"Determinants of Lifetime Unemployment - A Micro Data Analysis with Censored Quantile Regressions"

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IZA Seminar

Place: Schaumburg-Lippe-Str. 9, 53113 Bonn

Date: 15.07.2009, 12:15 - 13:30


Presentation by 

Joachim Möller (Institute for Employment Research (IAB), Nuremberg)


Building on a large German administrative micro data set for the time span 1975-2004 we look at lifetime unemployment for selected West German cohorts. Descriptive evidence shows a highly uneven distribution of unemployment in West Germany - more than 60% of the individuals in our sample were not unemployed for a single day over the better part of their professional career while almost half of the total amount of unemployment fell upon 5% of the individuals covered. We employ censored quantile regressions to explain the total duration of unemployment spells for individuals. Explanatory variables are either characteristics of the individual (like education), of the job (like the wage) or of the employer (like the size of the firm) early in the professional career. A particular emphasis is placed on the importance of the occupation: we find that males working in a disadvantageous occupation at age 25 are ceteris paribus faced with a signicantly higher amount of lifetime unemployment. Other factors connected to the amount of men's lifetime unemployment are educational attainment or the wage earned at age 25, amongst others. Some of these variables show very interesting patterns when looking at different quantiles. For women results are in general less clear-cut.

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