Curtin Business School hosts a concentration of leading labour market economists with an active research agenda aiming to improve labour market efficiency and social equity outcomes. This Research Program explores issues and patterns of supply and demand in labour and implications for remuneration – both in particular industries, and with regard to broader questions of equity.
Areas of expertise include the links between work, health and wellbeing; the school-to-work-transition and the economics of education; gender equality, including the relationship between unpaid household work and its impacts on patterns of paid work and remuneration; Indigenous mobility and labour market outcomes; and the value of care work in the aged and disability sectors and its impacts on things like superannuation accumulation.
Researchers also look at labour demand and workforce skills development; the determinants of labour supply – incorporating modelling of within-household joint decision-making, such as child care use, and of the work incentive implications of taxes and benefits; and labour market program evaluation and unemployment.
Researchers engage a pluralist perspective that applies a broad range of methodologies and new models. Work is both quantitative and qualitative, with a feature of much research being the use of major longitudinal datasets such as the Household, Income and Labour Dynamics in Australia Survey and the Longitudinal Surveys of Australian Youth.
With a strong applied focus that contributes to theory, the Research Program encompasses a range of disciplines within Curtin Business School, including economics, econometrics and modelling, and management, and has links to the John Curtin Institute of Public Policy, the Bankwest Curtin Economics Centre, the Centre for Applied Research in Economics, and the National Centre for Student Equity in Higher Education. This breadth creates opportunities for higher degree by research students to work alongside some of the best minds at Curtin, and to create a research focus that has direct application to issues of relevance to Western Australia or the nation.
Recent industry and policy collaborations include work undertaken for the Australian Workplace Productivity Agency, the Commonwealth Department of Education, the WA Department of Training and Workforce Development and work with the mining industry relating to fly-in-fly-out workers. Researchers engage in policy review and change – for example, by contributing submissions to government inquiries and serving as expert witnesses in government commissions.