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Older male labour force participation: the role of social security and hidden unemployment

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  • Martin J. O’Brien

    () (University of Newcastle)

Abstract

This paper examines the role played by social security provisions and hidden unemployment in influencing trends in older male labour force participation in Australia. The paper concludes that labour demand constraints have been the dominant explanatory force behind the decline in older male labour force participation rates over recent decades in Australia. The results presented in the paper challenge the consensus developed in previous Australian studies that labour supply incentives have been the primary force influencing movements in older male labour force participation rates. Furthermore, various estimates of older male hidden unemployment presented in the paper suggest that potentially large unemployment rates are concealed beneath relatively modest 'official' recorded estimates. The findings presented in the paper challenge the supply side policy stance toward older workers' labour force participation adopted for an ageing society setting.

Suggested Citation

  • Martin J. O’Brien, 2000. "Older male labour force participation: the role of social security and hidden unemployment," Australian Journal of Labour Economics (AJLE), Bankwest Curtin Economics Centre (BCEC), Curtin Business School, vol. 4(3), pages 206-223, September.
  • Handle: RePEc:ozl:journl:v:4:y:2001:i:3:p:206-223
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Maurice Peat & Max Stevenson, 1994. "Asymmetry in the Business Cycle: Evidence from the Australian Labour Markets," Working Paper Series 37, Finance Discipline Group, UTS Business School, University of Technology, Sydney.
    2. Gerard A. Pfann & Franz C. Palm, 1993. "Asymmetric Adjustment Costs in Non-linear Labour Demand Models for the Netherlands and U.K. Manufacturing Sectors," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, pages 397-412.
    3. Terasvirta, T & Anderson, H M, 1992. "Characterizing Nonlinearities in Business Cycles Using Smooth Transition Autoregressive Models," Journal of Applied Econometrics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 7(S), pages 119-136, Suppl. De.
    4. Layard, Richard & Nickell, Stephen & Jackman, Richard, 2005. "Unemployment: Macroeconomic Performance and the Labour Market," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780199279173.
    5. Wesley Clair Mitchell, 1927. "Business Cycles: The Problem and Its Setting," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number mitc27-1.
    6. M. Ishaq Nadiri & Ingmar R. Prucha, 1991. "Comparison and Analysis of Productivity Growth and R&D Investment in the Electrical Machinery Industries of the United States and Japan," NBER Chapters,in: Productivity Growth in Japan and the United States, pages 109-133 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    7. Peat, Maurice & Stevenson, Max, 1996. "Asymmetry in the business cycle: Evidence from the Australian labour market," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 30(3), pages 353-368, September.
    8. Rothman, Philip, 1991. "Further evidence on the asymmetric behavior of unemployment rates over the business cycle," Journal of Macroeconomics, Elsevier, pages 291-298.
    9. Skalin, Joakim & Ter svirta, Timo, 2002. "Modeling Asymmetries And Moving Equilibria In Unemployment Rates," Macroeconomic Dynamics, Cambridge University Press, pages 202-241.
    10. Burgess, Simon M, 1988. "Employment Adjustment in UK Manufacturing," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 98(389), pages 81-103, March.
    11. Philip Rothman, "undated". "Forecasting Asymmetric Unemployment Rates," Working Papers 9618, East Carolina University, Department of Economics.
    12. Philip Rothman, 1998. "Forecasting Asymmetric Unemployment Rates," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, pages 164-168.
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. O'Brien, Martin, 2005. "Older Male Workers and Job Mobility in Australia," Economics Working Papers wp05-04, School of Economics, University of Wollongong, NSW, Australia.
    2. Jeff Borland, 2005. "Transitions to Retirement: A Review," Melbourne Institute Working Paper Series wp2005n03, Melbourne Institute of Applied Economic and Social Research, The University of Melbourne.
    3. O'Brien, Martin, 2004. "Hidden Unemployment and Older Male Workers," Economics Working Papers wp04-02, School of Economics, University of Wollongong, NSW, Australia.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Labor Force and Employment; Size; and Structure (by Industry; Occupation; Demographic Characteristics; etc.) Retirement; Retirement Policies National Government Expenditures and Welfare Programs Provision and Effects of Welfare Programs;

    JEL classification:

    • J21 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Labor Force and Employment, Size, and Structure
    • J26 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Retirement; Retirement Policies
    • H53 - Public Economics - - National Government Expenditures and Related Policies - - - Government Expenditures and Welfare Programs
    • I38 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Welfare, Well-Being, and Poverty - - - Government Programs; Provision and Effects of Welfare Programs

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