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The Impact of Demographic and Individual Heterogeneity on Unemployment Duration: A Regional Study


  • William Collier



This paper investigates the impact of individual heterogeneity and regional influences on unemployment duration utilising cross-section microeconomic data drawn from a representative random survey of individual job seekers for the English County of Kent. These individual-level data are unique in that they provide information concerning the personal characteristics of job seekers, alongside direct observations of both their reservation wages and job search behaviour. Such data are extremely rare and, to our knowledge, have never before been utilised in a regional context. Thus, the paper contributes to the empirical literature by analysing the extent to which individual heterogeneity and intra-regional variation in labour market opportunities impact upon the observed distribution of unemployment duration(s). This is an important issue for policy formation and the results provide new insights into the benefits of current policies aimed at increasing the employability of the unemployed.

Suggested Citation

  • William Collier, 2003. "The Impact of Demographic and Individual Heterogeneity on Unemployment Duration: A Regional Study," Studies in Economics 0302, School of Economics, University of Kent.
  • Handle: RePEc:ukc:ukcedp:0302

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Holzer, Harry J, 1988. "Search Method Use by Unemployed Youth," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 6(1), pages 1-20, January.
    2. Layard, Richard & Nickell, Stephen & Jackman, Richard, 2005. "Unemployment: Macroeconomic Performance and the Labour Market," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780199279173.
    3. Blanden, Jo & Goodman, Alissa & Gregg, Paul & Machin, Stephen, 2002. "Changes in intergenerational mobility in Britain," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 19507, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
    4. Blackaby, D H & Manning, D N, 1990. "The North-South Divide: Questions of Existence and Stability?," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 100(401), pages 510-527, June.
    5. Lancaster, Tony, 1985. "Simultaneous equations models in applied search theory," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 28(1), pages 113-126, April.
    6. Han, Aaron & Hausman, Jerry A, 1990. "Flexible Parametric Estimation of Duration and Competing Risk Models," Journal of Applied Econometrics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 5(1), pages 1-28, January-M.
    7. Atkinson, A. B. & Gomulka, J. & Micklewright, J. & Rau, N., 1984. "Unemployment benefit, duration and incentives in Britain : How robust is the evidence?," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 23(1-2), pages 3-26.
    8. Dolton, Peter & O'Neill, Donal, 1996. "Unemployment Duration and the Restart Effect: Some Experimental Evidence," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 106(435), pages 387-400, March.
    9. Sarah Brown & John Sessions, 1997. "A Profile of UK Unemployment: Regional versus Demographic Influences," Regional Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 31(4), pages 351-366.
    10. Disney, Richard & Webb, Steven, 1991. "Why Are There So Many Long Term Sick in Britain?," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 101(405), pages 252-262, March.
    11. Jackman, R & Layard, Richard & Pissarides, C, 1989. "On Vacancies," Oxford Bulletin of Economics and Statistics, Department of Economics, University of Oxford, vol. 51(4), pages 377-394, November.
    12. Arulampalam, Wiji & Stewart, Mark B, 1995. "The Determinants of Individual Unemployment Durations in an Era of High Unemployment," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 105(429), pages 321-332, March.
    13. 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.
    14. Halvorsen, Robert & Palmquist, Raymond, 1980. "The Interpretation of Dummy Variables in Semilogarithmic Equations," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 70(3), pages 474-475, June.
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    More about this item


    Unemployment Duration; Job Search; Regional Labour Markets;

    JEL classification:

    • C21 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Single Equation Models; Single Variables - - - Cross-Sectional Models; Spatial Models; Treatment Effect Models
    • C31 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Multiple or Simultaneous Equation Models; Multiple Variables - - - Cross-Sectional Models; Spatial Models; Treatment Effect Models; Quantile Regressions; Social Interaction Models
    • J64 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers - - - Unemployment: Models, Duration, Incidence, and Job Search
    • R10 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - General Regional Economics - - - General

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