The Decline in Male Employment in Australia: A Cohort Analysis

20 Pages Posted: 30 Aug 2010  

David Black

University of Melbourne - Melbourne Institute of Applied Economic and Social Research

Yi-Ping Tseng

University of Melbourne - Melbourne Institute of Applied Economic and Social Research

Roger Wilkins

University of Melbourne; Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA)

Abstract

We use Census data to investigate the sources of the decline in the level of employment of working age males in Australia in recent decades. 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. Models of the determinants of these two employment rates are estimated using data from the 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 the decline in couple households with dependent children, growth in income taxes and welfare replacement rates and changes in the structure of labour demand away from traditionally male-dominated industries. We also find that, all else (observable) constant, more recent birth cohorts have no lower – and possibly higher – employment rates than earlier birth cohorts.

Suggested Citation

Black, David and Tseng, Yi-Ping and Wilkins, Roger, The Decline in Male Employment in Australia: A Cohort Analysis. Australian Economic Papers, Vol. 49, Issue 3, pp. 180-199, September 2010. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1666478 or http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1467-8454.2010.00395.x

David Black

University of Melbourne - Melbourne Institute of Applied Economic and Social Research ( email )

Level 5, FBE Building, 111 Barry Street
Parkville, Victoria 3010
Australia

Yi-Ping Tseng

University of Melbourne - Melbourne Institute of Applied Economic and Social Research ( email )

Level 5, FBE Building, 111 Barry Street
Parkville, Victoria 3010
Australia

Roger Kingsley Wilkins

University of Melbourne ( email )

Level 5, 111 Barry Street
Carlton, Victoria 3053
Australia
+613 8344 2092 (Phone)
+613 8344 2111 (Fax)

HOME PAGE: http://www.melbourneinstitute.com/staff/rwilkins/default.html

Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA) ( email )

P.O. Box 7240
Bonn, D-53072
Germany

HOME PAGE: http://www.iza.org/en/webcontent/personnel/photos/index_html?key=2422

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