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Alternative Measures of the Average Duration of Unemployment


  • Corak, Miles
  • Heisz, Andrew


This paper examines the robustness of a measure of the average complete duration of unemployment in Canada to a host of assumptions used in its derivation. In contrast to the average incomplete duration of unemployment, which is a lagging cyclical indicator, this statistic is a coincident indicator of the business cycle. The impact of using a steady state as opposed to a non steady state assumption, as well as the impact of various corrections for response bias are explored. It is concluded that a non steady state estimator would be a valuable compliment to the statistics on unemployment duration that are currently released by many statistical agencies, and particularly Statistics Canada.

Suggested Citation

  • Corak, Miles & Heisz, Andrew, 1995. "Alternative Measures of the Average Duration of Unemployment," Analytical Studies Branch Research Paper Series 1995083e, Statistics Canada, Analytical Studies Branch.
  • Handle: RePEc:stc:stcp3e:1995083e

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Baker, G M & Trivedi, P K, 1985. "Estimation of Unemployment Duration from Grouped Data: A Comparative Study," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 3(2), pages 153-174, April.
    2. Baker, Michael, 1992. "Unemployment Duration: Compositional Effects and Cyclical Variability," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 82(1), pages 313-321, March.
    3. Stephen W. Salant, 1977. "Search Theory and Duration Data: A Theory of Sorts," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 91(1), pages 39-57.
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    Cited by:

    1. Robert G. Valletta, 1998. "Changes in the structure and duration of U.S. unemployment, 1967-1998," Economic Review, Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco, pages 29-40.
    2. Garnett Picot & Andrew Heisz, 2000. "The Performance of the 1990s Canadian Labour Market," Canadian Public Policy, University of Toronto Press, vol. 26(s1), pages 7-25, July.
    3. Furmanov, Kirill, 2009. "On Measurement of the Average Unemployment Duration using Russian Longitudinal Monitoring Survey data," Applied Econometrics, Publishing House "SINERGIA PRESS", vol. 14(2), pages 74-99.
    4. Carlos Alberto Foronda Rojas & Andrea Alcaráz, 2015. "Estimation and characteristics of unemployment duration in Bolivia," Investigación & Desarrollo 0215, Universidad Privada Boliviana, revised Jun 2015.
    5. Statistics Canada, 1996. "Changes in Job Tenure and Job Stability in Canada," Analytical Studies Branch Research Paper Series 1996095e, Statistics Canada, Analytical Studies Branch.
    6. Statistics Canada, 1995. "The Duration of Unemployment: A User Guide," Analytical Studies Branch Research Paper Series 1995084e, Statistics Canada, Analytical Studies Branch.
    7. Martin Riese, 2000. "Weakening the SALANT-condition for the comparison of mean durations," Economics working papers 2000-28, Department of Economics, Johannes Kepler University Linz, Austria.
    8. Campolieti, Michele, 2009. "An Analysis of Unemployment Incidence and Duration: Some New Evidence from Canada," CLSSRN working papers clsrn_admin-2009-14, Vancouver School of Economics, revised 02 Feb 2009.
    9. Zetterberg, Johnny, 1999. "Arbetslöshetstider i Sverige - utvecklingen 1976-1997," Working Paper Series 151, Trade Union Institute for Economic Research.


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