DP76 Long-Term Unemployment in Britain in the 1930s

Author(s): Nicholas Crafts
Publication Date: October 1985
Keyword(s): 1930s, Long-Term Unemployment, Voluntary Unemployment
JEL(s): 044, 824
Programme Areas: Human Resources
Link to this Page: cepr.org/active/publications/discussion_papers/dp.php?dpno=76

Long-term unemployment was regarded by contemporaries in the 1930's as a major problem but analysis of it has been neglected in modern economists' research. This paper presents data on durations of unemployment and a measure of the welfare costs associated with long-term unemployment. It is argued that only a small minority of the long-term unemployed had high replacement ratios and that re-employment probabilities were duration dependent. Particular attention is given to the notion of 'voluntary' unemployment and it is found that, in general, the long-term unemployed should not be regarded as 'workshy' or engaged in 'search'.