This paper analyzes changes in the risk of unemployment and changes in the distribution of unemployment duration for the 26 to 41 years old working population in West-Germany during the 1980ties and 1990ties. The comprehensive IAB employment subsample 1975-1997 is used for the analysis. It contains employment and unemployment trajectories of about 500.000 individuals from West-Germany. The application of flexible nonparametric estimators yields results which are less sensitive to misspecification as it is often the case for parametric hazard rate models. By conditioning on several observable variables such gender, education, marital status etc. we identify significant differences in the first three quintiles of the distribution of the length of unemployment duration. A large share of long term unemployment with only few exits to employment is observed in almost any of the segments. The analysis also considers general evolutions over time and variations along the business cycle. The paper therefore provides a collection of detailed stylized facts about the distribution of unemployment durations in West-Germany during the past two decades.

Wilke, Ralf (2004), New Estimates of the Duration and Risk of Unemployment for West-Germany, ZEW Discussion Paper No. 04-26, Mannheim, published in: Journal of Applied Social Science Studies (Schmollers Jahrbuch), Nr. 128(2), S.207-237. Download


Wilke, Ralf


risk of unemployment, duration of unemployment, German register data, non-parametric analysis