Do changes in demographic characteristics explain declining male employment rates? Examination of the Australian case using a propensity score re-weighting decomposition approach
Using Australian data spanning the period from 1981 to 2001, we apply a propensity score re-weighting decomposition approach to investigate the extent to which the large decline in the male employment population rate over this period can be attributed to changes in socio-demographic characteristics. We find that changes in observed characteristics account for little of the aggregate decline. However, changes in characteristics are found to be important for population sub groups. In particular, changes in partner status and partner employment status have acted to decrease employment rates of younger males, but increase employment rates of older males. A further finding is that, holding observed characteristics constant, there has been a very large decline in the employment rate of 55-64-year-olds with bachelor degree qualifications. In the course of applying the decomposition method, we illustrate that validity of inferences depends on 'appropriate' specification of the reweighting function.
Volume (Year): 43 (2011)
Issue (Month): 28 ()
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