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The Rise of the CDEP Scheme and Changing Factors Underlying Indigenous Male Employment


  • Boyd H. Hunter

    () (Australian National University)


The dominance of the Community Development Employment Projects (CDEP) scheme in certain regions of Australia complicates the interpretation of any analysis of indigenous employment. In order to enhance interpretation, the factors underlying indigenous employment should be examined separately for areas where the CDEP scheme is relatively prominent. The 1994 National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Survey and census data between 1981 and 1996 are used to highlight potential biases in the effects of educational attainment (and other factors) on employment prospects of indigenous and non-indigenous populations. As a program designed in part to overcome labour market disadvantage and the lack of local employment options, the CDEP scheme is directed towards indigenous males with poor employment prospects, especially low skilled workers, youth, and people who have difficulty in speaking English. This expansion of the scheme appears to be negatively interacting with the process of human capital accumulation in remote indigenous communities.

Suggested Citation

  • Boyd H. Hunter, 2003. "The Rise of the CDEP Scheme and Changing Factors Underlying Indigenous Male Employment," Australian Journal of Labour Economics (AJLE), Bankwest Curtin Economics Centre (BCEC), Curtin Business School, vol. 6(3), pages 473-496, September.
  • Handle: RePEc:ozl:journl:v:6:y:2003:i:3:p:473-496

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    Cited by:

    1. Quiggin, Robynne & Quiggin, John, 2007. "Intellectual Property and Indigenous Culture," Risk and Sustainable Management Group Working Papers 151515, University of Queensland, School of Economics.
    2. Greiner, Romy & Larson, Silva & Herr, Alexander & Bligh, Victor, 2005. "Wellbeing of Traditional Owners: conceptual and methodological approach," 2005 Conference (49th), February 9-11, 2005, Coff's Harbour, Australia 137923, Australian Agricultural and Resource Economics Society.
    3. Paul Frijters & Robert Gregory, 2006. "From Golden Age to Golden Age: Australia's 'Great Leap Forward'?," The Economic Record, The Economic Society of Australia, vol. 82(257), pages 207-224, June.
    4. Boyd Hunter, 2007. "Conspicuous Compassion and Wicked Problems: The Howard Government’s National Emergency in Indigenous Affairs," Agenda - A Journal of Policy Analysis and Reform, Australian National University, College of Business and Economics, School of Economics, vol. 14(3), pages 35-54.

    More about this item


    Economics of Minorities and Races Urban; Rural; and Regional Economics: Regional Migration; Regional Labor Markets; Population Human Capital; Skills; Occupational Choice; Labor Productivity;

    JEL classification:

    • J15 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Economics of Minorities, Races, Indigenous Peoples, and Immigrants; Non-labor Discrimination
    • R23 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - Household Analysis - - - Regional Migration; Regional Labor Markets; Population
    • J24 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Human Capital; Skills; Occupational Choice; Labor Productivity


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