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On Various Ways of Measuring Unemployment, with Applications to Switzerland

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  • Joseph Deutsch
  • Yves Fluckiger
  • Jacques Silber

Abstract

This paper begins with an examination of various ways of measuring unemployment and, borrowing ideas from the poverty measurement literature, proposes four new general unemployment indices. The first of these is parallel to the Sen poverty index; the second, to the Sen index’s generalization by Shorrocks; the third, to the FGT poverty index; and the fourth, to the Watts poverty index. The authors then present an empirical illustration based on Swiss data compiled at the state, or canton, level, using the so-called Shapley decomposition to determine the contribution of three components—the traditional unemployment rate, the average unemployment duration, and the inequality in the unemployment durations—to the differences between the values of the four proposed indices, both within a given canton and within Switzerland as a whole. The paper concludes with a discussion of the assumptions made about the maximum unemployment duration for the purposes of the study, and their impact on the results

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Levy Economics Institute in its series Economics Working Paper Archive with number wp_509.

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Date of creation: Aug 2007
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Handle: RePEc:lev:wrkpap:wp_509

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  1. Mercedes Sastre & Alain Trannoy, 2002. "Shapley inequality decomposition by factor components: Some methodological issues," Journal of Economics, Springer, Springer, vol. 9(1), pages 51-89, December.
  2. Sen, Amartya K, 1976. "Poverty: An Ordinal Approach to Measurement," Econometrica, Econometric Society, Econometric Society, vol. 44(2), pages 219-31, March.
  3. Silber, Jacques, 1989. "Factor Components, Population Subgroups and the Computation of the Gini Index of Inequality," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 71(1), pages 107-15, February.
  4. Shorrocks, Anthony F, 1995. "Revisiting the Sen Poverty Index," Econometrica, Econometric Society, Econometric Society, vol. 63(5), pages 1225-30, September.
  5. Foster, James & Greer, Joel & Thorbecke, Erik, 1984. "A Class of Decomposable Poverty Measures," Econometrica, Econometric Society, Econometric Society, vol. 52(3), pages 761-66, May.
  6. Saul, S., 1992. "An Illfare Approach to the Measurement of Unemployment," Papers, Western Sydney - School of Business And Technology e9204, Western Sydney - School of Business And Technology.
  7. Martin Riese & K. Brunner, 1998. "Measuring the severity of unemployment," Journal of Economics, Springer, Springer, vol. 67(2), pages 167-180, June.
  8. Jenkins, Stephen P & Lambert, Peter J, 1997. "Three 'I's of Poverty Curves, with an Analysis of UK Poverty Trends," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 49(3), pages 317-27, July.
  9. repec:ese:iserwp:12 is not listed on IDEAS
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Cited by:
  1. Oleg KITOV & Ivan KITOV, 2012. "Inflation And Unemployment In Switzerland: From 1970 To 2050," Journal of Applied Economic Sciences, Spiru Haret University, Faculty of Financial Management and Accounting Craiova, Spiru Haret University, Faculty of Financial Management and Accounting Craiova, vol. 7(2(20)/ Su), pages 141-156.

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