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Relative Unemployment in Canada and the United States: An Assessment

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  • Gary Burtless

Abstract

The paper reaches three conclusions about causes of the Canada-US unemployment gap. First, pure definitional differences are not very important. Second, changes in the unemployment insurance system in Canada during the 1970s and in the United States during the 1980s caused changes in jobless persons' responses to labour market surveys. Jobless Canadians became more likely to search for work during the 1970s and 1980s; jobless Americans became somewhat less likely to seek work in the 1980s and early 1990s. Third, increased relative Canadian unemployment in the 1990s is genuine, reflecting either a cyclical or structural slump in the Canadian job market.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by University of Toronto Press in its journal Canadian Public Policy.

Volume (Year): 24 (1998)
Issue (Month): s1 (February)
Pages: 254-263

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Handle: RePEc:cpp:issued:v:24:y:1998:i:s1:p:254-263

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  1. Gary Burtless, 1983. "Why Is Insured Unemployment So Low?," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 14(1), pages 225-254.
  2. David Card, 1992. "A Comparative Analysis of Unemployment in Canada and the United States," Working Papers 677, Princeton University, Department of Economics, Industrial Relations Section..
  3. Peter Kuhn & A. Leslie Robb, 1998. "Shifting Skill Demand and the Canada-US Unemployment Gap: Evidence from Prime-Age Men," Canadian Public Policy, University of Toronto Press, vol. 24(s1), pages 170-191, February.
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Cited by:
  1. Gary Burtless, 2001. "Can Supply-Side Policies Reduce Unemployment? Lessons from North America," CEPR Discussion Papers 440, Centre for Economic Policy Research, Research School of Economics, Australian National University.
  2. David Andolfatto & Paul Gomme, 1998. "Unemployment and economic welfare," Economic Review, Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland, issue Q III, pages 25-34.

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