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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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References

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  1. 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.
  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. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. Kim B. Clark & Lawrence H. Summers, 1982. "The Dynamics of Youth Unemployment," NBER Working Papers 0274, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Aysit Tansel & H.Mehmet Tasçi, 2010. "Hazard Analysis Of Unemployment Duration By Gender In A Developing Country: The Case Of Turkey," Working Papers 2010/6, Turkish Economic Association.
  2. Tansel, Aysit & Tasci, H. Mehmet, 2004. "Determinants of Unemployment Duration for Men and Women in Turkey," IZA Discussion Papers 1258, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  3. Gürbüz, Ayça Akarcay & Polat, Sezgin & Ulus, Mustafa, 2013. "In Limbo: Exploring transition to discouragement," GIAM Working Papers 13-4, Galatasaray University Economic Research Center.
  4. Strobl, Eric & Valfort, Marie-Anne, 2012. "The Effect of Weather-Induced Internal Migration on Local Labor Markets: Evidence from Uganda," IZA Discussion Papers 6923, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  5. Eliane El Badaoui & Eric Strobl & Frank Walsh, 2008. "Is There an Informal Employment Wage Penalty? Evidence from South Africa," Economic Development and Cultural Change, University of Chicago Press, vol. 56, pages 683-710.
  6. 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.
  7. 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.
  8. 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.
  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. Bino Paul G.D, 2009. "India Labour Market Report 2008," Working Papers id:1943, eSocialSciences.
  12. 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).

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