Pakistan Institute of Development Economics



Manpower Planning in Pakistan: Statistical Pitfalls

There have been manpower planning exercises in Pakistan with varying levels of quality and rigor. These exercises are reviewed in Herman and Irfan (1989) and Kemal (1987). For a comparison with other countries, one can also refer to Amjad (1987) wherein these exercises carried on in various Asian developing countries are reviewed. Most of the exercises suffer from predictive errors as revealed by postfact comparison and the studies in this field generally lament about the nonavailability of adequate data, which could be considered as a major limitation in this respect. In this paper, an attempt is made firstly to extend the past simulations such as to correspond with the time horizon of the Perspective Plan, i.e., by the year 2003. Secondly, in order to demonstrate the usefulness of these exercises, some policy simulations are made and their effect on unemployment is assessed. Finally, rather than warning the reader about the inadequacy of the data, this paper tries and identifies the main areas wherein statistical efforts must be concentrated upon for improvement. In order to indicate clearly to the reader where, in the authors’ opinion, are the statistical shortCOmings of a simulation exercise such as the one described in this paper, it is deemed better to present first of all the general framework supporting the simulation. On the basis of this scaffolding, the location of the pitfalls will manifest themselves.

Mohammad Irfan, B. Herman

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