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Alternative Measures of the Average Duration of Unemployment


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  • Heisz, Andrew
  • Corak, Miles


This paper examines the robustness of a measure of the average complete duration of unemployment in Canada to a host of assumptions used in its derivation. In contrast to the average incomplete duration of unemployment, which is a lagging cyclical indicator, this statistic is a coincident indicator of the business cycle. The impact of using a steady state as opposed to a non steady state assumption, as well as the impact of various corrections for response bias are explored. It is concluded that a non steady state estimator would be a valuable compliment to the statistics on unemployment duration that are currently released by many statistical agencies, and particularly Statistics Canada.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Statistics Canada, Analytical Studies Branch in its series Analytical Studies Branch Research Paper Series with number 1995083e.

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Date of creation: 30 Dec 1995
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Handle: RePEc:stc:stcp3e:1995083e

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Keywords: Data analysis; Employment and unemployment; Labour; Labour mobility; turnover and work absences; Statistical methods;

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  1. Baker, G M & Trivedi, P K, 1985. "Estimation of Unemployment Duration from Grouped Data: A Comparative Study," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, University of Chicago Press, vol. 3(2), pages 153-74, April.
  2. Stephen W. Salant, 1974. "Search theory and duration data: a theory of sorts," Special Studies Papers, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.) 42, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
  3. Baker, Michael, 1992. "Unemployment Duration: Compositional Effects and Cyclical Variability," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, American Economic Association, vol. 82(1), pages 313-21, March.
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Cited by:
  1. Heisz, Andrew, 1996. "Changes in Job Tenure and Job Stability in Canada," Analytical Studies Branch Research Paper Series, Statistics Canada, Analytical Studies Branch 1996095e, Statistics Canada, Analytical Studies Branch.
  2. Heisz, Andrew & Corak, Miles, 1995. "The Duration of Unemployment: A User Guide," Analytical Studies Branch Research Paper Series, Statistics Canada, Analytical Studies Branch 1995084e, Statistics Canada, Analytical Studies Branch.
  3. Martin Riese, 2000. "Weakening the SALANT-condition for the comparison of mean durations," Economics working papers, Department of Economics, Johannes Kepler University Linz, Austria 2000-28, Department of Economics, Johannes Kepler University Linz, Austria.
  4. Campolieti, Michele, 2009. "An Analysis of Unemployment Incidence and Duration: Some New Evidence from Canada," CLSSRN working papers, Vancouver School of Economics clsrn_admin-2009-14, Vancouver School of Economics, revised 02 Feb 2009.
  5. Robert G. Valletta, 1998. "Changes in the structure and duration of U.S. unemployment, 1967-1998," Economic Review, Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco, Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco, pages 29-40.
  6. Furmanov, Kirill, 2009. "On Measurement of the Average Unemployment Duration using Russian Longitudinal Monitoring Survey data," Applied Econometrics, Publishing House "SINERGIA PRESS", Publishing House "SINERGIA PRESS", vol. 14(2), pages 74-99.
  7. Garnett Picot & Andrew Heisz, 2000. "The Performance of the 1990s Canadian Labour Market," Canadian Public Policy, University of Toronto Press, University of Toronto Press, vol. 26(s1), pages 7-25, July.


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