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Unemployment duration in Germany: A comprehensive study with dynamic hazard models and P-Splines


  • Kuhlenkasper, Torben
  • Steinhardt, Max Friedrich


This paper makes use of data from the German socio-economic panel to gain new insights into the determinants of unemployment duration in Germany. Due to substantial differences with respect to labour market outcomes we follow a stratified approach with respect to gender and ethnicity. To analyze unemployment duration comprehensively, dynamic duration time models are used in which covariate effects are allowed to vary smoothly with unemployment duration and others enter the model in an a-priori unspecified functional form. We control for unobserved heterogeneity by following a modern frailty approach. As fitting routine we use penalized spline smoothing effects using available software in R. We demonstrate with state-of-the-art regression models how effects of covariables change, either over duration time or within their range and reveal substantial differences across gender end ethnicities for the German labour market. Among others we find large effects of family characteristics for women and a minor importance of formal qualifications for immigrants.

Suggested Citation

  • Kuhlenkasper, Torben & Steinhardt, Max Friedrich, 2011. "Unemployment duration in Germany: A comprehensive study with dynamic hazard models and P-Splines," HWWI Research Papers 111, Hamburg Institute of International Economics (HWWI).
  • Handle: RePEc:zbw:hwwirp:111

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Heckman, James & Singer, Burton, 1984. "A Method for Minimizing the Impact of Distributional Assumptions in Econometric Models for Duration Data," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 52(2), pages 271-320, March.
    2. van den Berg, Gerard J. & van der Klaauw, Bas, 2001. "Combining micro and macro unemployment duration data," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 102(2), pages 271-309, June.
    3. Steinhardt Max Friedrich, 2011. "The Wage Impact of Immigration in Germany - New Evidence for Skill Groups and Occupations," The B.E. Journal of Economic Analysis & Policy, De Gruyter, vol. 11(1), pages 1-35, June.
    4. Göran Kauermann & Jean D. Opsomer, 2011. "Data-driven selection of the spline dimension in penalized spline regression," Biometrika, Biometrika Trust, vol. 98(1), pages 225-230.
    5. Steiner, Viktor, 2001. " Unemployment Persistence in the West German Labour Market: Negative Duration Dependence or Sorting?," Oxford Bulletin of Economics and Statistics, Department of Economics, University of Oxford, vol. 63(1), pages 91-113, February.
    6. Leo Kaas & Christian Manger, 2012. "Ethnic Discrimination in Germany's Labour Market: A Field Experiment," German Economic Review, Verein für Socialpolitik, vol. 13(1), pages 1-20, February.
    7. Olympia Bover & Manuel Arellano & Samuel Bentolila, 2002. "Unemployment Duration, Benefit Duration and the Business Cycle," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 112(479), pages 223-265, April.
    8. Kuhlenkasper, Torben & Kauermann, Göran, 2010. "Duration of maternity leave in Germany: A case study of nonparametric hazard models and penalized splines," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 17(3), pages 466-473, June.
    9. Daniel Aaronson & Bhashkar Mazumder & Shani Schechter, 2010. "What is behind the rise in long-term unemployment?," Economic Perspectives, Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago, issue Q II, pages 28-51.
    10. Gert G. Wagner & Joachim R. Frick & Jürgen Schupp, 2007. "The German Socio-Economic Panel Study (SOEP) – Scope, Evolution and Enhancements," Schmollers Jahrbuch : Journal of Applied Social Science Studies / Zeitschrift für Wirtschafts- und Sozialwissenschaften, Duncker & Humblot, Berlin, vol. 127(1), pages 139-169.
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    Cited by:

    1. Ieva Brauksa & Ludmila Fadejeva, 2013. "Internal Labour Market Mobility in 2005-2011: The Case of Latvia," Working Papers 2013/02, Latvijas Banka.
    2. Hohenleitner, Ingrid & Hillmann, Katja, 2012. "Impact of Benefit Sanctions on Unemployment Outflow - Evidence from German Survey Data," Annual Conference 2012 (Goettingen): New Approaches and Challenges for the Labor Market of the 21st Century 66055, Verein für Socialpolitik / German Economic Association.
    3. Falavigna Falavigna & Elena Ragazzi & Lisa Sella, "undated". "Vocational training and labour market: inclusion or segregation paths? An integrated approach on immigrant trainees in Piedmont," CERIS Working Paper 201425, Institute for Economic Research on Firms and Growth - Moncalieri (TO) ITALY -NOW- Research Institute on Sustainable Economic Growth - Moncalieri (TO) ITALY.
    4. Ludmila Fadejeva & Ieva Opmane, 2016. "Internal labour market mobility in 2005–2014 in Latvia: the micro data approach," Baltic Journal of Economics, Baltic International Centre for Economic Policy Studies, vol. 16(2), pages 152-174.

    More about this item


    Unemployment; Duration Time Models; Dynamic Effects; Penalized Splines; German Socio-Economic Panel; Ethnic Labour Market Segmentation;

    JEL classification:

    • C14 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Econometric and Statistical Methods and Methodology: General - - - Semiparametric and Nonparametric Methods: General
    • C23 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Single Equation Models; Single Variables - - - Models with Panel Data; Spatio-temporal Models
    • C41 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Econometric and Statistical Methods: Special Topics - - - Duration Analysis; Optimal Timing Strategies
    • F22 - International Economics - - International Factor Movements and International Business - - - International Migration
    • J16 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Economics of Gender; Non-labor Discrimination
    • J64 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers - - - Unemployment: Models, Duration, Incidence, and Job Search
    • J71 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Labor Discrimination - - - Hiring and Firing

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