Families, incomes and jobs, volume 3: a statistical report on Waves 1 to 5 of the HILDA Survey

15 Sep 2008

This is the third annual statistical report of the Household Income and Labour Dynamics in Australian (HILDA) Survey. Like the previous vol- umes (Headey, Warren and Harding, 2005; Headey and Warren, 2007), it contains short reports and statistical tables covering the four main areas of HILDA: households and family life; incomes; employment and unemployment/joblessness; life satisfaction, health and well-being.

Part 1 on Households and Family Life begins with an article about generational differences in attitudes towards marriage and children. Subsequent articles deal with changes in marital status; parenting stress; who in the family does the domestic chores; child care; contact between non-resident parents and their children, and so on.

Part 2 on Incomes starts with an overview of changes in the material standard of living of Australians in 2001–2005, followed by an article on income mobility—the extent to which households moved up or down the national income distribution in 2001–2005. It then covers topics such as the duration of income poverty, the duration of reliance on welfare payments, and perceived finan- cial stress. This section concludes with an article about household incomes of immigrants, one of two articles contributed by Roger Wilkins. All other articles in the Report are written by the editors.

Part 3 on Employment and Unemployment/ Joblessness begins with an overview of labour mobility in 2001–2005 and then deals, inter alia, with such topics as whether low paid and part-time jobs frequently or only infrequently lead to better paid full-time jobs, the pay-off in increased earn- ings from adult education and job training, the characteristics of jobless households and the dura- tion of joblessness, and transitions to retirement.

Part 4 is on Life Satisfaction, Health and Well- being. Issues relating to life satisfaction have attracted a great deal of interest among HILDA Survey data users and, in recent times, within the economics profession. Most researchers in the life satisfaction field believe that personality traits make a substantial difference to satisfaction. Partly for this reason measures of the so-called ‘Big Five’ traits—extroversion, neuroticism, openness to experience, agreeableness and conscientious- ness—were included in the HILDA Survey for the first time in 2005. Thus, Part 4 begins with an overview article on these personality traits and their potential value in social and economic research, then comes an article on life satisfaction and satisfaction with many other aspects of life. Later articles deal with physical and mental health, with social networks and, finally, with a compari- son of how men and women use their time.

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