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How Bad Is Unemployment in Tunisia? Assessing Labor Market Efficiency in a Developing Country

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  • Rama, Martin

Abstract

Tunisia's unemployment rate has been among the highest in the world for almost two decades. This article claims that such a high rate reflects measurement problems rather than labor market inefficiency. After discussing the reasons why unemployment rates may not be comparable across countries and reviewing the tools that are available to analyze unemployment in a specific country, the article provides four pieces of evidence to substantiate its claim. Two of them relate to the criteria used in Tunisia to measure unemployment and the way these criteria have changed over time. Two use records on the number of active job seekers and vacancies as reported to the official employment agency. Together, this body of evidence suggests that unemployment has declined steadily over time and remains an issue for first-time job seekers only. Copyright 1998 by Oxford University Press.

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  • Rama, Martin, 1998. "How Bad Is Unemployment in Tunisia? Assessing Labor Market Efficiency in a Developing Country," The World Bank Research Observer, World Bank Group, vol. 13(1), pages 59-77, February.
  • Handle: RePEc:oup:wbrobs:v:13:y:1998:i:1:p:59-77
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