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Examining the Role of Demographic Change in the Decline in Male Employment in Australia: A Propensity Score Re-weighting Decomposition Approach

  • David Black

    ()

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

  • Yi-Ping Tseng

    ()

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

  • Roger Wilkins

    ()

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

Using Australian data spanning the period 1981 to 2001, we apply a propensity score reweighting 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 sociodemographic 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 re-weighting function.

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Paper provided by Melbourne Institute of Applied Economic and Social Research, The University of Melbourne in its series Melbourne Institute Working Paper Series with number wp2009n24.

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Length: 29 pages
Date of creation: Sep 2009
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:iae:iaewps:wp2009n24
Contact details of provider: Postal: Melbourne Institute of Applied Economic and Social Research, The University of Melbourne, Victoria 3010 Australia
Phone: +61 3 8344 2100
Fax: +61 3 8344 2111
Web page: http://www.melbourneinstitute.com/
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  1. Dean R. Hyslop & David C. Maré, 2005. "Understanding New Zealand's Changing Income Distribution, 1983-1998: A Semi-parametric Analysis," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 72(3), pages 469-495, 08.
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  13. repec:crr:crrwps:2002-07 is not listed on IDEAS
  14. Christopher J. Ruhm, 1994. "Do Pensions Increase the Labor Supply of Older Men?," NBER Working Papers 4925, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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  18. Mary C. Daly & Robert G. Valletta, 2006. "Inequality and Poverty in United States: The Effects of Rising Dispersion of Men's Earnings and Changing Family Behaviour," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 73(289), pages 75-98, 02.
  19. Martin Biewen, 2001. "Measuring the Effects of Socio-Economic Variables on the Income Distribution: An Application to the East German Transition Process," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 83(1), pages 185-190, February.
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