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Technical instruments and conceptual definitions: theoretical and practical implications of the change on the definition of unemployment in Colombia

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  • Juan Carlos Guataqui
  • Rodrigo Taborda

Abstract

On June 2000 the Colombian National Department of Statistics (DANE) adopted a new definition to measure unemployment following standards suggested by the International Labour Organisation (ILO). The change of definition implied a reduction of the unemployment rate of about two percentual points. In this document we contrast the Colombian experience with another international experiences, and analyse the empirical and theoretical implications of this change of definition using two different kind of quantitative estimations: in the first one we contrast the main features of the different categories classified according to the old and new definition of unemployment (employed, unemployed and out of the labour force) using the EM algorithm; in the second one we test the implications of the ILO definition in terms of time expended on job-searching. We find empirical implications about structural unemployment and its relationship with the educational profile of unemployed people, and theoretical features that challenge the standards of the ILO’s unemployment definition. ************************************************************************ En junio de 2000 el Departamento Nacional de Estadística de Colombia adopto una nueva definición de medición de desempleo siguiendo los estándares sugeridos por la organización Internacional del Trabajo (OIT). El cambio de definición implico una reducción de la tasa de desempleo en cerca de dos puntos porcentuales. En este documento contrastamos la experiencia colombiana con otra experiencias internacionales, y analizamos las implicaciones empíricas y teóricas de este cambio de definición usando dos tipos de estimaciones cuantitativas: en la primera se contrasta las principales características de las diferentes categorías clasificadas según la definición nueva y vieja de desempleo (empleado, desempleado y fuera de la fuerza laboral) usando el algoritmo EM; en la segunda se pone a prueba la implicación del desempleo estructural y su relación con el perfil educacional de personas desempleadas y las características teóricas que enfrentan los estándares de la OIT en la definición de empleo.

Suggested Citation

  • Juan Carlos Guataqui & Rodrigo Taborda, 2003. "Technical instruments and conceptual definitions: theoretical and practical implications of the change on the definition of unemployment in Colombia," Borradores de Investigación 003544, Universidad del Rosario.
  • Handle: RePEc:col:000091:003544
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Stephen R. G. Jones & W. Craig Riddell, 1999. "The Measurement of Unemployment: An Empirical Approach," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 67(1), pages 147-162, January.
    2. Flinn, Christopher J & Heckman, James J, 1983. "Are Unemployment and Out of the Labor Force Behaviorally Distinct Labor Force States?," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 1(1), pages 28-42, January.
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    unemployment; ILO Classification; labour force states; measurement errors;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • J64 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers - - - Unemployment: Models, Duration, Incidence, and Job Search
    • J21 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Labor Force and Employment, Size, and Structure

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