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An Examination of Net Flows in the Australian Labour Market

Author

Listed:
  • Robert Dixon

    (The University of Melbourne)

  • John Freebairn

    (The University of Melbourne)

  • Guay Lim

    (The University of Melbourne)

Abstract

In this paper we investigate the behaviour of net flows of persons between employment, unemployment and not in the labour force in Australia between 1979-2003 and the relationship of these flows to changes in the unemployment rate over that period. We find that: flows from unemployment to employment exceed flows from employment to unemployment and that this is the case even in recessions; flows from employment to not in the labour force exceed flows from not in the labour force to employment and that this is the case even in booms, and; flows from not in the labour force to unemployment exceed flows from unemployment to not in the labour force and that this is the case even in recessions. Another important finding is that the reason why the participation rate is negatively correlated with the unemployment rate is because net flows between employment and not in the labour force and net flows between employment and unemployment are highly and positively correlated. This suggests that the so-called ‘discouraged-unemployed-worker’ effect is not a credible explanation for the endogeneity of the participation rate.

Suggested Citation

  • Robert Dixon & John Freebairn & Guay Lim, 2005. "An Examination of Net Flows in the Australian Labour Market," Australian Journal of Labour Economics (AJLE), Bankwest Curtin Economics Centre (BCEC), Curtin Business School, vol. 8(1), pages 25-42, March.
  • Handle: RePEc:ozl:journl:v:8:y:2005:i:1:p:25-42
    as

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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Brian Bell & James Smith, 2002. "On gross worker flows in the United Kingdom: evidence from the Labour Force Survey," Bank of England working papers 160, Bank of England.
    2. Dixon, R., 2001. "Australian Labour Force Data: How Representative is the 'Population Represented by the Matched Sample'?," Department of Economics - Working Papers Series 772, The University of Melbourne.
    3. Robert Dixon & John Freebairn & Guay Lim, 2003. "Why are recessions as deep as they are? The behaviour over time of the outflow from unemployment: a new perspective," Australian Journal of Labour Economics (AJLE), Bankwest Curtin Economics Centre (BCEC), Curtin Business School, vol. 6(1), pages 37-64, March.
    4. Gareth D. Leeves, 1997. "Labour Market Gross Flows and Transition Rates 1980–1992," The Economic and Labour Relations Review, , vol. 8(1), pages 110-127, June.
    5. Lixin Cai & Robert G. Gregory, 2004. "The Labour Market Conditions, Applications and Grants of disability support Pension (DSP) in Australia," Australian Journal of Labour Economics (AJLE), Bankwest Curtin Economics Centre (BCEC), Curtin Business School, vol. 7(3), pages 374-394, September.
    6. Jeff Borland, 1996. "Labour Market Flows Data for Australia," Australian Economic Review, The University of Melbourne, Melbourne Institute of Applied Economic and Social Research, vol. 29(2), pages 225-235, April.
    7. Jerome Fahrer & Alexandra Heath, 1992. "The Evolution of Employment and Unemployment in Australia," RBA Research Discussion Papers rdp9215, Reserve Bank of Australia.
    8. Robert Dixon, 2001. "Australian Labour Force Data: How Representative is the ‘Population Represented by the Matched Sample’?," The Economic and Labour Relations Review, , vol. 12(2), pages 303-330, December.
    9. Robert Dixon & G.C. Lim, 2002. "Australian gross flows data: the labour force survey and the size of the population represented by the matched sample," Australian Journal of Labour Economics (AJLE), Bankwest Curtin Economics Centre (BCEC), Curtin Business School, vol. 5(1), pages 1-21, March.
    10. Peter Dawkins, 2000. "The Australian Labour Market in the 1990s," RBA Annual Conference Volume (Discontinued), in: David Gruen & Sona Shrestha (ed.),The Australian Economy in the 1990s, Reserve Bank of Australia.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Phillip Chindamo & Lawrence Uren, 2010. "Vacancies and Unemployment in Australia," Australian Economic Review, The University of Melbourne, Melbourne Institute of Applied Economic and Social Research, vol. 43(2), pages 136-152, June.
    2. Bruce Chapman & Kiatanantha Lounkaew, 2013. "How Many Jobs Is 23,510, Really?," Australian Journal of Labour Economics (AJLE), Bankwest Curtin Economics Centre (BCEC), Curtin Business School, vol. 16(2), pages 259-275.
    3. Chew Lian Chua & Robert Dixon & G. C. Lim, 2007. "What Drives Worker Flows?," Melbourne Institute Working Paper Series wp2007n34, Melbourne Institute of Applied Economic and Social Research, The University of Melbourne.
    4. Bruce Chapman & Kiatanantha Lounkaew, 2011. "How Many Jobs is 23,510, Really? Recasting the Mining Job Loss Debate," CCEP Working Papers 1106, Centre for Climate & Energy Policy, Crawford School of Public Policy, The Australian National University.
    5. Noel Gaston & Gulasekaran Rajaguru, 2015. "A Markov-switching structural vector autoregressive model of boom and bust in the Australian labour market," Empirical Economics, Springer, vol. 49(4), pages 1271-1299, December.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Mobility; Unemployment; and Vacancies; Unemployment; Models; Duration; Incidence; and Job Search; Business Fluctuations; Cycles;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • J60 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers - - - General
    • J64 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers - - - Unemployment: Models, Duration, Incidence, and Job Search
    • E32 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Prices, Business Fluctuations, and Cycles - - - Business Fluctuations; Cycles

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