IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/p/wbk/wbrwps/6436.html
   My bibliography  Save this paper

Different dreams, same bed : collecting, using, and interpreting employment statistics in Sub-Saharan Africa -- the case of Uganda

Author

Listed:
  • Fox, Louise
  • Pimhidzai, Obert

Abstract

Employment and earnings statistics are the key link between the size and structure of economic growth and the welfare of households, which is the ultimate goal of development policy, so it is important to monitor employment outcomes consistently. A cursory review of employment data for low-income Sub-Saharan African countries shows both large gaps and improbable variation within countries over time and among countries, suggesting that low quality data are routinely reported by national statistics offices. Unfortunately, policies are formed and projects developed and implemented on the basis of these statistics. Therefore, errors of measurement could be having profound implications on the strategic priorities and policies of a country. This paper explains the improbable results observed by using data from Uganda, where the labor module contains variation both within and across surveys, to show the sensitivity of employment outcomes to survey methodology. It finds that estimates of employment outcomes are unreliable if the questionnaire did not use screening questions, as labor force participation will be underestimated. Likewise, surveys that use a seven-day recall period underestimate or potentially misrepresent employment outcomes, owing to seasonality and multiple jobs. Common multivariate analysis applied on household survey data will be affected, as the errors in measurement in the dependent and independent variables will be correlated. Corrections to reduce measurement bias in existing data are tested with the survey data; none are found to be completely satisfactory. The paper concludes that there is a knowledge gap about employment outcomes in Sub-Saharan Africa that will continue unless collection techniques improve.

Suggested Citation

  • Fox, Louise & Pimhidzai, Obert, 2013. "Different dreams, same bed : collecting, using, and interpreting employment statistics in Sub-Saharan Africa -- the case of Uganda," Policy Research Working Paper Series 6436, The World Bank.
  • Handle: RePEc:wbk:wbrwps:6436
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://www-wds.worldbank.org/external/default/WDSContentServer/WDSP/IB/2013/05/07/000158349_20130507140709/Rendered/PDF/wps6436.pdf
    Download Restriction: no

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Carletto, Calogero & Savastano, Sara & Zezza, Alberto, 2013. "Fact or artifact: The impact of measurement errors on the farm size–productivity relationship," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 103(C), pages 254-261.
    2. Bardasi, Elena & Beegle, Kathleen & Dillon, Andrew & Serneels, Pieter, 2010. "Do labor statistics depend on how and to whom the questions are asked ? results from a survey experiment in Tanzania," Policy Research Working Paper Series 5192, The World Bank.
    3. Fox, Louise & Pimhidzai, Obert, 2011. "Is informality welfare-enhancing structural transformation ? evidence from Uganda," Policy Research Working Paper Series 5866, The World Bank.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Citations

    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
    as


    Cited by:

    1. Louise Fox, 2015. "Are African Households Heterogeneous Agents?; Stylized Facts on Patterns of Consumption, Employment, Income and Earnings for Macroeconomic Modelers," IMF Working Papers 15/102, International Monetary Fund.
    2. World Bank, 2015. "Afghanistan Poverty Status Update," World Bank Other Operational Studies 22917, The World Bank.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Labor Markets; Labor Policies; Educational Sciences; Poverty Monitoring&Analysis; Tertiary Education;

    NEP fields

    This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:wbk:wbrwps:6436. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Roula I. Yazigi). General contact details of provider: http://edirc.repec.org/data/dvewbus.html .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.