Melbourne Institute of Applied Economic and Social Research - Research Publications

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    The Beneficial Impacts of COVID-19 Lockdowns on Air Pollution: Evidence from Vietnam
    Dang, H-AH ; Trong-Anh, T (ROUTLEDGE JOURNALS, TAYLOR & FRANCIS LTD, 2022-05-12)
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    Measuring, Modeling, and Forecasting the Mental Wealth of Nations
    Occhipinti, J-A ; Buchanan, J ; Skinner, A ; Song, YJC ; Tran, K ; Rosenberg, S ; Fels, A ; Doraiswamy, PM ; Meier, P ; Prodan, A ; Hickie, IB (FRONTIERS MEDIA SA, 2022-07-28)
    The COVID-19 pandemic has exposed the deep links and fragility of economic, health and social systems. Discussions of reconstruction include renewed interest in moving beyond GDP and recognizing "human capital", "brain capital", "mental capital", and "wellbeing" as assets fundamental to economic reimagining, productivity, and prosperity. This paper describes how the conceptualization of Mental Wealth provides an important framing for measuring and shaping social and economic renewal to underpin healthy, productive, resilient, and thriving communities. We propose a transdisciplinary application of systems modeling to forecast a nation's Mental Wealth and understand the extent to which policy-mediated changes in economic, social, and health sectors could enhance collective mental health and wellbeing, social cohesion, and national prosperity. Specifically, simulation will allow comparison of the projected impacts of a range of cross-sector strategies (education sector, mental health system, labor market, and macroeconomic reforms) on GDP and national Mental Wealth, and provide decision support capability for future investments and actions to foster Mental Wealth. Finally, this paper introduces the Mental Wealth Initiative that is harnessing complex systems science to examine the interrelationships between social, commercial, and structural determinants of mental health and wellbeing, and working to empirically challenge the notion that fostering universal social prosperity is at odds with economic and commercial interests.
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    The Impact of the Pandemic on Gender Inequality in the Australian Labor Market
    Mooi-Reci, I ; Trinh, TA ; Wooden, M (SAGE Publications, 2022-04-01)
    We examine whether the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) and the associated policy responses have aggravated gender inequality in the Australian labor market. Using quarterly data from the Australian Labour Force Survey between November 2019 and November 2021, we compare labor force outcomes before and during the outbreak. Our findings indicate that while women fared worse than men in the first few months of the pandemic, labor market recovery was much more rapid for women. By the end of the period, on most indicators, women’s position in the labor market had improved relative to that of men.
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    Generational Differences in Subjective Well-Being in Australia
    Botha, F ; Vera-Toscano, E (SPRINGER, 2022-03-29)
    Abstract We test for differences in subjective well-being across four pre-defined generations in Australia born between 1928 and 1994: The Lucky Generation, Baby Boomers, Generation X, and Generation Y. We focus on overall life satisfaction and range of domain satisfactions. We find that Baby Boomers are less satisfied with life than thosce born before and after them. We observe similar patterns when considering domains such as finances and housing. However, differences in satisfaction with employment opportunities show the opposite pattern, with Baby Boomers and Generation X’s reporting higher satisfaction as compared to the Lucky Generation and especially those from Generation Y. Family and labour marketcv status have greater effects than cohort of birth on many of the domains studied; however, the cohort effects are significant and non-negligible, particularly concerning satisfaction with life, employment opportunities, and housing.
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    Predictors of social participation: evidence from repeated cross-sectional population surveys in England.
    Wilding, A ; Munford, LA ; Sutton, M (Oxford University Press (OUP), 2022-03-17)
    BACKGROUND: Social participation is linked to better health and well-being. However, there is limited research on the individual and area-level predictors of participation. This study aims to determine the characteristics associated with participation, particularly the impact of community asset availability. METHODS: We used data from 34 582 adult respondents to the nationally representative Community Life Survey from 2013 to 2018. We measured social participation by reported participation in 15 types of groups. We used probit and negative binomial regression models and included a wide range of individual, household and area characteristics, and availability of 14 types of community assets. RESULTS: The following characteristics were associated with higher levels of participation: being female (+3.0 percentage points (p.p.) (95% CI 1.8 to 4.1p.p.), Black, Asian or Minority Ethnicity (+3.7p.p. (1.9 to 5.5p.p.)), homeownership (+4.1 p.p. (2.7 to 5.6p.p.)) and living in a rural area (+2.1p.p. (0.5 to 3.6p.p)). Respondents from the most deprived areas were less likely to participate than those in average deprivation areas (-3.9p.p. (-5.9 to -1.99p.p.)). Higher availability of community assets was associated with increased participation in groups. The effect of availability on participation varied by type of asset. CONCLUSION: Improving community assets infrastructure in high deprivation and urban areas would encourage more social participation in these areas.
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    Poor psychosocial job conditions increase sickness absence: evidence from the PATH Through Life Mid-Aged Cohort
    Leach, L ; Milner, A ; San Too, L ; Butterworth, P (BMJ PUBLISHING GROUP, 2022-09-01)
    OBJECTIVES: Evidence is mounting that poor psychosocial job conditions increase sickness absence, but there is a need for further rigorous prospective research to isolate the influence of psychosocial job quality from other measured and unmeasured confounders. This study used four waves of prospective longitudinal data (spanning 12 years) to investigate the extent to which increases in poor psychosocial job quality are associated with greater relative risk of day of sickness absence. DESIGN: Prospective cohort study. SETTING: Data were from the Australian PATH Through Life cohort study. The analyses adopted hybrid-regression estimations that isolated the effect of within-person change in psychosocial job quality on sickness absence over time. PARTICIPANTS: Participants were from a midlife cohort aged 40-44 at baseline (7644 observations from 2221 participants). PRIMARY OUTCOME MEASURE: Days sickness absence in the past 4 weeks. RESULTS: The results show that after adjusting for a wide range of factors as well as unmeasured between-person differences in job quality, each additional psychosocial job adversity was associated with a 12% increase in the number of days of sickness absence (relative risk ratio: 1.12, 95% CI 1.03 to 1.21). Increases in psychosocial job adversity were also related to greater functional impairment (relative risk ratio: 1.17 (1.05 to 1.30)). CONCLUSION: The results of this study strengthen existing research highlighting the importance of addressing poor psychosocial job quality as a risk factor for sickness absence.
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    Child marriage: using the Indonesian family life survey to examine the lives of women and men who married at an early age
    Cameron, L ; Suarez, DC ; Wieczkiewicz, S (SPRINGER, 2022-08-06)
    Abstract An understanding of the experiences of men and women who marry before adulthood is important in motivating social change. Using fixed effects estimation (the inclusion of geographic fixed effects at diminishing levels of aggregation and sister fixed effects where possible) on panel data from the Indonesian Family Life Survey (IFLS), we follow the lives of a sample of 40,800 women and men for up to two decades and examine a wide range of factors associated with child marriage. We examine the lives of both girls and boys who marry early, and the differential experience of girls marrying older men versus young boys. Child marriage is found to be associated with lesser educational attainment, lower earnings and less say in household decision-making, for both men and women. Women are less likely to have a medically-supervised birth and their children are more likely to die, be stunted and perform worse on cognitive tests. Negative factors are mostly exacerbated when young girls marry similarly underage men.
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    Association between COVID-19 vaccination rates and the Australian 'Million Dollar Vax' competition: an observational study
    Jun, D ; Scott, A (BMJ PUBLISHING GROUP, 2022-08-01)
    OBJECTIVE: To examine the association between financial incentives from entry into a vaccine competition with the probability of vaccination for COVID-19. DESIGN: A cross-sectional study with adjustment for covariates using logistic regression. SETTING: October and November 2021, Australia. PARTICIPANTS: 2375 respondents of the Taking the Pulse of the Nation survey. PRIMARY AND SECONDARY OUTCOME MEASURES: The proportion of respondents who had any vaccination, a first dose only, or second dose after the competition opened. RESULTS: Those who entered the competition were 2.27 (95% CI 1.73 to 2.99) times more likely to be vaccinated after the competition opened on 1 October than those who did not enter-an increase in the probability of having any dose of 0.16 (95 % CI 0.10 to 0.21) percentage points. This increase was mostly driven by those receiving second doses. Entrants were 2.39 (95% CI 1.80 to 3.17) times more likely to receive their second dose after the competition opened. CONCLUSIONS: Those who entered the Million Dollar Vax competition were more likely to have a vaccination after the competition opened compared with those who did not enter the competition, with this effect dominated by those receiving second doses.
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    Jobless parents, unhealthy children? How past exposure to parental joblessness influences children's future health
    Mooi-Reci, I ; Wooden, M (ELSEVIER SCI LTD, 2022-09-01)
    RATIONALE: Despite a growing body of work investigating the combined effects of maternal and paternal joblessness for children's outcomes, very little is known about the long-term effects of parental joblessness on children's health, and especially health during adulthood. OBJECTIVE: The primary objective of this study is to directly test whether exposure to parental joblessness during childhood and early adulthood has adverse consequences for health in later years. This study also explores whether family resources, time inputs and family harmony mediate this relationship. METHODS: Multilevel generalized structural equation models describing processes influencing child health outcomes in later life are estimated using longitudinal data from 19 waves of the Household, Income and Labour Dynamics in Australia Survey (N = 2875 individuals and 22,942 person-year observations). RESULTS: Parental joblessness, especially when experienced over a protracted period, is found to impose a penalty on children's mental health in later life, which is mostly not mediated by other variables. A significant negative association with general health is also found, but in this case family income and family harmony play a more important mediating role. CONCLUSION: The results suggest that it is not parental job loss per se that matters, but parents not being able to quickly find alternative employment. It is only children in families where joblessness is protracted and long-lasting who are at serious risk of long-term health problems. In sum, our results imply that the parental outcome that is most important for children's later health, and especially their mental health, is continuous paid employment. Such findings provide support for a jobs-first policy emphasis.
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    Population level impact of the NHS Diabetes Prevention Programme on incidence of type 2 diabetes in England: An observational study.
    McManus, E ; Meacock, R ; Parkinson, B ; Sutton, M (Elsevier BV, 2022-08)
    BACKGROUND: The NHS Diabetes Prevention Programme (DPP) is the first nationwide type 2 diabetes prevention programme targeting people with prediabetes. It was rolled out across England from 2016 in three waves. We evaluate the population level impact of the NHS DPP on incidence rates of type 2 diabetes. METHODS: We use data from the National Diabetes Audit, which records all individuals across England who have been diagnosed with type 2 diabetes by 2019. We use difference-in-differences regression models to estimate the impact of the phased introduction of the DPP on type 2 diabetes incidence. We compare patients registered with the 3,282 general practices enrolled from 2016 (wave 1) and the 1,610 practices enrolled from 2017 (wave 2) to those registered with the 1,584 practices enrolled from 2018 (final wave). FINDINGS: Incidence rates of type 2 diabetes in wave 1 practices in 2018 and 2019 were significantly lower than would have been expected in the absence of the DPP (difference-in-differences Incident Rate Ratio (IRR) = 0·938 (95% CI 0·905 to 0·972)). Incidence rates were also significantly lower than expected for wave 2 practices in 2019 (difference-in-differences IRR = 0·927 (95% CI 0·885 to 0·972)). These results remained consistent across several robustness checks. INTERPRETATION: Introduction of the NHS DPP reduced population incidence of type 2 diabetes. Longer follow-up is required to explore whether these effects are maintained or if diabetes onset is delayed. FUNDING: This research was funded by the National Institute for Health and Care Research (Health Services and Delivery Research, 16/48/07 - Evaluating the NHS Diabetes Prevention Programme (NHS DPP): the DIPLOMA research programme (Diabetes Prevention - Long Term Multimethod Assessment)). The views and opinions expressed in this manuscript are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect those of the NHS, the National Institute for Health and Care Research or the Department of Health and Social Care.