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Work and Family Directions in the US and Australia: A Policy Research Agenda

Author

Listed:
  • Robert Drago

    (Penn State University)

  • Rosanna Scutella

    (Melbourne Institute of Applied Economic and Social Research, The University of Melbourne)

  • Amy Varner

    () (Penn State University)

Abstract

This paper provides a comparative glimpse of work/family issues in Australia and the US. It begins with a summary of an emerging vision of ideal policies and practices for work and family. The paper then provides historical background for the recent emergence of a 'care gap' in both countries, focusing on key commonalities and differences. The current status of the gap and the related 'default solution' to the gap are then outlined. Key commonalities here include an increasing diversity of family forms, a rise in delayed and denied childbearing, and substantial gender inequality. Significant current divergence across the societies includes relatively more family-responsive governmental policies in Australia, more attractive part-time opportunities for mothers in Australia, a relatively more equal division of labor in the home in the US, a greater prevalence of corporate-sponsored work/family policies in the US, and greater coverage of Australian employees by work/family policies negotiated through enterprise agreements. A tentative research agenda is provided in conclusion, focusing on part-time employment options, work incentives and child care for single parents, the causes of delayed and denied childbearing, and enterprise bargaining and corporate policies.

Suggested Citation

  • Robert Drago & Rosanna Scutella & Amy Varner, 2002. "Work and Family Directions in the US and Australia: A Policy Research Agenda," Melbourne Institute Working Paper Series wp2002n12, Melbourne Institute of Applied Economic and Social Research, The University of Melbourne.
  • Handle: RePEc:iae:iaewps:wp2002n12
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    File URL: http://melbourneinstitute.unimelb.edu.au/downloads/working_paper_series/wp2002n12.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Duncan, Alan & Harris, Mark N, 2002. "Simulating the Behavioural Effects of Welfare Reforms among Sole Parents in Australia," The Economic Record, The Economic Society of Australia, vol. 78(242), pages 264-276, September.
    2. Michael Bittman, 1999. "Parenthood Without Penalty: Time Use And Public Policy In Australia And Finland," Feminist Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, pages 27-42.
    3. Hawke, Anne & Wooden, Mark, 1998. "The Changing Face of Australian Industrial Relations: A Survey," The Economic Record, The Economic Society of Australia, vol. 74(224), pages 74-88, March.
    4. Robert Drago & David Costanza & Robert Caplan & Tanya Brubaker & Darnell Cloud & Naomi Harris & Russell Kashian & T. Lynn Riggs, 2001. "The Willingness-to-Pay for Work/Family Policies: A Study of Teachers," ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 55(1), pages 22-41, October.
    5. Judith S. Willis, 1997. "Women and Part-Time Employment: The Waverley Survey," Centre of Policy Studies/IMPACT Centre Working Papers g-122, Victoria University, Centre of Policy Studies/IMPACT Centre.
    6. V. Joseph Hotz, 2003. "The Earned Income Tax Credit," NBER Chapters,in: Means-Tested Transfer Programs in the United States, pages 141-198 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    7. Jane Waldfogel, 1998. "Understanding the "Family Gap" in Pay for Women with Children," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, pages 137-156.
    8. B. L. Wolfe, "undated". "Incentives, Challenges, and Dilemmas of TANF," Institute for Research on Poverty Discussion Papers 1209-00, University of Wisconsin Institute for Research on Poverty.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

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    Cited by:

    1. Anu Rammohan & Stephen Whelan, 2006. "Child Care Costs and the Employment Status of Married Australian Mothers," CEPR Discussion Papers 517, Centre for Economic Policy Research, Research School of Economics, Australian National University.

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