Survey Non-Response and Unemployment Duration

41 Pages Posted: 16 Sep 2004

See all articles by Gerard J. van den Berg

Gerard J. van den Berg

VU University Amsterdam - Department of Economics; Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR); IZA Institute of Labor Economics; Tinbergen Institute

Maarten Lindeboom

Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam; Tinbergen Institute Amsterdam; IZA Institute of Labor Economics

Peter Dolton

University of London - Institute of Education; IZA Institute of Labor Economics

Date Written: September 2004

Abstract

Social surveys are often used to estimate unemployment duration distributions. Survey non-response may then cause a bias. We study this using a unique dataset that combines survey information of individual workers with administrative records of the same workers. The latter provide information on unemployment durations and personal characteristics of all survey respondents and non-respondents. We develop a method to empirically distinguish between two explanations for a bias in results based on only survey data: (1) selectivity due to related unobserved determinants of unemployment durations and non-response, and (2) a causal effect of a job exit on non-response. The latter may occur even in fully homogeneous populations. The methodology exploits variation in the timing of the duration outcome relative to the survey moment. The results show evidence for both explanations. We discuss implications for standard methods to deal with non-response bias.

Keywords: non-response bias, unemployment measurement, hazard rate, sample selection, event history

JEL Classification: J64, C41, C81, C23, C14, C42

Suggested Citation

van den Berg, Gerard J. and Lindeboom, Maarten and Dolton, Peter, Survey Non-Response and Unemployment Duration (September 2004). IZA Discussion Paper No. 1303. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=591163

Gerard J. Van den Berg (Contact Author)

VU University Amsterdam - Department of Economics ( email )

De Boelelaan 1105
1081 HV Amsterdam
Netherlands
+31 20 444 6132 (Phone)
+32 20 444 6020 (Fax)

Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR)

London
United Kingdom

IZA Institute of Labor Economics

P.O. Box 7240
Bonn, D-53072
Germany

Tinbergen Institute

Burg. Oudlaan 50
Rotterdam, 3062 PA
Netherlands

Maarten Lindeboom

Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam ( email )

De Boelelaan 1105
1081 HV Amsterdam
Netherlands
+31 20 444 6033 (Phone)
+31 20 444 6020 (Fax)

Tinbergen Institute Amsterdam

Gustav Mahlerplein 117
Amsterdam, 1082 MS
Netherlands

IZA Institute of Labor Economics

P.O. Box 7240
Bonn, D-53072
Germany

Peter Dolton

University of London - Institute of Education ( email )

20 Bedford Way
London, WC1H 0AL
United Kingdom
+44 (0)207 612 6395 (Phone)
+44 (0)207 612 6880 (Fax)

IZA Institute of Labor Economics

P.O. Box 7240
Bonn, D-53072
Germany

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