Review of Economics of the Household

, Volume 15, Issue 2, pp 639–667 | Cite as

Measuring employment deprivation in the EU using a household-level index

  • Carlos GradínEmail author
  • Olga Cantó
  • Coral del Río


We propose an aggregate measure of employment deprivation among households that follows a methodological framework developed to measure wellbeing. This index verifies a set of reasonable axioms that other available measures do not: increases in three relevant employment deprivation elements-incidence, intensity and inequality. Incidence captures how many households in a population are touched by a lack of employment, while employment deprivation intensity reflects how far households are, on average, from being non-deprived of employment. Finally, employment deprivation inequality increases with the concentration of unemployment among few households. Based on this index, we analyze employment deprivation across the European Union using information from Labor Force Surveys during the current “Great Recession.” Our results provide evidence on the relevance of incorporating the household dimension to identify unemployment profiles, with a variety of implications, in terms of household wellbeing. Specifically, we show that countries with similar (intermediate) unemployment rates differ in their patterns of employment deprivation once the structure of employment across households is incorporated.


Unemployment Underemployment Deprivation Measurement Recession Household European Union 

JEL Classification

D30 D63 I31 J64 



We acknowledge financial support from the Spanish Ministerio de Ciencia e Innovación (Grant ECO2010-21668-C03-03/ECON) and Xunta de Galicia (CN2012/178, and Grant 10SEC300023PR).


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Facultade de CC. EconómicasUniversidade de Vigo and EQUALITASVigoSpain
  2. 2.Facultad de CC. Económicas, Empresariales y TurismoUniversidad de Alcalá and EQUALITASAlcalá de HenaresSpain

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