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How many labour force states? An analysis based on the British Household Panel Survey (BHPS)

  • Elisabetta Marzano

The motivation of this paper is to investigate the characteristics of the British labour force, using data from the BHPS (British Household Panel Survey). The goal is to examine whether there are statistically significant differences between the unemployed and non participants, as well as inside each of the two groups, considering their transitions in the job market. Using logistic regression for a pooled cross section-time series sample of employed as well as non employed persons, 3 different Out of Work subgroups are identified: Seeking Out of Work, Attached Out of Work, and Voluntary Out of Work. The first group can be broadly assimilated to the official definition of unemployment, ILO unemployment, while all the others are usually classified as economically inactive. Nonetheless, the last two groups are characterised by significantly different transition rates, showing a behaviourally distinct attitude in their labour market dynamics. This result points out that the aggregate non employment has several dimensions, which are not caught by the distinction between unemployment and economic inactivity, and should be accounted for by policy makers and researchers.

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Paper provided by D.E.S. (Department of Economic Studies), University of Naples "Parthenope", Italy in its series Discussion Papers with number 14_2006.

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Date of creation: 15 Jul 2006
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Handle: RePEc:prt:dpaper:14_2006
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  1. Steve Nickell & Jan van Ours, 2000. "The Netherlands and the United Kingdom: a European unemployment miracle?," Economic Policy, CEPR;CES;MSH, vol. 15(30), pages 135-180, 04.
  2. repec:ner:tilbur:urn:nbn:nl:ui:12-84119 is not listed on IDEAS
  3. repec:ese:iserwp:2003-25 is not listed on IDEAS
  4. Sergi Jiménez-Martín & Franco Peracchi, 2002. "Sample attrition and labor force dynamics: Evidence from the Spanish labor force survey," Spanish Economic Review, Springer, vol. 4(2), pages 79-102.
  5. Garrido, Luis & Toharia, Luis, 2004. "What does it take to be (counted as) unemployed? The case of Spain," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 11(4), pages 507-523, August.
  6. van Ours, J.C. & Nickell, S.J., 2000. "The Netherlands and the United Kingdom : A European unemployment miracle?," Other publications TiSEM 8dc4101d-6e72-44dd-9ab0-4, School of Economics and Management.
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