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The Evolution of the Female Labour Force Participation Rate in Australia, 1984-1999


  • Siobhan Austen (Author A)

    () (Curtin University of Technology)

  • Richard Seymour (Author B)

    (Curtin University of Technology)


This paper contributes a cohort analysis of the labour force participation rate of Australian women over the 1984 to 1999 period with the aim of identifying the potential influence of a number of factors. Specifically, the analysis tracks the participation behaviour of representative groups (or cohorts) of Australian women over the life course. A fixed effects panel data regression model is utilized to ‘decompose’ the participation rate of each cohort and so identify how the participation rate observed in each year between 1984 and 1999 was affected by: i) General macroeconomic conditions prevailing in Australia at the time; ii) The age of the women in the cohort; and iii) The age-specific participation characteristics of the cohort, as compared to either younger and/or older cohorts. These effects on observed participation rates are referred to, respectively, as the ‘macro-economic effect’, the ‘age effect’, and the ‘cohort effect’.

Suggested Citation

  • Siobhan Austen (Author A) & Richard Seymour (Author B), 2006. "The Evolution of the Female Labour Force Participation Rate in Australia, 1984-1999," Australian Journal of Labour Economics (AJLE), Bankwest Curtin Economics Centre (BCEC), Curtin Business School, vol. 9(3), pages 305-320, September.
  • Handle: RePEc:ozl:journl:v:9:y:2006:i:3:p:305-320

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Ashenfelter, Orley, 1980. "Unemployment as Disequilibrium in a Model of Aggregate Labor Supply," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 48(3), pages 547-564, April.
    2. Keane, Michael & Moffitt, Robert, 1998. "A Structural Model of Multiple Welfare Program Participation and Labor Supply," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 39(3), pages 553-589, August.
    3. Andrew Dilnot & Alan Duncan, 1992. "Lone mothers, family credit and paid work," Fiscal Studies, Institute for Fiscal Studies, vol. 13(1), pages 1-21, February.
    4. Kennan, John, 1988. "An Econometric Analysis of Fluctuations in Aggregate Labor Supply and Demand," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 56(2), pages 317-333, March.
    5. John Creedy & Alan S. Duncan & Mark Harris & Rosanna Scutella, 2002. "Microsimulation Modelling of Taxation and the Labour Market," Books, Edward Elgar Publishing, number 2796.
    6. John Muellbauer, 1981. "Linear Aggregation in Neoclassical Labour Supply," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 48(1), pages 21-36.
    7. Heckman, James J, 1993. "What Has Been Learned about Labor Supply in the Past Twenty Years?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 83(2), pages 116-121, May.
    8. Altonji, Joseph G, 1986. "Intertemporal Substitution in Labor Supply: Evidence from Micro Data," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 94(3), pages 176-215, June.
    9. Creedy, John & Duncan, Alan, 2002. " Behavioural Microsimulation with Labour Supply Responses," Journal of Economic Surveys, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 16(1), pages 1-39, February.
    10. Bergmann, Barbara R, 1990. "Micro-to-Macro Simulation: A Primer with a Labor Market Example," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 4(1), pages 99-116, Winter.
    11. Alogoskoufis, George S, 1987. "On Intertemporal Substitution and Aggregate Labor Supply," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 95(5), pages 938-960, October.
    12. Lucas, Robert E, Jr & Rapping, Leonard A, 1969. "Real Wages, Employment, and Inflation," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 77(5), pages 721-754, Sept./Oct.
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    Cited by:

    1. Mahapatro, Sandhya Rani, 2013. "Declining Trends in Female Labour Force Participation in India: Evidence from NSSO," MPRA Paper 44373, University Library of Munich, Germany.

    More about this item


    Human Capital; Skills; Occupational Choice; Labor Productivity Labor Force and Employment; Size; and Structure; Demographic Trends and Forecasts; General Migration;

    JEL classification:

    • J24 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Human Capital; Skills; Occupational Choice; Labor Productivity
    • J21 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Labor Force and Employment, Size, and Structure
    • J11 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Demographic Trends, Macroeconomic Effects, and Forecasts


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