New methods for analyzing structural models of labor force dynamics

C. Flinn, J. Heckman

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


    The economic theory of decision-making under uncertainty is used to produce three econometric models of dynamic discrete choice: (1) for a single spell of unemployment; (2) for an equilibrium two-state model of employment and non-employment; (3) for a general three-state model with a non-market sector. The paper provides a structural economic motivation for the continuous time Markov (or more generally 'competing risks') model widely used in longitudinal analysis in biostatistics and sociology, and it extends previous work on dynamic discrete choice to a continuous time setting. An important feature of identification analysis is separation of economic parameters that can only be identified by assuming arbitrary functional forms from economic parameters that can be identified by non-parametric procedures. The paper demonstrates that most econometric models for the analysis of truncated data are non-parametrically under-identified. It also demonstrates that structural estimators frequently violate standard regularity conditions. The standard asymptotic theory is modified to account for this essential feature of many structural models of labor force dynamics. Empirical estimates of an equilibrium two-state model of employment and non-employment are presented.

    Original languageEnglish (US)
    Pages (from-to)115-168
    Number of pages54
    JournalJournal of Econometrics
    Issue number1
    StatePublished - Jan 1982

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Economics and Econometrics


    Dive into the research topics of 'New methods for analyzing structural models of labor force dynamics'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

    Cite this