Two Sides to Every Story: Measuring the Polarisation of Work
Individual and household based aggregate measures of joblessness can, and do, offer conflicting signals about labour market performance if work is unequally distributed. Thispaper introduces a simple set of indices that can be used to measure the extent of divergencebetween individual and household-based jobless measures. The indices, built around acomparison of the actual household jobless rate with that which would occur if work wererandomly distributed over the working age population, conform to basic consistency axiomsand can be decomposed to try to identify the likely source of any disparity betweennonemployment rates calculated at the 2 levels of aggregation. Applying these measures todata for Britain, we show that there has been a growing disparity ¿ polarisation - between theindividual and household based jobless measures that are largely unrelated to changes inhousehold structure or the principal characteristics associated with individual joblessness.
|Date of creation:||May 2004|
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