On the reliability of retrospective unemployment information in European household panel data
The retrospectively recalled calendar of activities in the European Community Household Panel is a prime resource for cross country analysis of unemployment experience. We investigate the reliability of these data and find that 26% of unemployed respondents misreported retrospectively their unemployment status in the subsequent interview. We observe large differences across countries: While the conditional probability of a successful recall is 96% in the UK, it is just 51% in Greece for a comparable individual. These evident data problems likely affect the results of cross country comparisons.
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