The IMF Working Papers series is designed to make IMF staff research available to a wide audience. Almost 300 Working Papers are released each year, covering a wide range of theoretical and analytical topics, including balance of payments, monetary and fiscal issues, global liquidity, and national and international economic developments.
This paper provides new empirical evidence on the relationship between reservation wages of unemployed workers and macroeconomic factors--including the unemployment rate and generosity of the unemployment compensation system--as well as individual-specific determinants, such as human capital proxies and length of unemployment spell. The longitudinal dataset provides an interesting perspective on how reservation wages change over time and how they correlate with accepted wage offers for workers who move from unemployment to employment. The findings shed light on the disincentive effects of the German tax and transfer system for the employment decisions of unemployed workers at different skill levels.