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Explaining Changes in the Social Structure of Employment: The Importance of Geography

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  • Boyd Hunter

Abstract

Spatial inequality of income and employment is increasing in Australian cities. This paper explores the factors underlying increasing neighbourhood inequality with a particular focus on employment inequality. Particular attention is paid to the role of public housing: the increased targeting of public housing is identified as a partial explanation of the observed changes. A conventional Blinder decomposition is used to identify the role of observable characteristics of the population, such as education, demographics, ethnicity and industry structure, and returns to those characteristics. The changes in observable personal characteristics indicate that there has been a significant amount of sorting by these characteristics since 1976. For example, Australian cities have become more socially stratified since that time with well educated people increasingly living together. However, it is important to note that the differences between low-status and other areas cannot be explained solely by changes in personal characteristics of the local residents. In summary, geography apparently matters!

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by University of New South Wales, Social Policy Research Centre in its series Discussion Papers with number 0067.

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Length: 42 pages
Date of creation: Jul 1996
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:wop:sprcdp:0067

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  1. Boyd Hunter, 1995. "The Social Structure of the Australian Urban Labour Market: 1976-1991," Australian Economic Review, The University of Melbourne, Melbourne Institute of Applied Economic and Social Research, vol. 28(2), pages 65-79.
  2. Paul Krugman, 1990. "Increasing Returns and Economic Geography," NBER Working Papers 3275, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Case, Anne C, 1991. "Spatial Patterns in Household Demand," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 59(4), pages 953-65, July.
  4. Thursby, Jerry G., 1992. "A comparison of several exact and approximate tests for structural shift under heteroscedasticity," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 53(1-3), pages 363-386.
  5. Oaxaca, Ronald, 1973. "Male-Female Wage Differentials in Urban Labor Markets," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 14(3), pages 693-709, October.
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Cited by:
  1. Jeff Borland, 2000. "Disaggregated Models of Unemployment in Australia," Melbourne Institute Working Paper Series wp2000n16, Melbourne Institute of Applied Economic and Social Research, The University of Melbourne.

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