Melbourne Institute of Applied Economic and Social Research - Research Publications

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    Work and family directions in the USA and australia: A policy research agenda
    Drago, R ; Pirretti, A ; Scutella, R (SAGE PUBLICATIONS INC, 2007-02-01)
    This article provides a comparative glimpse of work/family issues in Australia and the USA. It begins with a summary of an emerging vision of ideal policies and practices for work and family. The article 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 USA, a greater prevalence of corporate-sponsored work/family policies in the USA, 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 childcare for single parents, the causes of delayed and denied childbearing, and enterprise bargaining and corporate policies.
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    The effects of household joblessness on mental health
    Scutella, R ; Wooden, M (PERGAMON-ELSEVIER SCIENCE LTD, 2008-07-01)
    It is widely assumed that the economic and social costs that unemployment gives rise to must be exacerbated where joblessness is concentrated within families. This hypothesis is tested in this paper. Specifically, data from the first five waves of the Household, Income and Labour Dynamics in Australia Survey (HILDA), a nationally representative household panel survey administered in Australia, are used to test whether jobless individuals score worse on a measure of mental health when they live in households with other jobless people. Consistent with previous research, unemployment is found to be associated with lower levels of mental health. No evidence, however, can be found for any additional disadvantage to the unemployed stemming from living in a jobless household.