Unemployment and Economic Welfare
Statistics that measure labor market activity, such as employment and unemployment, are often interpreted in the press and by politicians as measures of economic performance and social well-being. Discussions that focus on cross-country comparisons of unemployment, for example, seem to be based without exception on the premise that unemployment represents a social and economic ill, so that less of it is generally to be preferred. The purpose of this note is to demonstrate that some care should be exercised when constructing a map between labor market behavior and economic welfare and that, generally speaking, such interpretations are not justified in the absence of information concerning the economic circumstances that determine individual labor market choices.
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|Date of creation:||Jan 1999|
|Date of revision:||Jan 1999|
|Contact details of provider:|| Postal: Waterloo, Ontario, N2L 3G1|
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- Kenneth Burdett & Nicholas M. Kiefer & Dale T. Mortensen & George R. Neumann, 1984. "Earnings, Unemployment, and the Allocation of Time Over Time," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 51(4), pages 559-578.
- Andolfatto, David & Gomme, Paul, 1996. "Unemployment insurance and labor-market activity in Canada," Carnegie-Rochester Conference Series on Public Policy, Elsevier, vol. 44(1), pages 47-82, June.
- Gary Burtless, 1998. "Relative Unemployment in Canada and the United States: An Assessment," Canadian Public Policy, University of Toronto Press, vol. 24(s1), pages 254-263, February.
- Juster, F. Thomas & Stafford, Frank P., 1990.
"The Allocation of Time: Empirical Findings, Behavioural Models, and Problems of Measurement,"
Working Paper Series
258, Research Institute of Industrial Economics.
- Juster, F Thomas & Stafford, Frank P, 1991. "The Allocation of Time: Empirical Findings, Behavioral Models, and Problems of Measurement," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 29(2), pages 471-522, June.
- Richard Rogerson, 1997. "Theory Ahead of Language in the Economics of Unemployment," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 11(1), pages 73-92, Winter.
- David Andolfattio & Paul Gomme & Paul A. Storer, 1998.
"US Labour Market Policy and the Canada-US Unemployment Rate Gap,"
Canadian Public Policy,
University of Toronto Press, vol. 24(s1), pages 210-232, February.
- Andolfatto, D. & Gomme, P. & Storer, P., 1996. "U.S. Labour Market Policy and the Canada-U.S. Unemployment Rate Gap," Working Papers 9604, University of Waterloo, Department of Economics.
- Warren W. Eason, 1957. "Labor Force Materials for the Study of Unemployment in the Soviet Union," NBER Chapters, in: The Measurement and Behavior of Unemployment, pages 389-438 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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