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On the Interpretation of Covariate Estimates in Independent Competing-Risks Models

Jonathan M Thomas

Bulletin of Economic Research, 1996, vol. 48, issue 1, 27-39

Abstract: Competing-risks models are becomingly increasingly pervasive in applied research to explain the factors determining both the time in a state (i.e. unemployment) and the exit route from the state (i.e. leaving unemployment for a job or non-participation). However, as in many limited dependent variable models, the interpretation of the covariate estimates requires care. Despite assertions to the contrary in many published papers, it is shown that the estimated qualitative effect of a covariate on the hazard for risk "j" typically conveys no information on its qualitative effect on either the likelihood of, or unexpected time until, exit via "j." This is because such magnitudes depend on the qualitative and quantitative effects of the covariate on other risks which cannot be ignored. The point is demonstrated by using UK data on the unemployment to re-employment transitions of a sample of male job losers. Copyright 1996 by Blackwell Publishing Ltd and the Board of Trustees of the Bulletin of Economic Research

Date: 1996
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