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The Duration-Based Measurement of Unemployment. Estimation Issues and an Application to Male-Female Unemployment Differences in France

  • Stephen Bazen

    ()

    (Aix-Marseille Université, AMSE, Greqam)

  • Xavier Joutard

    ()

    (Aix-Marseille Université, AMSE, Greqam)

  • Mouhamadou M. Niang

    ()

    (Aix-Marseille Université, AMSE, Greqam)

This paper examines how unemployment can be measured in normative fashion - taking into account the mean and inequality of spell lengths - and how the extent of unemployment can be estimated from cross section data of the type found in labour force surveys. The issue is not straightforward since in these surveys completed durations of unemployed individuals are not observed yet they constitute the basis for calculating the kind of index that has been proposed to measure the extent of unemployment in a way that goes beyond the unemployment rate. The index proposed by Shorrocks has robust normative foundations and has an equivalent representation in terms of average complete duration and the density of completed durations. Building upon earlier work applied in the United States for estimating the first of these, we present a method that enables the index to be calculated based on an estimate of the density of completed durations. The approach is illustrated in the context of comparing male-female unemployment differences in France, where historically female unemployment has been higher than that of males.

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Paper provided by Aix-Marseille School of Economics, Marseille, France in its series AMSE Working Papers with number 1206.

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Length: 37 pages
Date of creation: Mar 2012
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:aim:wpaimx:1206
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.amse-aixmarseille.fr/en

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  1. Ghazala Azmat & Maia Güell & Alan Manning, 2004. "Gender Gaps in Unemployment Rates in OECD Countries," CEP Discussion Papers dp0607, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE.
  2. Martin Riese & K. Brunner, 1998. "Measuring the severity of unemployment," Journal of Economics, Springer, vol. 67(2), pages 167-180, June.
  3. Vani K . Borooah, 2002. "A Duration‐sensitive Measure of the Unemployment Rate: Theory and Application," LABOUR, CEIS, vol. 16(3), pages 453-468, 09.
  4. Nickell, Stephen J, 1979. "Estimating the Probability of Leaving Unemployment," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 47(5), pages 1249-66, September.
  5. Güell, Maia & Hu, Luojia, 2004. "Estimating the Probability of Leaving Unemployment Using Uncompleted Spells from Repeated Cross-Section Data," IZA Discussion Papers 1079, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  6. Baker, Michael, 1992. "Unemployment Duration: Compositional Effects and Cyclical Variability," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 82(1), pages 313-21, March.
  7. Paul, Satya, 1991. "On the measurement of unemployment," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 36(2), pages 395-404, October.
  8. Salant, Stephen W, 1977. "Search Theory and Duration Data: A Theory of Sorts," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 91(1), pages 39-57, February.
  9. 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, vol. 3(2), pages 153-74, April.
  10. Disney, Richard, 1979. "Recurrent Spells and the Concentration of Unemployment in Great Britain," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 89(353), pages 109-19, March.
  11. Sen, Amartya K, 1976. "Poverty: An Ordinal Approach to Measurement," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 44(2), pages 219-31, March.
  12. Akerlof, George A & Main, Brian G M, 1980. "Unemployment Spells and Unemployment Experience," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 70(5), pages 885-93, December.
  13. Foster, James & Greer, Joel & Thorbecke, Erik, 1984. "A Class of Decomposable Poverty Measures," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 52(3), pages 761-66, May.
  14. Vani K. Borooah, 2002. "A Duration-Sensitive Measure of the Unemployment Rate: Theory and Application," ICER Working Papers 19-2002, ICER - International Centre for Economic Research.
  15. Bishop, John A & Chow, K Victor & Zheng, Buhong, 1995. "Statistical Inference and Decomposable Poverty Measures," Bulletin of Economic Research, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 47(4), pages 329-40, October.
  16. Atkinson, Anthony B., 1970. "On the measurement of inequality," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 2(3), pages 244-263, September.
  17. Saul, S., 1992. "An Illfare Approach to the Measurement of Unemployment," Papers e9204, Western Sydney - School of Business And Technology.
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