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Two sides to every story: measuring polarization and inequality in the distribution of work

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  • Paul Gregg
  • Jonathan Wadsworth

Abstract

Individual- and household-based aggregate measures of joblessness can offer conflicting signals about labour market performance if work is unequally distributed. The paper introduces an index that can be used to measure both the extent and the sources of divergence between non-employment rates calculated at the two levels of aggregation. Built around a comparison of the actual household joblessness rate with that which would occur if work were equally distributed, the index conforms to basic axioms of consistency and can be decomposed and applied to any binary variable of interest measured at two different levels of aggregation. Applying these measures to data for Britain, we show that rising inequality in the distribution of work is mostly within group, largely unrelated to changes in size of household or the principal characteristics that are associated with individual joblessness. Copyright (c) 2008 Royal Statistical Society.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Royal Statistical Society in its journal Journal of the Royal Statistical Society: Series A (Statistics in Society).

Volume (Year): 171 (2008)
Issue (Month): 4 ()
Pages: 857-875

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Handle: RePEc:bla:jorssa:v:171:y:2008:i:4:p:857-875

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Cited by:
  1. Andrea Brandolini & Eliana Viviano, 2014. "Behind and beyond the (headcount) employment rate," Temi di discussione (Economic working papers), Bank of Italy, Economic Research and International Relations Area 965, Bank of Italy, Economic Research and International Relations Area.
  2. Vincent Corluy & Frank Vandenbroucke, 2012. "Individual Employment, Household Employment and Risk of Poverty in the EU. A Decomposition Analysis," Working Papers, Herman Deleeck Centre for Social Policy, University of Antwerp 1206, Herman Deleeck Centre for Social Policy, University of Antwerp.
  3. Annemie Nys & Leen Meeusen & Vincent Corluy, 2014. "Determinants of low work intensity in households with disabled family members. Empirical analysis for the EU-15," Working Papers, Herman Deleeck Centre for Social Policy, University of Antwerp 1402, Herman Deleeck Centre for Social Policy, University of Antwerp.
  4. repec:ese:iserwp:2012-08 is not listed on IDEAS
  5. Salverda, Wiemer & Checchi, Daniele, 2014. "Labour-Market Institutions and the Dispersion of Wage Earnings," IZA Discussion Papers 8220, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).

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