wages for the Economically Inactive," IZA Discussion Papers 1980, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  4. Mundlak, Yair, 1978. "On the Pooling of Time Series and Cross Section Data," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 46(1), pages 69-85, January.
  5. Das, Marcel & van Soest, Arthur, 1999. "A panel data model for subjective information on household income growth," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 40(4), pages 409-426, December.
  6. Charles F. Manski, 2004. "Measuring Expectations," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 72(5), pages 1329-1376, 09.
  7. Sarah Brown & Gaia Garino & Karl Taylor, 2008. "Mortgages and Financial Expectations: A Household-Level Analysis," Southern Economic Journal, Southern Economic Association, vol. 74(3), pages 857-878, January.
  8. Rebecca Riley & Simon Kirby, 2007. "The external returns to education: UK evidence using repeated cross-sections," NIESR Discussion Papers 291, National Institute of Economic and Social Research.
  9. Gorter, Dirk & Gorter, Cees, 1993. "The Relation between Unemployment Benefits, the Reservation Wage and Search Duration," Oxford Bulletin of Economics and Statistics, Department of Economics, University of Oxford, vol. 55(2), pages 199-214, May.
  10. Souleles, Nicholas S, 2004. "Expectations, Heterogeneous Forecast Errors, and Consumption: Micro Evidence from the Michigan Consumer Sentiment Surveys," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 36(1), pages 39-72, February.
  11. Donald Haurin & Kala Sridhar, 2003. "The impact of local unemployment rates on reservation wages and the duration of search for a job," Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 35(13), pages 1469-1476.
  12. Lancaster, Tony & Chesher, Andrew, 1983. "An Econometric Analysis of Reservation Wages," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 51(6), pages 1661-76, November.
  13. Lancaster, Tony, 1985. "Simultaneous equations models in applied search theory," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 28(1), pages 113-126, April.
  14. Kiefer, Nicholas M & Neumann, George R, 1979. "An Empirical Job-Search Model, with a Test of the Constant Reservation-Wage Hypothesis," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 87(1), pages 89-107, February.
  15. Barth, Erling, 1997. "Firm-Specific Seniority and Wages," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 15(3), pages 495-506, July.
  16. Dolton, Peter & O'Neill, Donal, 1995. "The Impact of Restart on Reservation Wages and Long-Term Unemployment," Oxford Bulletin of Economics and Statistics, Department of Economics, University of Oxford, vol. 57(4), pages 451-70, November.
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