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Analysis of the discouraged worker phenomenon. Evidence from micro data

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Abstract

In this paper we analyze labor force participation with particular reference to the discouraged worker effect. The theoretical point of departure is a simple model where the worker evaluates the expected utility of searching for work, and decides to participate in the labor market if the expected utility of the search exceeds the utility of not working. With suitable assumptions about unobserved and observed heterogeneity we derive an empirical model for the probability that the worker will be unemployed or employed as a function of the probability of getting a job, given that the worker searches for work. The model is estimated on Norwegian micro-data consisting of independent cross sections over 15 years. The results indicate that there is a substantial discouraged worker effect.

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  • John K. Dagsvik & Tom Kornstad & Terje Skjerpen, 2006. "Analysis of the discouraged worker phenomenon. Evidence from micro data," Discussion Papers 453, Statistics Norway, Research Department.
  • Handle: RePEc:ssb:dispap:453
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    1. Cem Baslevent & Ozlem Onaran, 2003. "Are Married Women in Turkey More Likely to Become Added or Discouraged Workers?," LABOUR, CEIS, vol. 17(3), pages 439-458, September.
    2. John K. Dagsvik & François Laisney & Steinar Strom & Jannike Ostervold, 1988. "Female Labour Supply and the Tax Benefit System in France," Annals of Economics and Statistics, GENES, issue 11, pages 5-40.
    3. Benati, Luca, 2001. "Some empirical evidence on the 'discouraged worker' effect," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 70(3), pages 387-395, March.
    4. Blundell, Richard & Ham, John & Meghir, Costas, 1987. "Unemployment and Female Labour Supply," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 97(388a), pages 44-64, Supplemen.
    5. Kenneth Burdett & Nicholas M. Kiefer & Dale T. Mortensen & George R. Neumann, 1984. "Earnings, Unemployment, and the Allocation of Time Over Time," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 51(4), pages 559-578.
    6. Heckman, James, 2013. "Sample selection bias as a specification error," Applied Econometrics, Publishing House "SINERGIA PRESS", vol. 31(3), pages 129-137.
    7. Clarence D. Long, 1958. "The Labor Force Under Changing Income and Employment," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number long58-1.
    8. Blundell, Richard & Ham, John & Meghir, Costas, 1998. "Unemployment, discouraged workers and female labour supply," Research in Economics, Elsevier, vol. 52(2), pages 103-131, June.
    9. Darby, Julia & Hart, Robert A. & Vecchi, Michela, 2001. "Labour force participation and the business cycle: a comparative analysis of France, Japan, Sweden and the United States," Japan and the World Economy, Elsevier, vol. 13(2), pages 113-133, April.
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    Cited by:

    1. John Dagsvik & Tom Kornstad & Terje Skjerpen, 2013. "Labor force participation and the discouraged worker effect," Empirical Economics, Springer, vol. 45(1), pages 401-433, August.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Discouraged workers; Labor force participation; Random utility modelling;

    JEL classification:

    • J21 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Labor Force and Employment, Size, and Structure
    • J22 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Time Allocation and Labor Supply
    • J64 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers - - - Unemployment: Models, Duration, Incidence, and Job Search

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