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What Does the ECHP Tell Us About Labour Status Misperception: a Journey in Less Known Regions of Labour Discomfort

  • Matteo Richiardi

This study uses ECHP data to give insights on the characteristics of people whose self-assessment of labour status differs from that of the LFS. We do some ‘labour accounting’, in order to clarify the connection between individual perception and LFS categorisation. We find that discrepancies are frequent, regional differences are extremely relevant in explaining them and thus traditional statistics may be strongly biased in capturing people’s well being in relationship with their labour status. We concentrate then on the most relevant perception errors, above all those connected with searching behaviour, in order to explain their determinants. What emerges is a map of social characteristics explaining discouragement and passive behaviour. Such an attitude is (paradoxically) reinforced by assistance from the state itself, such that it becomes – to a certain extent – ‘institutionalised’. Finally, we show that our understanding of the relationship between misclassification and individual characteristics leads to a reduction in the measurement error to be dealt with in transition flows analysis.

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Paper provided by LABORatorio R. Revelli, Centre for Employment Studies in its series LABORatorio R. Revelli Working Papers Series with number 10.

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Length: 39 pages
Date of creation: 2002
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:cca:wplabo:10
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  1. Geeta G. Kingdon & John B. Knight, 2000. "Are searching and non-searching unemployment distinct states when unemployment is high? The case of South Africa," CSAE Working Paper Series 2000-02, Centre for the Study of African Economies, University of Oxford.
  2. Hausman, J. A. & Abrevaya, Jason & Scott-Morton, F. M., 1998. "Misclassification of the dependent variable in a discrete-response setting," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 87(2), pages 239-269, September.
  3. 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.
  4. Byrne, David & Strobl, Eric, 2004. "Defining unemployment in developing countries: evidence from Trinidad and Tobago," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 73(1), pages 465-476, February.
  5. Kim B. Clark & Lawrence H. Summers, 1979. "Labor Market Dynamics and Unemployemnt: A Reconsideration," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 10(1), pages 13-72.
  6. repec:dgr:uvatin:19980085 is not listed on IDEAS
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