Brotherhood of St Laurence

Downward economic mobility in Australia : a report on households and people who have experienced income decline from 2011 to 2016

By: McCloskey, David | The Australian Population Research Institute
Publisher: Camberwell, Vic. The Australian Population Research Institute 2018Description: [56 p.] : ill. PDFSubject(s): Households Economic Aspects | Income Distribution | EconomicsOnline Resources: DOWNLOAD PDF
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October 2018

Includes bibliographic references.

The methodology used by the Productivity Commission to examine economic mobility (movement through income deciles over time) does not allow attribution of the cause of the mobility – a person may move to a lower income decile even when their income remains constant, if others have an increase in income over the same time period. Alternatively, an individual may go into a lower income decile if their personal income declines while other people maintain their income level. The present study was designed to complement the research conducted by the Productivity Commission and focuses on a recent time period from 2011 to 2016, which is a subset of the longer time period covered by the Productivity Commission. In our research we were looking to see if we could identify a cohort who had income decline over this time period, and to identify the magnitude of this cohort. To complete our study we drew on data from the Australian Census Longitudinal Dataset (ACLD). This dataset has 1.2 million linked data records covering the 2011 and the 2016 Census. We cross-tabulated personal income levels for the same individuals 5 years apart. The study identified that a very significant proportion of personal income earners had declining income over the period.

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Electronic Brotherhood of St Laurence

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