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Measuring Employment : Experimental Evidence from Urban Ghana (English)

Using a randomized survey experiment in urban Ghana, this paper demonstrates that the length of the reference period and the interview modality (in person or over the phone) affect how people respond in labor surveys, with impacts varying markedly by job type. Survey participants report significantly more self-employment spells when the reference period is shorter than the traditional one week, with the impacts concentrated among those in home-based and mobile self-employment. In contrast, there is no impact of the reference period on the incidence of wage employment. The wage employed report working fewer days and hours when confronted with a shorter reference period. Finally, interviews conducted on the phone yield lower estimates of employment, hours worked, and days worked among the self-employed who are working from home or a mobile location as compared with in-person interviews.


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    Heath,Rachel, Mansuri,Ghazala, Rijkers,Bob, Seitz,William Hutchins, Sharma,Dhiraj

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    Policy Research Working Paper

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    Measuring Employment : Experimental Evidence from Urban Ghana

  • Keywords

    development research group; Poverty and Equity; Labor Market; labor market outcome; labor market behavior; labor market surveys; labor market activity; labor force survey; working at home; wage worker; labor supply elasticity; economically active population; response to shock; not statistically significant; Sexually transmitted diseases; compensating wage differential; place of work; research support budget; urban labor market; work at home; poor urban dwellers; standard error; labor statistic; data quality; working day; multiple testing; employment status; survey design; phone number; measurement error; panel data; employment spell; dependency ratio; wage employment; selection bias; observational data; social distance; random error; treatment group; labor income; self-employment status; statistical association; transition matrix; labor survey; development policy; marital status; future research; worker interview; Time of Use; open access; gold standard; adequate compensation; household level; average duration; employment rate; household interview; informal worker; economic statistic; point estimate; good monitoring; survey population; survey questions; sampling frame; baseline information; baseline survey; predictive power; representative household; usage statistics; 0 hypothesis; employment type; social surveys; short-term employment; average result; longer period; household survey; labor outcomes; labor relation; informal employment; survey data; unpaid work; high frequency; future study; empirical findings; health shock; recent work; survey respondent; social indicator; telephone surveys; research assistance; technological development; retention rates; development study; collected data; home base; farm labor; survey methods; tropical medicine; stable job; behavioral model; sexual behaviour



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Heath,Rachel Mansuri,Ghazala Rijkers,Bob Seitz,William Hutchins Sharma,Dhiraj

Measuring Employment : Experimental Evidence from Urban Ghana (English). Policy Research working paper,no. WPS 9263,Paper is funded by the Knowledge for Change Program (KCP),Paper is funded by the Strategic Research Program (SRP) Washington, D.C. : World Bank Group.