An economic analysis of an unemployed job search behavior in Kenya:a case study of Kiambaa division of Kiambu district.
Ngugi, Joseph Karari
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The purpose of this study was to analyze the behaviour of unemployed job seekers. The data used was collected from a peri-urban region utilizing multi-stage sampling procedure. The first stage involved snow ball sampling, while the second stage employed a random numbers table to enable a probabilistic analysis of the data. A job search model was developed based on an earlier simultaneous search model developed by Stephenson (1976). This model was estimated by use of Ordinary Least Squares estimation technique. Analysis was done in two sections. The first section employed simple algebraic measures (i.e. ratios, proportions, fractions and percentages) while the second section utilized regression analysis. The study found that: most of the job seekers are young, single, secondary and primary school dropouts, indigenous of the area under study, had not been employed before, used direct visit to employers to look for jobs and had been unemployed for less than half a year. Male job seekers were more educated and trained than females. The estimated tenure of job sought and the search cost had the best fitting equations. Estimated tenure of job sought was found to be significantly dete~mined by search duration and sex,-while, search cost was significantly determined by quit decision and expectations of being reinstated to an old job. All the other variables used were not conventioniii ally statistically significant. Search duration and reservation wage equations were not significantly determined by the v~riables used jointly but value of assets significantly determined search duration. ' The policy implications arising from our results on how to reduce the number of unemployed job seekers include: the need to keep females in schools longer since they join the labour market while still very young; increase the number of opportunities in middle-level manpower training institutions; reduce inter-regional development imbalances; induce new entrants in the labour market to accept lower job offers; streamline jobs in informal sector and improve co-ordination between employers and job seekers. other policy recommendations included reduction of planned tenure of job sought, protection of workers rights and induce job seekers who own high valued assets to develop them.