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Poland on the dole: unemployment benefits, training, and long-term unemployment during transition

  • Puhani, Patrick A.

We analyse the duration of unemployment spells in Poland using data from the Polish Labour Force Survey of August 1994. The effects on the duration of unemployment of important socio-economic and demographic characteristics are explored besides the impacts of the unemployment benefit system and training schemes. Finally, we investigate whether prior unemployment influences one's chances to find a job. Entitlements to unemployment benefits prolong unemployment spell durations significantly. This effect is roughly of the same magnitude under the two benefit regimes that existed between 1990 and 1994, although the generosity of the unemployment benefit system has been reduced drastically in 1992. The results give credence to the view that the unlimited entitlement period of the old regime was not the main culprit for the widespread incidence of long-term unemployment. Training programmes organised by labour offices should not be regarded as a panacea for the problems of the long-term unemployed. The results suggest that active labour market policies should perhaps be seen more as a tool for social rather than economic policy. People with previous unemployment spells must expect to stay unemployed far longer than people who become unemployed for the first time. On the other hand, controlling for unobserved individual heterogeneity, we find that the probability of finding a job increases, especially for men, with the duration of unemployment.

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Paper provided by ZEW - Zentrum für Europäische Wirtschaftsforschung / Center for European Economic Research in its series ZEW Discussion Papers with number 96-30.

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Date of creation: 1996
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Handle: RePEc:zbw:zewdip:9630
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  1. Lippman, Steven A & McCall, John J, 1976. "The Economics of Job Search: A Survey," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 14(3), pages 347-68, September.
  2. Hunt, Jennifer, 1995. "The Effect of Unemployment Compensation on Unemployment Duration in Germany," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 13(1), pages 88-120, January.
  3. James J. Heckman, 1989. "Choosing Among Alternative Nonexperimental Methods for Estimating the Impact of Social Programs: The Case of Manpower Training," NBER Working Papers 2861, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. Puhani, Patrick A. & Steiner, Viktor, 1996. "Public works for Poland? Active labour market policies during transition," ZEW Discussion Papers 96-01, ZEW - Zentrum für Europäische Wirtschaftsforschung / Center for European Economic Research.
  5. Puhani, Patrick A., 1995. "Labour supply of married women in Poland: a microeconometric study based on the Polish labour force survey," ZEW Discussion Papers 95-12, ZEW - Zentrum für Europäische Wirtschaftsforschung / Center for European Economic Research.
  6. Micklewright, John & Nagy, Gyula, 1995. "Unemployment Insurance and Incentives in Hungary," CEPR Discussion Papers 1118, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  7. Heckman, James J & Borjas, George J, 1980. "Does Unemployment Cause Future Unemployment? Definitions, Questions and Answers from a Continuous Time Model of Heterogeneity and State Dependence," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 47(187), pages 247-83, August.
  8. Steiner, Viktor & Kwiatkowski, Eugeniusz, 1995. "The Polish labour market in transition," ZEW Discussion Papers 95-03, ZEW - Zentrum für Europäische Wirtschaftsforschung / Center for European Economic Research.
  9. Atkinson, Anthony B & Micklewright, John, 1991. "Unemployment Compensation and Labor Market Transitions: A Critical Review," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 29(4), pages 1679-1727, December.
  10. Kiefer, Nicholas M, 1988. "Economic Duration Data and Hazard Functions," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 26(2), pages 646-79, June.
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