IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/p/zbw/glodps/610.html
   My bibliography  Save this paper

The iceberg decomposition: a parsimonious way to map the health of labour markets

Author

Listed:
  • Baert, Stijn

Abstract

This article introduces the metaphor of the iceberg in the labour market. While policy in most OECD countries has historically focussed on reducing unemployment (the tip of the iceberg), the group of inactive people (below the waterline) is much larger. Therefore, we point to the clear limitations of the unemployment rate as the (single) key macro-economic indicator of the health of the labour market. A parsimonious dashboard approach utilising the unemployment-to-population ratio and the inactivity-topopulation ratio as two highly appropriate and complementary measures is defended. We show that the ratio of these two indices varies greatly between countries, which calls for different policies for different countries.

Suggested Citation

  • Baert, Stijn, 2020. "The iceberg decomposition: a parsimonious way to map the health of labour markets," GLO Discussion Paper Series 610, Global Labor Organization (GLO).
  • Handle: RePEc:zbw:glodps:610
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: https://www.econstor.eu/bitstream/10419/222446/1/GLO-DP-0610.pdf
    Download Restriction: no
    ---><---

    Other versions of this item:

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Elsby, Michael W.L. & Hobijn, Bart & Şahin, Ayşegül, 2015. "On the importance of the participation margin for labor market fluctuations," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 72(C), pages 64-82.
    2. Kory Kroft & Fabian Lange & Matthew J. Notowidigdo, 2013. "Duration Dependence and Labor Market Conditions: Evidence from a Field Experiment," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 128(3), pages 1123-1167.
    3. Stephen R. G. Jones & W. Craig Riddell, 2019. "Unemployment, Marginal Attachment, and Labor Force Participation in Canada and the United States," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 37(S2), pages 399-441.
    4. Alan B. Krueger & Judd Cramer & David Cho, 2014. "Are the Long-Term Unemployed on the Margins of the Labor Market?," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 45(1 (Spring), pages 229-299.
    5. Stefan Eriksson & Dan-Olof Rooth, 2014. "Do Employers Use Unemployment as a Sorting Criterion When Hiring? Evidence from a Field Experiment," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 104(3), pages 1014-1039, March.
    6. Alan B. Krueger & Judd Cramer & David Cho, 2014. "Are the Long-Term Unemployed on the Margins of the Labor Market?," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 48(1 (Spring), pages 229-299.
    7. Peter Diamond, 2013. "Cyclical Unemployment, Structural Unemployment," IMF Economic Review, Palgrave Macmillan;International Monetary Fund, vol. 61(3), pages 410-455, August.
    8. Stephen Bazen & Xavier Joutard & Mouhamadou Niang, 2014. "The measurement of unemployment using completed durations: evidence on the gender gap in unemployment in France," The Journal of Economic Inequality, Springer;Society for the Study of Economic Inequality, vol. 12(4), pages 517-534, December.
    9. Faggio, Giulia, 2019. "Relocation of public sector workers: Evaluating a place-based policy," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 111(C), pages 53-75.
    10. Artuc, Erhan & Christiaensen, Luc & Winkler, Hernan, 2019. "Does Automatization in Rich Countries hurt Developing Ones? Evidence from the US and Mexico," Jobs Group Papers, Notes, and Guides 30834024, The World Bank.
    11. Pierre Cahuc & André Zylberberg, 2009. "The Natural Survival of Work: Job Creation and Job Destruction in a Growing Economy," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262512467, December.
    12. Gjergji FILIPI, 2016. "Labour statistics in south-eastern Europe: Similarities and differences across national definitions," International Labour Review, International Labour Organization, vol. 155(3), pages 461-470, September.
    13. Andreas Hornstein & Marianna Kudlyak & Fabian Lange, 2014. "Measuring Resource Utilization in the Labor Market," Economic Quarterly, Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond, issue 1Q, pages 1-21.
    14. 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.
    15. Stijn Baert & Dieter Verhaest, 2019. "Unemployment or Overeducation: Which is a Worse Signal to Employers?," De Economist, Springer, vol. 167(1), pages 1-21, March.
    16. Artuc,Erhan & Christiaensen,Luc & Winkler,Hernan Jorge, 2019. "Does Automation in Rich Countries Hurt Developing Ones? : Evidence from the U.S. and Mexico," Policy Research Working Paper Series 8741, The World Bank.
    17. Eliana Viviano & Andrea Brandolini, 2018. "Measuring employment and unemployment," IZA World of Labor, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA), pages 445-445, August.
    18. Ndongo Samba SYLLA, 2013. "Measuring labour absorption problems in developing countries: Limitations of the concept of unemployment," International Labour Review, International Labour Organization, vol. 152(1), pages 27-41, March.
    19. Andreas Hornstein & Marianna Kudlyak & Fabian Lange & Timothy Sablik, 2014. "Does the Unemployment Rate Really Overstate Labor Market Recovery?," Richmond Fed Economic Brief, Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond, issue June.
    20. Anthony Shorrocks, 2009. "Spell incidence, spell duration and the measurement of unemployment," The Journal of Economic Inequality, Springer;Society for the Study of Economic Inequality, vol. 7(3), pages 295-310, September.
    21. Saul, S., 1992. "An Illfare Approach to the Measurement of Unemployment," Papers e9204, Western Sydney - School of Business And Technology.
    22. Anthony Shorrocks, 2009. "On the measurement of unemployment," The Journal of Economic Inequality, Springer;Society for the Study of Economic Inequality, vol. 7(3), pages 311-327, September.
    23. Sen, Amartya K, 1976. "Poverty: An Ordinal Approach to Measurement," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 44(2), pages 219-231, March.
    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. Baert, Stijn, 2021. "What Shifts Did COVID-19 Year 2020 Bring to the Labour Market in Europe?," IZA Policy Papers 177, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).

    Most related items

    These are the items that most often cite the same works as this one and are cited by the same works as this one.
    1. Andreas Hornstein & Marianna Kudlyak & Fabian Lange, 2014. "Measuring Resource Utilization in the Labor Market," Economic Quarterly, Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond, issue 1Q, pages 1-21.
    2. Carl Singleton, 2018. "Long‐Term Unemployment and the Great Recession: Evidence from UK Stocks and Flows," Scottish Journal of Political Economy, Scottish Economic Society, vol. 65(2), pages 105-126, May.
    3. Eliana Viviano & Andrea Brandolini, 2018. "Measuring employment and unemployment," IZA World of Labor, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA), pages 445-445, August.
    4. Kory Kroft & Fabian Lange & Matthew J. Notowidigdo & Lawrence F. Katz, 2016. "Long-Term Unemployment and the Great Recession: The Role of Composition, Duration Dependence, and Nonparticipation," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 34(S1), pages 7-54.
    5. Ioannis Kospentaris, 2021. "Unobserved Heterogeneity and Skill Loss in a Structural Model of Duration Dependence," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 39, pages 280-303, January.
    6. Carlos Gradín & Coral Del Río & Olga Cantó, 2012. "Measuring Poverty Accounting For Time," Review of Income and Wealth, International Association for Research in Income and Wealth, vol. 58(2), pages 330-354, June.
    7. Marianna Kudlyak & Fabian Lange, 2014. "Measuring Heterogeneity in Job Finding Rates Among the Nonemployed Using Labor Force Status Histories," Working Paper 14-18, Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond.
    8. Coral Río & Olga Alonso-Villar, 2018. "Segregation and Social Welfare: A Methodological Proposal with an Application to the U.S," Social Indicators Research: An International and Interdisciplinary Journal for Quality-of-Life Measurement, Springer, vol. 137(1), pages 257-280, May.
    9. Carlos Gradín & Olga Cantó & Coral Río, 2017. "Measuring employment deprivation in the EU using a household-level index," Review of Economics of the Household, Springer, vol. 15(2), pages 639-667, June.
    10. Coral del Rio & Olga Alonso-Villar, 2015. "Segregation and social welfare," Working Papers 378, ECINEQ, Society for the Study of Economic Inequality.
    11. Emmanuel Duguet & Yannick l'Horty & Rémi Le Gall & Pascale Petit, 2018. "How does labour market history influence the access to hiring interviews?," Post-Print hal-01827450, HAL.
    12. Stijn Baert & Matteo Picchio, 2020. "A Signal of (Train)ability? Grade Repetition and Hiring Chances," Working Papers of Faculty of Economics and Business Administration, Ghent University, Belgium 20/999, Ghent University, Faculty of Economics and Business Administration.
    13. Chodorow-Reich, Gabriel & Coglianese, John, 2021. "Projecting unemployment durations: A factor-flows simulation approach with application to the COVID-19 recession," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 197(C).
    14. Kory Kroft & Fabian Lange & Matthew J. Notowidigdo & Matthew Tudball, 2019. "Long Time Out: Unemployment and Joblessness in Canada and the United States," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 37(S2), pages 355-397.
    15. Stijn Baert & Brecht Neyt & Thomas Siedler & Ilse Toback & Dieter Verhaest, 2019. "Student Internships And Employment Opportunities After Graduation: A Field Experiment," Working Papers of Faculty of Economics and Business Administration, Ghent University, Belgium 19/974, Ghent University, Faculty of Economics and Business Administration.
    16. Bonam, Dennis & de Haan, Jakob & van Limbergen, Duncan, 2021. "Time-varying wage Phillips curves in the euro area with a new measure for labor market slack," Economic Modelling, Elsevier, vol. 96(C), pages 157-171.
    17. Andreas I. Mueller, 2017. "Separations, Sorting, and Cyclical Unemployment," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 107(7), pages 2081-2107, July.
    18. Lucía Gorjón & Sara de la Rica & Antonio Villar, 2018. "The social cost of unemployment: the Spanish labour market from a social welfare approach," Studies on the Spanish Economy eee2018-22, FEDEA.
    19. Katharine G. Abraham & John Haltiwanger & Kristin Sandusky & James R. Spletzer, 2019. "The Consequences of Long-Term Unemployment: Evidence from Linked Survey and Administrative Data," ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 72(2), pages 266-299, March.
    20. R. Jason Faberman & Andreas I. Mueller & Ayşegül Şahin* & Giorgio Topa, 2020. "The Shadow Margins of Labor Market Slack," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 52(S2), pages 355-391, December.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Employment; unemployment; inactivity; labour market policy; labour market indicators;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • J64 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers - - - Unemployment: Models, Duration, Incidence, and Job Search
    • J08 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - General - - - Labor Economics Policies
    • J23 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Labor Demand
    • J24 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Human Capital; Skills; Occupational Choice; Labor Productivity
    • J68 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers - - - Public Policy

    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:zbw:glodps:610. 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: . General contact details of provider: https://edirc.repec.org/data/glabode.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 bibliographic 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.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: ZBW - Leibniz Information Centre for Economics (email available below). General contact details of provider: https://edirc.repec.org/data/glabode.html .

    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.