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An Employment Equation For Australia: 1966-2001

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  • Robert Dixon
  • John Freebairn
  • G C Lim

Abstract

We model the relationship between hours of work and employment and argue that unless actual hours are varying with a change in ‘standard hours’, actual hours should not appear in the long-run component of an equation for employment. If however standard hours are changing then it is desirable that this variable be incorporated into the employment equation. Our theoretical model yields an expression for the elasticity of employment with respect to standard hours which shows that the elasticity is related to the size of the premium for overtime. Using quarterly data for the period 1966:3 – 2001:3 we estimate a new employment equation for Australia incorporating standard hours of work. We find empirical support for our approach and we provide new estimates of the elasticity of employment with respect to the real wage and GDP. We also find a marked asymmetry in the response of employment to variations in real GDP and real wages in recession periods as against non-recession periods.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by The University of Melbourne in its series Department of Economics - Working Papers Series with number 892.

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Length: 44 pages
Date of creation: 2004
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:mlb:wpaper:892

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Postal: Department of Economics, The University of Melbourne, 5th Floor, Economics and Commerce Building, Victoria, 3010, Australia
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Web page: http://www.economics.unimelb.edu.au
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Related research

Keywords: Employment Determination; Demand for Labor; Australia;

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References

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  1. A. J. Phipps & J. R. Sheen, 1995. "Macroeconomic Policy and Employment Growth in Australia," Australian Economic Review, The University of Melbourne, Melbourne Institute of Applied Economic and Social Research, vol. 28(1), pages 86-104.
  2. Russell, Bill & Tease, Warren, 1991. "Employment, Output and Real Wages," The Economic Record, The Economic Society of Australia, vol. 67(196), pages 34-45, March.
  3. Steve Dowrick & Graeme Wells, 2004. "Modelling Aggregate Demand for Labour: A Critique of Lewis and MacDonald," The Economic Record, The Economic Society of Australia, vol. 80(251), pages 436-440, December.
  4. Neil R. Ericsson & James G. MacKinnon, 1999. "Distributions of error correction tests for cointegration," International Finance Discussion Papers 655, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
  5. Lewis, Philip E T & MacDonald, Garry, 2002. "The Elasticity of Demand for Labour in Australia," The Economic Record, The Economic Society of Australia, vol. 78(240), pages 18-30, March.
  6. Dixon, R., 1996. "Apparent Asymmetries in the Relationship Between the Participation Rate and the Employment Rate in Australia," Department of Economics - Working Papers Series 522, The University of Melbourne.
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