Australian Journal of Labour Economics

Articles

Vol. 15, No. 1, 2012

Earnings, Occupations and Labour Market Experience in Australia; 1997-2005
AbstractThis paper examines the relative importance of different types of labour market experience in the determination of earnings across occupations. Specifically, the paper estimates the returns to general experience, firm tenure and occupational...
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The Effects of Macroeconomic Conditions on the Education and Employment Outcomes of Youth
AbstractThis paper examines the impact of macroeconomic conditions on the education and employment outcomes of youths in school-to-work transition. The dataset is based on five cohorts from the Youth in Transition surveys (YIT) and the Longitudinal Surveys...
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The Employment Effect of Intensive Support
AbstractIntensive Support is the label for the major form of assistance provided to jobseekers by private providers under contract to the Commonwealth Government (The Job Network). This paper analyses the effect of this assistance on employment outcomes...
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Vol. 14, No. 3, 2011

INTRODUCTION for Issue 2011(3) - Incorporating the Special Issue for the 2010 Australian Labour Market Research (ALMR) Workshop
This edition of the Australian Journal of Labour Economics (AJLE) contains two articles presented at the 2010 Australian Labour Market Research (ALMR) Workshop held in Adelaide on the 13th and 14th of December 2010. The ALMR Workshop is the annual conference...
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Measuring Work Disincentives: Taxes, Benefits and the Transition into Employment
AbstractDisincentives to employment participation arising from the tax-benefit system have been a major concern for welfare reform. Data from the Household, Income and Labour Dynamics in Australia Survey are used to generate and test the robustness of...
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The Economic Boom, Population and Structural Change and the Market for Tradespersons
AbstractThe economic boom concentrated attention on skill shortages in Australia and their role in preventing the economy from reaching its full potential level of output and putting pressure on inflation. This paper concentrates on the extent to which...
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Discouraged Older Male Workers and the Discouraged Worker Effect
AbstractWith governments worldwide attempting to increase the labour force participation of older workers in the context of ageing populations, both older workers marginally attached to the labour force (discouraged workers), and those whose labour force...
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How Important Are Omitted Variables, Censored Scores and Self-Selection in Analysing High-School Academic Achievement?
AbstractUsing a rich longitudinal data set from birth, we explore three estimation issues related to academic performance analysis. Our paper primarily examines the effect of omitting childhood and teenage characteristics (childhood ability, parental...
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Labour Market Engagement of Mature-Age Workers
AbstractSupporting those mature-age workers who wish to continue working is a key policy challenge arising from the Intergenerational Report 2010. As previous research indicates, there are many factors that influence labour market engagement of those...
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Vol. 14, No. 1, 2011

Skilled Labour Migration Flows to Australia's Northern Territory 2001-2006: Beyond Periphery?
AbstractThis research describes the Australian domestic skilled labour migration system as recorded at the 2006 Census, and specifically examines the role of the Northern Territory within that system. The international literature suggests that most labour...
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Parents' Jobs in Australia: Work Hours Polarisation and the Consequences for Job Quality and Gender Equality
AbstractThis paper documents the gendered polarisation of work hours between mothers and fathers in Australia. Drawing on a large Australian sample of employee parents, we investigate the links between job quality and employment contract. Our focus is...
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The Age Dispersion of Workers and Firm Productivity: A Survey Approach
AbstractThis paper investigates a tentative finding in recent literature that the age dispersion of workers matters for average firm productivity. The reason is not related to differences in the workers' age specific productivity levels. Rather it is...
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Vol. 13, No. 2, 2010

Internal Labour Markets in Australia: Evidence from the Survey of Education and Training Experience
AbstractIn recent years there has been important debate on the changing nature of the employment relationship, with some scholars claiming a significant weakening of the bond between employers and employees. An associated implication is that internal...
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Proximity to Labour Markets: Revisiting Indigenous Employment through an Analysis of Census Place of Work Data
AbstractOne of the six targets as part of the current 'Closing the Gap' agenda is to halve the gap in employment outcomes between Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians within a decade (by 2018). Much of the focus around meeting this target has been...
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Chronic and Transitory Poverty over the Life Cycle
AbstractThis study estimates chronic and transitory rates of poverty in Australia using the concept of permanent income and longitudinal data covering the period July 2001 through June 2007. We sketch a picture of chronic and transitory poverty over...
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Education Vouchers and Labour Supply
AbstractThis paper compares labour supply behaviour under a uniform education voucher system with one involving a means-tested scheme in which the voucher is subject to a taper or withdrawal rate as parental gross income increases. Particular attention...
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The Effects of Health Shocks on Labour Market Exits: Evidence from the HILDA Survey
AbstractThis paper analyses the relationship between ill-health, health shocks and early labour market exits among older working individuals. We represent the transition to non-employment as a discrete-time hazard model using a stock-sample from the...
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Vol. 13, No. 1, 2010

Costs of Children and Equivalence Scales: A Review of Methodological Issues and Australian Estimates
AbstractEstimates of the costs of children are used in the design of a wide range of economic and social policies. This paper provides a review of the different approaches that have been used to define the costs of a child and the estimation methods...
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Life on the Minimum Wage in Australia: An Empirical Investigation
AbstractFrom 2006 to 2009, Federal minimum wages in Australia were set by the Australian Fair Pay Commission. This paper uses data from the Household, Income and Labour Dynamics in Australia panel survey to investigate the circumstances of persons who...
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Children with Jobless Parents: National and Small Area Trends for Australia in the Past Decade
AbstractThis paper examines national and spatial trends in the number and proportion of children with jobless parents during the past decade. At the national level, we found that the number of dependent children living in households where no parent had...
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Decomposing the Gender Pay Gap in the Australian Managerial Labour Market
AbstractThis article1 examines the gender pay gap among full-time managers in Australia over the period 2001 to 2008. Using decompositions I explore the issue of discrimination, as well as the roles played by labour force experience and parenting. The...
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Vol. 12, No. 3, 2009

Preface
Since I became Managing Editor of the Australian Journal of Labour Economics (AJLE) late last year, I have flagged that there will be a number of editorial changes for the journal. We should have a book review section in the not too distant future under...
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Do Government Benefits for High Income Retirees Encourage Saving?
AbstractThe Australian government provides benefits to high income older people, which are intended to induce saving for retirement. It has not been established whether this unusual policy is effective. Using an illustrative two-period model, it is shown...
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Sources of the Gender Wage Gap in a New Zealand Birth Cohort
AbstractThe gender wage gap is a well-established finding that has been observed in a range of different societies. This paper examined the sources and composition of the gender wage gap in a New Zealand birth cohort of 30 year-olds. Prior to adjustment...
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Are the Gaps Closing? - Regional Trends and Forecasts of Indigenous Employment
AbstractThis paper examines the extent to which Indigenous Australians have shared in the large expansion of the Australian workforce as revealed by a comparison of 2001 and 2006 census results and whether there have been any associated general patterns....
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Mental Health and Hours Worked among Nurses
AbstractAccounting for the endogenous relationship between health and hours worked, the goal of this study was to estimate the effect of mental health on the working hours of nursing professionals. The impact of hours worked on mental health was also...
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Vol. 12, No. 2, 2009

Exploring Creative Applications of Income Contingent Loans
Income Contingent Loans (ICLs) have a long history in labour economics. Indeed, Australian labour economists have played a seminal role in the conceptual development of the Higher Education Contribution Scheme (HECS) in Australia - a process which demonstrated...
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Innovation Financing and Use of Income Contingent Loans
AbstractInnovation is the engine of growth in the modern knowledge economy. Yet market processes in relation to innovation have important limitations. In this paper the innovation role is defined, market flaws are dissected, the status of current innovation...
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Income Contingent Loans for Mature Aged Training
AbstractIt is arguably the case that insufficient income support is restricting the educational choices of mature aged persons with dependants and other financial burdens. Removing financial barriers to further education may improve the opportunities...
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An Income Contingent Loan for Extending Paid Parental Leave
AbstractOn Mother's Day, May 10, 2009, the federal government announced an 18 week paid maternity leave scheme to be funded by taxpayers would be introduced in January 2011. This followed a one year review process beginning with the Productivity Commission...
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A Revenue Contingent Loan Instrument for Agricultural Credit with Particular Reference to Drought Relief
AbstractAustralia's National Drought Policy is in need of significant reform. The following analysis considers the potential role to be played by loans provided by the government to farm businesses in periods of adversity, to be repaid depending on future...
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Community Attitudes to Income Contingent Loans
AbstractA survey of community attitudes to income contingent loans was conducted in May 2008. The predominant focus of the survey was to ascertain the level of support, or otherwise, for the Higher Education Contribution Scheme (HECS) and for the hypothetical...
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Musing and Memories on the Introduction of HECS and Where to Next on Income Contingent Loans
AbstractThe Higher Education Contribution Scheme (HECS) is a rare example of an important, innovative, and imaginative policy instrument developed and applied within a relatively short time period. Looking back over Australian history, innovative policy...
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Vol. 12, No. 1, 2009

Comparing Disadvantage and Well-Being in Australian Families
AbstractThis paper compares the living standards of family types using a variety of indicators of disadvantage and examines the impact of disadvantage on several dimensions of well-being. The indicators are poverty (defined in income terms), deprivation...
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Paid and Unpaid Work in Australian Households: Trends in the Gender Division of Labour, 1986-2005
AbstractChanges in labour force participation rates of men and women over the last three decades raise questions about how men and women manage the combined responsibilities of paid and unpaid work. In the majority of couple families both partners are...
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Child Social Exclusion: An Updated Index from the 2006 Census
AbstractMuch research about child poverty and disadvantage provides national estimates of child wellbeing, due to the ready availability of microdata at the national level. However, an increasing body of evidence suggests that there can be major differences...
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Determinants of the Labour Force Status of Female Carers
AbstractIn Australia, as in other countries, people who have significant responsibilities for caring for a person with a disability or long-term health problem have lower employment rates than those without caring responsibilities. This paper uses data...
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A Sunburnt Country: The Economic and Financial Impact of Drought on Rural and Regional Families in Australia in an Era of Climate Change
AbstractAustralia is indeed a sunburnt country, and is arguably becoming increasingly sunburnt. If most climate predictions are correct, much of Australia will experience droughts even more often. This paper uses the Rural and Regional Families Survey...
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Exploring the Work-Family Policies Mothers Say Would Help after the Birth of a Child
AbstractIncreased rates of employment amongst mothers with young children over recent years has stimulated debate about how governments and employers can support mothers to effectively combine paid work with caring for young children. This paper examines...
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INTRODUCTION: Families through Life: Selected Issues for Labour Economists
The Australian Institute of Family Studies (AIFS) conference is one of the major Australian Social Policy Conferences. The 10th conference Families through Life was held in Melbourne, 9-11 July 2008. In September 2008, The Australian Journal of Labour...
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Vol. 10, No. 4, December

Health Status and Labour Force Status of Older Working-Age Australian Men
AbstractThis research uses the Household, Income and Labour Dynamics in Australia (HILDA) Survey to investigate the impacts of health on labour force status of older working-age Australian men. We estimate a model that exploits the longitudinal nature...
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Time-Varying Equilibrium Rates of Unemployment: An Analysis with Australian Data
AbstractWe explore a new approach to understanding the evolution of the unemployment rate in Australia. Specifically, we use gross worker flows data to study the consequences of assuming that there is no unique equilibrium rate of unemployment but rather...
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Introduction
After a rather long search for a new managing editor, the Centre for Labour Market Research formally appointed me as Managing Editor of the Australian Journal of Labour Economics (AJLE) on the 5 September 2008. This is a short note to the reader that...
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Job Mobility and Earnings in New Zealand1
AbstractThe movement of workers between jobs may play an important role in determining both the average level and overall dispersion of earnings in an economy. This study provides some initial empirical results on this topic using administrative data...
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Public Sector Workers' Willingness to Pay for Education and Training: A Comparison
AbstractIn the context of concerns about skills shortages and an ageing workforce, increased participation in education and training is often seen as a potential stimulant to increased labour force engagement. Despite this, relatively little is known...
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Vol. 10, No. 3, September

Cumulative Causation and the Productivity Commission's Framework for Overcoming Indigenous Disadvantage
AbstractThis paper examines recent evidence on Indigenous social exclusion and attempts to relate it to the Productivity Commission's Framework for Overcoming Indigenous Disadvantage. It is not sufficient to measure the various aspects of disadvantage...
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Mutual Obligation, Unemployment and Well-Being
AbstractRecent reforms to the Australian system of income support for the unemployed have been designed to encourage the welfare to work transition. Mutual obligation measures have been accompanied by an easing of the income test taper rate and by less...
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Time or Money: The Impact of Parental Employment on Time That 4 to 5 Year Olds Spend in Language Building Activities
AbstractEarly childhood is a critical time for establishing the communication and literacy skills that shape children's subsequent academic, social and employment opportunities. Debates around the family environments that support children's optimal development,...
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Introduction to Social Policy and the Labour Market: Papers from the 2007 Australian Social Policy Conference
The following three papers were originally presented at the 10th Australian Social Policy Conference (ASPC), held at the University of New South Wales in July 2007. The theme of the conference was Social Policy through the Life Course: Building Community...
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Vol. 10, No. 2, June

Decision Making Clusters in Retirement Savings: Preliminary Findings
AbstractThe aim of the present study was to explore whether identifiable member clusters exist in retirement savings decisions by considering the investment choice history of the members of four large Australian retirement savings funds. We used a two-step...
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Discussing Retirement: Insights from a Qualitative Research Project
AbstractThis paper describes a qualitative research project of thirty interviews with women in Western Australia and summarises the outcomes generated from subsequent data analysis. Three key areas of interest are discussed that add to the existing body...
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The 2006 Federal Budget: A Gender Analysis of the Superannuation Taxation Concessions
AbstractGender analyses of Australia's retirement incomes policy have consistently pointed to large inequalities in the benefits received by men and women. These findings are in accordance with feminist theory, which generally identifies how gender impacts...
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Population Ageing, Taxation, Pensions and Health Costs
AbstractThis paper argues against the policy position that begins with a doomsday scenario of publicly provided health insurance and pension systems threatened with collapse under the stresses imposed by population ageing, and instead contends that the...
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Time Use among New Mothers, the Economic Value of Unpaid Care Work and Gender Aspects of Superannuation Tax Concessions
AbstractPopulation aging requires policies addressing 'population, participation and productivity'. By failing to acknowledge women's productive work in the unpaid care economy, current retirement income policies may reduce incentives to invest in children,...
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Introduction to the Special Issue on Retirement Incomes in Australia
This edition showcases a number of peer-reviewed papers on the retirement incomes of Australian women. These papers were originally contributed to an Australian Social Science Academy (ASSA) workshop on the topic at the UNSW in December 2006. The workshop...
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Vol. 10, No. 1, March

Policy Evaluation, Welfare Weights and Value Judgements: A Reminder
AbstractThis paper is concerned with the use of social welfare functions in evaluating changes. In particular, it considers suggestions that welfare weights to be used in comparing the gains and losses of different individuals (or other appropriate units...
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The Effect of an Alternative Childcare Subsidy on Labour Supply: A Policy Simulation
AbstractBased on labour supply parameter estimates and childcare demand parameters for the Australian population in 2002, this paper illustrates how an extended childcare subsidy proposed by the Taskforce on Care Costs in October 2006 can be evaluated...
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Who Are the Low Paid?
AbstractThis paper provides pictures of low pay adult employees in Australia in 2004 drawing on data from the HILDA survey. The low paid are disaggregated into full-time and part-time employees. Estimates from multivariate probit models reveal that low...
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