Do Age and Experience Always Go Together? The Example of Indigenous Employment

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Boyd Hunter
Guyonne Kalb
Trinh Le


measuring employment experience, Indigenous Australians, remote labour market, labour market programs


Labour market experience is central to labour economics, however, it can be difficult to measure in cross-sectional surveys for groups who voluntarily or involuntarily spend prolonged periods outside the labour force (e.g. incarceration). This paper uses census data on the age profiles of employment since 1981 to estimate the experience that Indigenous and non-Indigenous populations could be expected to have conditional on their age. This estimate is then compared with survey information on experience to generate an estimate of inconsistency between measured and expected experience. The differential is very small for the non-Indigenous population, but survey estimates for Indigenous people are substantially higher than the relevant population-based estimates. It is possible that this finding reflects the fact that the composition of the Indigenous population has changed over time, differences in recall bias or even selective mortality with persons with a more substantial employment history surviving longer.

JEL Classification: J15, J21, J78

Abstract 131 | PDF Downloads 23

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