The retrospectively recalled calendar of activities in the European Community Household Panel is a prime resource for cross-country analysis of unemployment experience. We investigate the reliability of these data and find that 26 % of unemployed respondents misreported retrospectively their unemployment status in the subsequent interview. We observe large differences across countries: While the conditional probability of consistent information is 96 % in the UK, it is just 51 % in Greece for a comparable individual. By analyzing long-term unemployment and unemployment persistence, we show that the results of cross-country comparisons are strongly affected by these data problems.
Empirical Economics, 2014, Vol 46, Issue 4, p. 1473-1493