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Finance and Economics Discussion Series
The Finance and Economics Discussion Series logo links to FEDS home page Unemployment and the Durational Structure of Exit Rates
Karl Whelan

Abstract: This paper presents a simple model of wage bargaining and employment flows designed to address the effects of policies to increase the rate of exit to employment of the long-term unemployed. Exit rates from long- and short-term unemployment have two effects on the unemployment rate: a positive one as high exit rates strengthen current employees' bargaining positions and thus wages and a negative one as faster outflows from unemployment reduce the stock of unemployed. Thus, there is a trade-off between the exit rate from long-term unemployment and the exit rate from short-term unemployment. The paper's principal result is that, in steady-state, increasing the exit rate from long-term unemployment reduces the unemployment rate. Dynamic simulations show that raising the exit rate of the long-term unemployed leads to a decrease in both the mean and variance of the unemployment rate.

Keywords: Unemployment, duration dependence

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Last update: January 27, 1998