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Reconciling Workless Measures at the Individual and Household Level. Theory and Evidence from the United States, Britain, Germany, Spain and Australia

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Abstract

Individual and household based aggregate measures of worklessness can, and do, offer conflicting signals about labour market performance. We outline a means of quantifying the extent of any disparity, (polarisation), in the signals stemming from individual and household-based measures of worklessness and apply this index to data from 5 countries over 25 years. Built around a comparison of the actual household workless rate with that which would occur if work were randomly distributed over household occupants, we show that in all the countries we examine, there has been a growing disparity between the individual and household based workless measures. The polarisation count can be decomposed to identify which household groups are exposed to workless concentrations and can also be used to test which individual characteristics account for any excess worklessness among these household groups. We show that the incidence and magnitude of polarisation varies widely across countries, but that in all countries polarisation has increased. For each country most of the discrepancies between the individual and household workless counts stem from within-household factors, rather than from changing household composition.

Suggested Citation

  • Paul Gregg, Rosanna Scutella and Jonathan Wadsworth, 2004. "Reconciling Workless Measures at the Individual and Household Level. Theory and Evidence from the United States, Britain, Germany, Spain and Australia," Royal Holloway, University of London: Discussion Papers in Economics 04/04, Department of Economics, Royal Holloway University of London, revised Apr 2004.
  • Handle: RePEc:hol:holodi:0404
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Paul Gregg, 1996. "It Takes Two: Employment Polarisation in the OECD," CEP Discussion Papers dp0304, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE.
    2. Jo Blanden & Paul Gregg & Lindsey Macmillan, 2007. "Accounting for Intergenerational Income Persistence: Noncognitive Skills, Ability and Education," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 117(519), pages 43-60, March.
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    7. Elizabeth Clark-Kauffman & Greg J. Duncan & Pamela Morris, 2003. "How Welfare Policies Affect Child and Adolescent Achievement," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 93(2), pages 299-303, May.
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    Cited by:

    1. Elena G. F. Stancanelli, 2006. "Les couples sur le marché de l'emploi. Une analyse exploratoire des années récentes," Revue de l'OFCE, Presses de Sciences-Po, vol. 99(4), pages 235-272.
    2. Bea Cantillon, 2012. "GINI DP 52: Virtuous Cycles or Vicious Circles? The Need for an EU Agenda on Protection, Social Distribution and Investment," GINI Discussion Papers 52, AIAS, Amsterdam Institute for Advanced Labour Studies.
    3. Immervoll, Herwig & Richardson, Linda, 2011. "Redistribution Policy and Inequality Reduction in OECD Countries: What Has Changed in Two Decades?," IZA Discussion Papers 6030, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    4. repec:hdl:wpaper:1402 is not listed on IDEAS
    5. Claire Ravel, 2007. "La polarisation de l'emploi au sein des ménages de 1975 à 2002," Économie et Statistique, Programme National Persée, vol. 402(1), pages 3-23.
    6. Ive Marx & Brian Nolan & Javier Olivera, 2014. "The Welfare State and Anti-Poverty Policy in Rich Countries," Working Papers 1403, Herman Deleeck Centre for Social Policy, University of Antwerp.
    7. Andrea Brandolini & Eliana Viviano, 2016. "Behind and beyond the (head count) employment rate," Journal of the Royal Statistical Society Series A, Royal Statistical Society, vol. 179(3), pages 657-681, June.
    8. Jeroen Horemans, 2016. "Polarisation of Non-standard Employment in Europe: Exploring a Missing Piece of the Inequality Puzzle," Social Indicators Research: An International and Interdisciplinary Journal for Quality-of-Life Measurement, Springer, vol. 125(1), pages 171-189, January.
    9. Paul Gregg & John Jerrim & Lindsey Macmillan & Nikki Shure, 2017. "Children in jobless households across Europe: Evidence on the association with medium- and long-term outcomes," DoQSS Working Papers 17-05, Department of Quantitative Social Science - UCL Institute of Education, University College London.
    10. repec:esr:resser:bkmnext226 is not listed on IDEAS
    11. Carlos Gradin & Olga Canto & Coral del Rio, 2012. "Measuring employment deprivation among households in the EU," Working Papers 247, ECINEQ, Society for the Study of Economic Inequality.
    12. Vincent Corluy & Frank Vandenbroucke, 2012. "Individual Employment, Household Employment and Risk of Poverty in the EU. A Decomposition Analysis," Working Papers 1206, Herman Deleeck Centre for Social Policy, University of Antwerp.
    13. Nicolas Hérault & Guyonne Kalb & Rezida Zakirova, 2011. "Dynamics of Household Joblessness: Evidence from Australian Micro-Data 2001–2007," Melbourne Institute Working Paper Series wp2011n10, Melbourne Institute of Applied Economic and Social Research, The University of Melbourne.
    14. Annemie Nys & Leen Meeusen & Vincent Corluy, 2016. "Who cares? A Counterfactual Analysis of Household Work Intensity in Households with Disabled Family Members," Social Indicators Research: An International and Interdisciplinary Journal for Quality-of-Life Measurement, Springer, vol. 128(2), pages 675-691, September.
    15. Mark P. Taylor, 2007. "Tied Migration and Subsequent Employment: Evidence from Couples in Britain," Oxford Bulletin of Economics and Statistics, Department of Economics, University of Oxford, vol. 69(6), pages 795-818, December.
    16. Jeroen Horemans, 2016. "Polarisation of Non-standard Employment in Europe: Exploring a Missing Piece of the Inequality Puzzle," Social Indicators Research: An International and Interdisciplinary Journal for Quality-of-Life Measurement, Springer, vol. 125(1), pages 171-189, January.
    17. repec:crs:ecosta:es402a is not listed on IDEAS
    18. Marloes Graaf-zijl & Brian Nolan, 2011. "GINI DP 5: Household Joblessness and its Impacts on Poverty and Deprivation in Europe," GINI Discussion Papers 5, AIAS, Amsterdam Institute for Advanced Labour Studies.
    19. Salverda, Wiemer & Checchi, Daniele, 2014. "Labour-Market Institutions and the Dispersion of Wage Earnings," IZA Discussion Papers 8220, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Workless households; Inequality; Distribution of work; Polarisation; Worklessness;

    JEL classification:

    • J6 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers

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