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The Decline in Male Employment in Australia: A Cohort Analysis

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  • David Black

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

  • Yi-Ping Tseng

    ()

  • Roger Wilkins

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

Abstract

We investigate the nature and sources of the decline in the level of employment of working age males in Australia in recent decades, drawing on both Australian Bureau of Statistics labour force survey data and census data. Alternative measures of the male employment rate are considered before settling on two complementary measures: the full-time employment rate and the full-time equivalent employment rate. The latter measure weights part-time jobs according to the fraction of a full-time job they represent. We then go on to estimate models of the determinants of these two employment rates using data from the population censuses conducted between 1971 and 2001. We construct a pseudo panel by ‘stacking’ the seven census data sets (Deaton 1997, Kapteyn et al 2005). This facilitates the tracing of birth cohorts over time, in turn making it possible to control for cohort unobserved heterogeneity that may bias cross-sectional estimates of effects of other characteristics, in particular age and year/time period. We produce evidence that a number of factors have contributed to the decline in male employment, including growth in educational enrolment and attainment, the decline in couple households with dependent children, growth in income taxes and welfare replacement rates, growth in labour productivity and changes in the structure of labour demand away from traditionally male-dominated industries. Significantly, we find that, all else (observable) constant, more recent birth cohorts have higher employment rates than earlier birth cohorts.

Suggested Citation

  • David Black & Yi-Ping Tseng & Roger Wilkins, 2008. "The Decline in Male Employment in Australia: A Cohort Analysis," Melbourne Institute Working Paper Series wp2008n01, Melbourne Institute of Applied Economic and Social Research, The University of Melbourne.
  • Handle: RePEc:iae:iaewps:wp2008n01
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Verbeek, Marno & Nijman, Theo, 1992. "Can Cohort Data Be Treated as Genuine Panel Data?," Empirical Economics, Springer, vol. 17(1), pages 9-23.
    2. Kapteyn, Arie & Alessie, Rob & Lusardi, Annamaria, 2005. "Explaining the wealth holdings of different cohorts: Productivity growth and Social Security," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 49(5), pages 1361-1391, July.
    3. Borland, J., 1995. "Male Labour Market Participation in Australia," Department of Economics - Working Papers Series 461, The University of Melbourne.
    4. Paul Beaudry & Thomas Lemieux, 1999. "Evolution of the Female Labour Force Participation Rate in Canada, 1976-1994," CIRANO Project Reports 1999rp-02, CIRANO.
    5. Morley Gunderson, 1977. "Logit Estimates of Labour Force Participation Based on Census Cross-Tabulations," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 10(3), pages 453-462, August.
    6. Steven Kennedy & David Hedley, 2003. "A Note on Educational Attainment and Labour Force Participation in Australia," Treasury Working Papers 2003-03, The Treasury, Australian Government, revised Nov 2003.
    7. Merrilees, W J, 1983. "Pension Benefits and the Decline in Elderly Male Labour Force Participation," The Economic Record, The Economic Society of Australia, vol. 59(166), pages 260-270, September.
    8. Gregory, R G, 1991. "Jobs and Gender: A Lego Approach to the Australian Labour Market," The Economic Record, The Economic Society of Australia, vol. 0(0), pages 20-40, Supplemen.
    9. Paul Beaudry & Thomas Lemieux, 1999. "Evolution of the Female Labour Force Participation Rate in Canada, 1976-1994: a Cohort Analysis," A Symposium on Canadian Labour Force Participation in the 1990s (Special Issue of Canadian Business Economics, Volume 7, Number 2, May 1999),in: Andrew Sharpe & Louis Grignon (ed.), A Symposium on Canadian Labour Force Participation in the 1990s (Special Issue of Canadian Business Economics, Volume 7, Number 2, May 1999), pages 57-70 Centre for the Study of Living Standards.
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    Cited by:

    1. Joanna Abhayaratna & Les Andrews & Hudan Nuch & Troy Podbury, 2008. "Part Time Employment: the Australian Experience," Staff Working Papers 0805, Productivity Commission, Government of Australia.

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