Social determinants and regional disparity of unemployment duration in Australia: A multilevel approach

Haynes, Michele A., Higginson, Angela, Probert, William J. M. and Boreham, Paul (2011). Social determinants and regional disparity of unemployment duration in Australia: A multilevel approach. In: 2011 HILDA Survey Research Conference, Melbourne, Australia, (1-31). 14-15 July 2011.

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Author Haynes, Michele A.
Higginson, Angela
Probert, William J. M.
Boreham, Paul
Title of paper Social determinants and regional disparity of unemployment duration in Australia: A multilevel approach
Conference name 2011 HILDA Survey Research Conference
Conference location Melbourne, Australia
Conference dates 14-15 July 2011
Place of Publication Melbourne, Australia
Publisher The University of Melbourne
Publication Year 2011
Sub-type Fully published paper
ISBN 9780734042538
Start page 1
End page 31
Total pages 31
Collection year 2012
Language eng
Abstract/Summary The economic and social costs associated with unproductive time spent in labour market transitions between jobs and between unemployment and employment have been the subject of recent policy debate. There is now broad support for policies that provide both positive and negative incentives to those on unemployment benefits to influence relocation decisions to areas of better labour market opportunities. In this paper we examine the social determinants of time to exit from unemployment to employment and variation across functional economic regions, separately for men and women. Taking a life-course approach and using the first eight waves of the Household, Income and Labour Dynamics in Australia (HILDA) Survey we allow individuals to experience repeated episodes of unemployment over time by estimating a multilevel discrete-time event history model for the hazard of exit from unemployment. The model has a three-level hierarchical structure with episodes of unemployment nested within individuals, and individuals are themselves nested within regions. This enables an assessment of unobserved heterogeneity in unemployment duration among individuals and also among functional economic regions. The dataset is based on the HILDA employment calendar reporting schedule which collects information at three time points each month, matched to the dates of life transitions reported in the annual survey, and annual wave-based covariates. Applying a multilevel discrete-time piecewise constant hazard model across recurrent episodes of unemployment, we identify the social characteristics of individuals most at risk for periods of long-term unemployment. We focus on the differences between men and women and whether relocating to a new region may increase the probability of successful transition out of unemployment. While previous labour force experience in unemployment is associated with longer time to exit from unemployment for both men and women, we find that the social factors associated with the process of time in unemployment differ markedly for men and women. In particular, age and marital status are significant drivers for reducing men’s time in unemployment, while the presence of children under the age of five years increases a woman’s time in unemployment. We also find that duration in unemployment varies across functional economic regions for women even after accounting for social factors and previous labour force experience at the individual level.
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Created: Fri, 21 Oct 2011, 10:45:12 EST by Cassie Hughes on behalf of Institute for Social Science Research