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Labour market performance of surviving relatives in the Netherlands: applying sequence analysis on SSD data. Katja Chkalova (CBS) 16 May 2013. Summary. 1. Introduction 2. Data & analysis methods 3. Results. Introduction. Changes in social security policy

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Labour market performance of surviving relatives in the Netherlands: applying sequence analysis on SSD data

Katja Chkalova (CBS)

16 May 2013


1. Introduction

2. Data & analysis methods

3. Results

  • Changes in social security policy
  • National Survivors Benefits Act (Anw) and recent research
  • Research questions
    • What routes and trajectories do survivors of bereavement adopt on the labour market after the event (typology)?
      • What routes and trajectories lead to withdrawal from the labour market and Anw - dependence
      • Discriminating effects
sequence analysis in a nutshell sequence properties and general statistics
Sequence analysis in a nutshellSequence properties and general statistics
  • Most analysis methods focus on only one state or transition/event
  • The average labour market career often contains multitudes of states and transitions (E/UB/U)
  • Sequence analysis offers the possibility to examine labour market careers as a whole of states, transitions and events
    • # distinct states, events and transitions
    • Length / duration of distinct states (mean / total duration / duration of separate spells)
    • Most common patterns / searching for particular patterns
    • Entropy, turbulence, complexity
    • Timing of events

Sequence analysis in a nutshellPairs of sequences: distances, similarities and dissimilarities

  • Edit-distances
  • Hamming distance (substitution costs)
  • Optimal Matching (indel costs)

Quantified Common Attribute

  • Longest Common Prefix
  • Longest Common Suffix
  • Longest Common Sub-sequence
  • # of Distinct Sub-sequences
  • # Matching Sub-sequences

ResultsOperationalising and alphabet

  • Research population: persons who have lost their partner in 2002-2003
  • Sequences of the same length of 61 months: 12 months before the event (death of the partner), the month of the event and 48 months after the event

ResultsOperationalising and alphabet

  • EmphasisingAnw- benefits as a separate state
  • Three integrated tracks of sequences
    • Job
    • Benefits (AO/WW/WWB)
    • Anw benefits
  • 65 years and older as a separate category for labour market state

ResultsOperationalising and alphabet

Starting position:

  • working
  • inactive
  • receiving benefits
  • working with benefits
  • Other

ResultsSteps in the analysis

  • Construct sequence strings
  • Distinguish between the starting positions
  • Determine general statistics of sequence strings
  • Calculate distances between sequence strings separately for every starting position
  • Find clusters of distances within every group with a distinct starting position
  • Do a regression analysis with typology as dependent variable

ResultsGeneral statistics

Visualisation of the sequence data:

The state distribution plot of the

labour market states of the

survivors during 61 months


ResultsGeneral statistics




Working with benefits


ResultsGeneral statistics

# transitions per period



Starting position: working

Longest common subsequence



Starting position: working

Work > work with Anw

Work > Anw


ResultsImportant conclusions

  • There is an evident impact of the event on the labour market performance of the surviving relatives
  • Gender differences in types of trajectories adopted
  • Significant differences in behaviour between survivors in different life course phases
  • The starting position is of great importance for outcomes (typology)
  • Anw is being used by different groups of survivors:
  • - Long-term Anw assistance with little chance of reconnecting with the
  • labour market
  • - Complementary Anw-assistance
Labour market performance of surviving relatives in the Netherlands: applying sequence analysis on SSD data


Katja Chkalova (CBS)

16 May 2013