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The Pennsylvania Reemployment Bonus Experiments: How a survival model helps in the analysis of the data


  • Schunk, Daniel

    () (University of Zürich Institute for Empirical Research in Economics)


Survival models for life-time data and other time-to-event data are widely used in many fields, including medicine, the environmental sciences, engineering etc. They have also found recognition in the analysis of economic duration data. This paper provides a reanalysis of the Pennsylvania Reemployment Bonus Experiments, which were conducted in 1988-89 to examine the effect of different types of reemployment bonus offers on the unemployment spell. A Cox-proportional-hazards survival-model is fitted to the data and the results are compared to the results of a linear regression approach and to the results of a quantile regression approach. The Cox-proportional-hazards model provides for a remarkable goodness of fit and yields less effective treatment responses, therefore lower expectations concerning the overall implications of the Pennsylvania experiment. An influence analysis is proposed for obtaining qualitative information on the influence of the covariates at different quantiles. The results of the quantile regression and of the influence analysis show that both the linear regression and the Cox-model still impose stringent restrictions on the way covariates influence the duration distribution, however, due to its flexibility, the Cox-proportional hazards model is more appropriate for analysing the data.

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  • Schunk, Daniel, 2003. "The Pennsylvania Reemployment Bonus Experiments: How a survival model helps in the analysis of the data," Sonderforschungsbereich 504 Publications 03-35, Sonderforschungsbereich 504, Universität Mannheim;Sonderforschungsbereich 504, University of Mannheim.
  • Handle: RePEc:xrs:sfbmaa:03-35

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    1. Woodbury, Stephen A & Spiegelman, Robert G, 1987. "Bonuses to Workers and Employers to Reduce Unemployment: Randomized Trials in Illinois," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 77(4), pages 513-530, September.
    2. Yannis Bilias & Roger Koenker, 2001. "Quantile regression for duration data: A reappraisal of the Pennsylvania Reemployment Bonus Experiments," Empirical Economics, Springer, vol. 26(1), pages 199-220.
    3. Meyer, Bruce D, 1996. "What Have We Learned from the Illinois Reemployment Bonus Experiment?," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 14(1), pages 26-51, January.
    4. Bruce D. Meyer, 1995. "Lessons from the U.S. Unemployment Insurance Experiments," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 33(1), pages 91-131, March.
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