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Unemployment durations are determined by a number of factors. According to mainstream economics theory, unemployment durations are shorter in a more flexible labour market. In this paper, the authors hypothesize that workers who had a temporary contract before the spell of unemployment will experience shorter spells of unemployment than workers who had a permanent contract before. They adopt a flexible hazard rate model with a nonparametric baseline to analyse data on unemployment spells in Germany and Great Britain for the period 1991-2001.
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