eesti teaduste
akadeemia kirjastus
SINCE 1997
TRAMES cover
TRAMES. A Journal of the Humanities and Social Sciences
ISSN 1736-7514 (Electronic)
ISSN 1406-0922 (Print)
Impact Factor (2021): 0.467
PDF | DOI: 10.3176/tr.2011.3.01

Ülle Marksoo, Tiit Tammaru

Long-term unemployment is an increasing concern in Europe. This paper sheds new light on the development and determinants of long-term unemployment in Estonia over the last two decades, taking a particular focus on the years of economic boom and bust. The analysis is based on the individual level data of the Labour Force Survey. The results of regression analysis show that differences in the socio-demographic charac­teristics of long-term unemployed became smaller during economic bust compared to economic boom. The region of residence was a significant determinant of long-term unemployment only during economic boom. The risk of becoming long-term unemployed is high for older people, people with a lower level of education and for ethnic minorities at both economic boom and bust.


Aasland, Aadne and Tony Fløtten (2001) “Ethnicity and social exclusion in Estonia and Latvia”. Europe-Asia Studies 53, 7, 1023–1049.

Bell, David N.F. and David G. Blanchflower (2010) Youth unemployment: déjà vu? (IZA Discussion Paper, 4705.) Institute for the Study of Labour.

Blanchard, Olivier and Peter Diamond (1994) “Ranking, unemployment duration and wages”. Review of Economic Studies 61, 3, 417–434.

Brown, Sarah and John G. Sessions (1997) “A profile of UK unemployment: regional versus demographic influences”. Regional Studies 31, 4, 351–366.

Campbell, Mike (2000) “Reconnecting the long-term unemployed to labour market opportunity: the case for a ‘local active labour market policy’”. Regional Studies 34, 7, 655–668.

Collier, William (2005) “Unemployment duration and individual heterogeneity: a regional study”. Applied Economics 37, 133–153.

Council of the European Union (2008) Council decision on guidelines for the employment policies of the Member States.

Di Domenico, Germana and Silvia Spattini, eds. (2008) New European approaches to long-term unemployment. (Studies in Employment and Social Policy, 35.) The Hague: Wolters Kluwer.

Eamets, Raul, Urmas Varblane, and Kaja Sõstra (2003) “External macroeconomic shocks and the Estonian economy: how did the Russian financial crises affect Estonian unemployment and foreign trade?” Baltic Journal of Economics Spring and Summer 5–24.

Eliason, Marcus and Donald Storrie (2009) “Job loss is bad for your health – Swedish evidence on cause-specific hospitalization following involuntary job loss”. Social Science & Medicine 68, 1396–1406.

Estonian Government Office (2010) Draft national reform programme. Overview of preparations for the “Estonia 2020” competitiveness strategy. Tallinn.

European Communities (1998) Fighting long-term unemployment. ESF Project Examples. Luxem­bourg.

European Commission (2009) Recovering from the crisis. 27 ways of tackling the employment challenge. Luxembourg: Publications Office of the European Union.

European Commission (2010a) Labour Market Quarterly Review.

European Commission (2010b) EU employment situation and social outlook. Monthly monitoring, February.

Fitzenberg, Bernd and Ralf Wilke (2004) “Unemployment durations in West-Germany before and after the reform of the unemployment compensation system during the 1980s”. ZEW Discussion Paper 04-24.

Heylen, Freddy (1992) “Long-term unemployment in the OECD countries. Tijdschrift voor Economie en Management 37, 1, 53–83.

ILO (1996) Employment policies in a global context. (Report, 5.) Geneva: ILO.

ILO (2000) World labour report 2000: income security and social protection in a changing world. Geneva: ILO.

ILO (2009) Tackling the global jobs crisis: recovery through decent work policies. Report of the Director-General, International Labour Conference, 98th Session.

Jackman, Richard and Richard Layard (1991) “Does long-term unemployment reduce a person’s chance of a job? A time-series test”. Economica 58, 107–121.

Jurajda, Stepan and Daniel Münich (2002) “Understanding Czech long-term unemployment”. (CERGE-EI Discussion Paper, 91.) Prague.

Kieselbach, Thomas (2004) “Long-term unemployment among young people: the risk of social exclusion”. American Journal of Community Psychology 32, 1–2 (September 2003).

Kornai, János (1992) The socialist system: the political economy of communism. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Layard, Richard, Stephen Nickell, and Richard Jackmann (2005) Unemployment: macroeconomic performance and the labour market. 2nd ed. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Leping, Kristjan-Olari and Ott Toomet (2008) “Emerging ethnic wage gap: Estonia during political and economic transition”. Journal of Comparative Economics 36, 4, 599–619.

Lindemann, Kristina and Ellu Saar (2009) “Non-Estonians in the labour market”. In Estonian Human Development Report 2008, 95–100. Marju Lauristin, ed. Tallinn: Estonian Cooperation Assembly.

Lindsay, Colin, Martin McCracken, and Ronald W. McQuaid (2003) “Unemployment duration and employability in remote rural labour markets”. Journal of Rural Studies 19, 2, 187–200.

Machin, Stephen and Alan Manning (1999) “The causes and consequences of long-term unemploy­ment in Europe”. In Handbook of labour economics 3C, 3085–3139. Orley C. Ashenfelter and David Card, eds. Amsterdam: Elsevier.

Marksoo, Ülle (2007) “Developments in long-term unemployment during economic revival: the case of Estonia”. Working Papers in Economics (Tallinn) 23, 161, 33–51.

Meager, Nigel and Ceri Evans (1998) The evaluation of active labour market measures for the long-term unemployed. (Employment and Training Paper, 16.) Geneva: ILO.

Nesporova, Alena (2002) Why unemployment remains so high in central and eastern Europe. (Employment Paper, 43.) Geneva: ILO.

Nickell, Stephen J. and Richard Layard (1999) “Labour market institutions and economic per­formance”. In Handbook of labour economics 3C, 3029–3084. Orley C. Ashenfelter and David Card, eds. Amsterdam: Elsevier.

O’Connell, Philip, Seamus McGuinness, and Elish Kelly (2010) “A statistical profiling model of long-term unemployment risk in Ireland”. ESRI Working Paper 345.

OECD (1993) ”Long-term unemployment: selected causes and remedies”. In Employment outlook, 83–117. Paris: OECD.

OECD (2002) “The ins and outs of long-term unemployment”. In Employment outlook, 189–243. Paris: OECD.

OECD (2003) “Unemployment risk factors in Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania”. In Labour market and social policies in the Baltic countries. Paris.

OECD (2011) The economic survey of Estonia. Paris: OECD.

Pallant, Julie (2006) SPSS survival manual. 2nd ed. Open University Press.

Partridge, Mark D. and Dan S. Rickman (1998) “Regional differences in chronic long-term un­employ­ment”. The Quarterly Review of Economics and Finance 38, 2, 193–215.

Payne, Joan, Casey, Bernard, Clive Payne, and Sara Connoly (1996) Long-term unemployment: individual risk factors & outcomes. London: Policy Studies Institute.

Peck, Jamie (1996) Work-place: the social regulation of labour markets. New York: The Guilford Press.

Pissarides, Christopher (1992) “Loss of skills during unemployment”. Journal of Economics 17, 4, 1371–1391.

Rudolph, Helmut (2001) “Profiling as an instrument for early identification of people at risk of long term unemployment”. In Employability: from theory to practice, 25–49. Patricia Weinert, ed. New Brunswick and London: Transaction Publishers.

Rutkowski, Jan (2003) Rapid labour reallocation with a stagnant unemployment pool: the puzzle of the labour market in Lithuania. (Policy Research Working Paper, 2946.) Washington, DC: World Bank.

Rutkowski, Jan (2006) Labour market developments during economic transition. (Policy Research Working Paper.) Washington, DC: World Bank.

Rutkowski, Jan (2007) From the shortage of jobs to the shortage of skilled workers: labour markets in the EU new member states. (IZA Discussion Paper, 3202.) Bonn: IZA.

Scarpetta, Stefano, Anne Sonnet, and Thomas Manfredi (2010) Rising youth unemployment during crisis: how to prevent negative long-term consequences on a generation? (OECD Social, Employment and Migration Papers, 106.) Paris: OECD.

Statistical Office of Estonia (2005) Tööjõud 2004. Labour Force 2004. Yearbook. Tallinn: Statistical Office of Estonia.

Steiner, Viktor (2001) “Unemployment persistence in the West German labour market: negative duration dependence or sorting?” Oxford Bulletin of Economics and Statistics 63, 91–113.

Tammaru, Tiit and Hill Kulu (2003) “Ethnic minorities in Estonia: changes in the size, composition and location”. Eurasian Geography and Economics 44, 2, 105–120.

Tammaru, Tiit, Strömgren, Magnus, Olof Stjernström, and Urban Lindgren (2010a) “Learning through contact? The effects on earnings of immigrant exposure to the native population”. Environment and Planning A 42, 2, 2938–2955.

Tammaru, Tiit, Kaja Kumer-Haukanõmm, and Kristi Anniste (2010b) “The formation and develop­ment of the Estonian diaspora”. Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies 36, 7, 1157–1174.

Terrones, Marco E., Alasdair Scott, and Prakash Kannan (2009) “From recession to recovery: how soon and how strong”. In World Economic Outlook April 2009. International Monetary Fund.

Toomet, Ott (2011) “Learn English, not the local language! Ethnic Russians in the Baltic states”. American Economic Review 101, 3, 526–531.

Van Berkel, Rik and Aat Brand (1996) “Actors and factors in finding a job or remaining unemployed: longitudinal research into the position of the long-term unemployed in the Rotterdam labour market”. In On the challenges of unemployment in a regional Europe, 145–163. C. H. A. Verhaar et al., eds. Aldershot: Avebury.

Back to Issue