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Defining unemployment in developing countries: evidence from Trinidad and Tobago

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  • Byrne, David
  • Strobl, Eric

Abstract

The International Labour Organisation (ILO) argues for relaxing the standard definition of unemployment in developing countries by eliminating the requirement that a person be actively searching for a job. We examine whether such an extension of the standard definition is appropriate in the case of Trinidad and Tobago. Specifically, we use the Trinidad and Tobago labour force survey to examine whether active job search is important in determining the labour market transitions of the non-employed. Our results indicate that in Trinidad and Tobago males, who under the standard criteria would be considered out of the labour force because they report willingness to work but are not currently searching for a job, are appropriately classified as unemployed. Further evidence suggests that this may be because job search may not be as meaningful in rural as it is in urban areas.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Journal of Development Economics.

Volume (Year): 73 (2004)
Issue (Month): 1 (February)
Pages: 465-476

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Handle: RePEc:eee:deveco:v:73:y:2004:i:1:p:465-476

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  1. Flinn, Christopher J & Heckman, James J, 1983. "Are Unemployment and Out of the Labor Force Behaviorally Distinct Labor Force States?," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 1(1), pages 28-42, January.
  2. Stephen R. G. Jones & W. Craig Riddell, . "The Measurement Of Unemployment: An Empirical Approach," Canadian International Labour Network Working Papers 09, McMaster University.
  3. Robert E. Hall, 1970. "Why Is the Unemployment Rate So High at Full Employment?," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 1(3), pages 369-410.
  4. Kim B. Clark & Lawrence H. Summers, 1978. "The Dynamics of Youth Unemployment," NBER Working Papers 0274, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. Füsun Gönül, 1992. "New Evidence on Whether Unemployment and out of the Labor Force are Distinct States," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 27(2), pages 329-361.
  6. Geeta Kingdon & John Knight, 2000. "Are Searching and Non-searching Unemployment Distinct States when Unemployment is High? The Case of South Africa," Economics Series Working Papers WPS/2000-02, University of Oxford, Department of Economics.
  7. Brigitte C. Madrian & Lars John Lefgren, 1999. "A Note on Longitudinally Matching Current Population Survey (CPS) Respondents," NBER Technical Working Papers 0247, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  8. Kim B. Clark & Lawrence H. Summers, 1979. "Labor Market Dynamics and Unemployemnt: A Reconsideration," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 10(1), pages 13-72.
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Gürbüz, Ayça Akarcay & Polat, Sezgin & Ulus, Mustafa, 2013. "In Limbo: Exploring transition to discouragement," GIAM Working Papers 13-4, Galatasaray University Economic Research Center.
  2. Bino Paul G.D, 2009. "India Labour Market Report 2008," Working Papers id:1943, eSocialSciences.
  3. Aysit Tansel & H. Mehmet Tasci, 2009. "Hazard Analysis of Unemployment Duration by Gender in a Developing Country: The Case of Turkey," ERC Working Papers 0903, ERC - Economic Research Center, Middle East Technical University, revised Oct 2009.
  4. Aysit Tansel & H. Mehmet Tasçi, 2004. "Determinants of Unemployment Duration for Men and Women in Turkey," ERC Working Papers 0404, ERC - Economic Research Center, Middle East Technical University, revised Feb 2004.
  5. Garrido, Luis & Toharia, Luis, 2004. "What does it take to be (counted as) unemployed? The case of Spain," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 11(4), pages 507-523, August.
  6. El Badaoui, Eliane & Strobl, Eric & Walsh, Frank, 2007. "Is There an Informal Employment Wage Penalty? Evidence from South Africa," IZA Discussion Papers 3151, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  7. Strobl, Eric & Valfort, Marie-Anne, 2013. "The effect of weather-induced internal migration on local labor markets : evidence from Uganda," Policy Research Working Paper Series 6600, The World Bank.
  8. Strobl, Eric, 2003. "Is Education Used as a Signaling Device for Productivity in Developing Countries? Evidence from Ghana," IZA Discussion Papers 683, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  9. Matteo Richiardi, 2002. "What Does the ECHP Tell Us About Labour Status Misperception: a Journey in Less Known Regions of Labour Discomfort," LABORatorio R. Revelli Working Papers Series 10, LABORatorio R. Revelli, Centre for Employment Studies.
  10. Kingdon, Geeta & Knight, John, 2006. "The measurement of unemployment when unemployment is high," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 13(3), pages 291-315, June.
  11. El Badaoui, Eliane & Strobl, Eric & Walsh, Frank, 2010. "The formal sector wage premium and firm size," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 91(1), pages 37-47, January.
  12. Juan Carlos Guataquí & TABORDA, Rodrigo, 2006. "Theorical and empirical implications of the new definition of unemployment in colombia," REVISTA DE ECONOMÍA DEL ROSARIO, UNIVERSIDAD DEL ROSARIO.

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