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Working paper

Ethnicity and Early Labour Market Experiences in the Christchurch Health and Development Study (WP 02/06)

Issue date: 
Friday, 1 March 2002
Status: 
Current
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Document Date: 
Publication category: 
JEL classification: 
J15 - Economics of Minorities, Races, Indigenous Peoples, and Immigrants; Non-labor Discrimination
J24 - Human Capital; Skills; Occupational Choice; Labor Productivity
J31 - Wage Level and Structure; Wage Differentials

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This study uses data from the Christchurch Health and Development Study to investigate differences by ethnicity in early labour market experiences of a birth cohort born in Christchurch in 1977

Abstract

This study uses data from the Christchurch Health and Development Study to investigate differences by ethnicity in early labour market experiences of a birth cohort born in Christchurch in 1977. The study finds that Maori youth acquire fewer school and post-school qualifications, and accumulate less work experience by age 21, than other youth. There is also more heterogeneity among Maori than other youth – a substantially larger proportion of Maori youth, compared to others, accumulate very little time in these productive activities. Even though measured background factors are important in explaining the relatively lower accumulation of work experience by Maori, they do not explain the entire ethnic gap in labour market outcome. However, in multivariate analyses, Maori ethnicity has an insignificant, though negative effect on work experience.

At age 21, Maori workers in this study (which is not nationally representative) on average receive higher hourly earnings than non-Maori workers, though this difference is not statistically significant. Once differences in other characteristics are taken into account, particularly educational qualifications and work experience, which have a positive effect on earnings, the earnings difference between Maori and non-Maori is statistically significant. This may be due to other unobserved differences between Maori and non-Maori who are employed, that also have an effect on earnings.

 

Acknowledgements

This research was supported by funding from the New Zealand Treasury. I am grateful for the helpful comments of referees on earlier drafts of this report. All remaining errors in this working paper are solely my responsibility.

Disclaimer

The views expressed in this Working Paper are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the New Zealand Treasury. The paper is presented not as policy, but with a view to inform and stimulate wider debate.

Last updated: 
Thursday, 25 October 2007