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