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Cyclical variations in unemployment duration


In this paper I study how individual unemployment durations vary over the business cycle, using unemployment spells of a sample of Danish workers. A compositional, an outflow, and a residual calendar-time component are identified, and they all contribute to explaining the variations in unemployment duration. Based on the analysis it is concluded that long-term unemployment is a phenomenon that is associated with periods of high unemployment, but nothing should prevent the long-term unemployed finding jobs again as aggregate unemployment eventually starts falling. In particular, there is no evidence of negative duration dependence, not even at long durations, and not when aggregate unemployment is high.

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Received: 7 December 1998/Accepted: 24 August 1999

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Rosholm, M. Cyclical variations in unemployment duration. J Popul Econ 14, 173–191 (2001).

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  • JEL classification: E32
  • J64
  • Key words: Unemployment duration
  • business cycle fluctuation