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Unemployment and Family-Values: A Household Distribution Sensitive Measure of Unemployment and Some Applications

  • Nolen, Patrick

    (Cornell U)

Employment brings access to many types of benefits, both financial and psychological. Besides a wage, one can earn a sense of pride or a feeling of connection with her society or fellow employees. How attached one is to the labor market is not an issue that the usual unemployment rate deals with, though. Being unemployed one may not be able to gain access to health care, information about job openings or other non-pecuniary benefits. Knowing a person who is employed may mitigate some of this isolation but, as recent riots in France and the passing of the National Rural Employment Guarantee in India have shown, simply ignoring the issue of whether someone has access to employment opportunities is not necessarily a desirable option. Taking account of the distribution of employment across households as well as individuals is one way to deal with these issues and improve on the usual unemployment measure. In this paper I develop a new measure of unemployment, that, building on the insights of the literacy and social network literature, is sensitive to the distribution of unemployment across both households and individuals. With this class of measures characterized, I then show some empirical implications and test a main assumption used in creating the measure.

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Paper provided by Cornell University, Center for Analytic Economics in its series Working Papers with number 05-03rr.

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Date of creation: Jan 2006
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Handle: RePEc:ecl:corcae:05-03rr
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  1. Richard Dickens & David Ellwood, 2001. "Whither Poverty in Great Britain and the United States? The Determinants of Changing Poverty and Whether Work Will Work," CEP Discussion Papers dp0506, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE.
  2. Basu, Kaushik & Narayan, Ambar & Ravallion, Martin, 2001. "Is literacy shared within households? Theory and evidence for Bangladesh," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 8(6), pages 649-665, December.
  3. Mitra, Tapan, 2002. "On Literacy Rankings," Working Papers 02-16, Cornell University, Center for Analytic Economics.
  4. Paul Gregg & Jonathan Wadsworth, 2004. "Two sides to every story: measuring the polarisation of work," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 19959, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
  5. Dutta, Indranil, 2004. "Generalized measures of literacy," Mathematical Social Sciences, Elsevier, vol. 48(1), pages 69-80, July.
  6. Simon, Curtis J & Warner, John T, 1992. "Matchmaker, Matchmaker: The Effect of Old Boy Networks on Job Match Quality, Earnings, and Tenure," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 10(3), pages 306-30, July.
  7. Antoni Calv├│-Armengol & Matthew O. Jackson, 2004. "The Effects of Social Networks on Employment and Inequality," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 94(3), pages 426-454, June.
  8. Basu, Kaushik & Nolen, Patrick, 2004. "Vulnerability, Unemployment and Poverty: A New Class of Measures, Its Axiomatic Properties and Application," Working Papers 04-07, Cornell University, Center for Analytic Economics.
  9. Gregg, Paul & Wadsworth, Jonathan, 2001. " Everything You Ever Wanted to Know about Measuring Worklessness and Polarization at the Household Level but Were Afraid to Ask," Oxford Bulletin of Economics and Statistics, Department of Economics, University of Oxford, vol. 63(0), pages 777-806, Special I.
  10. Basu, Kaushik & Narayan, Ambar & Ravallion, Martin, 1999. "Is knowledge shared within households?," Policy Research Working Paper Series 2261, The World Bank.
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