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Curtin University
Centre for Research in Applied Economics (CRAE)


ARC Grants
AHURI Grants
AusAid Grants

ARC Grants

Threshold models in micro-econometrics with applications to empirical models of health

The aim of this project lead by Professor Mark Harris (with Professor David C Harris and Dr Brenda Gannon) is to develop and apply new statistical approaches to endogenously identify non-linear relationships between explanatory variable(s) and the response variable in non-linear econometric models and to illustrate these with applications important to empirical health economics. Literature proliferates in linear models with non-linear effects, but in health economics non-linear models dominate. We will generalise our techniques to allow for various forms of the threshold variable(s), including categorical and continuous, endogenous and exogenous, and those measured with error.

Modelling health: reporting behaviour and misclassification using survey data.

Professor Mark Harris, Dr Pratima P Srivastava, Professor Sarah Brown and Professor William H Greene

Empirical models based on large scale survey data sets are used by health economists to inform policymakers. However, in the case of sensitive topics, a potential for survey misreporting may lead to inaccurate estimates of aberrant behaviours. To date, little work has been done analysing the extent and consequences of inaccurate reporting, especially within health economics. By addressing areas where potential for misinformation is high, the overall quality of results will be enhanced. This research will be submitted to highly ranked health economics and econometrics journals to be made available to relevant policymakers intent on ensuring a healthy society.

Missing workers: retaining mature age women workers to ensure future labour security

Associate Professor Siobhan Austen, Associate Professor Rachel Ong, Associate Professor Therese Jefferson, Professor Gill Lewin

This project aims to provide a detailed understanding of the factors that promote or hinder mature age women's retention in paid work. Drawing on emerging themes in feminist economics, the project will contribute a new model of employment decision making by mature age women. It will also generate an innovative database that will allow international comparisons of the factors affecting the retention of mature age women in paid work. Women aged 45+ are a crucial component of Australia's future labour supply. An understanding of the barriers to their retention in the workforce is necessary for the development of policy to ensure that critical community needs, such as aged care, can be met.

Mis-reporting, Adaptation and Anchoring: the Implications for Self Assessed Health

Professor Mark Harris (with Professor Bruce Hollingsworth and Dr Paula Lorgelly, Monash) is co-leading research into self-assessed health status reporting. The project will examine if individuals accurately report or mis-report. This research is valuable for policy, as targeting of scarce resources depends on accurate measures of individual health status.

The Econometrics of Gravity Models of Trade: a Re-Assessment

Professor Mark Harris (with William Green, New York University, Laszlo Matyas Central Budapest University and Laszlo Konya, LaTrobe University) is leading research which applies cutting edge panel data econometric techniques to the popular Gravity model of international trade flows. These more appropriate techniques will shed more light on some previous puzzling findings, such that regional trade agreements had little or, effect on trade.

High Skilled Immigrants: Improved Methods for Enhancing Absorption and Addressing Negative Assimilation

This research program lead by Professor Paul Miller (with Barry Chiswick, George Washington University, USA) is concerned with the absorption of high-skilled immigrants in Australia, the United States and Canada. There is an increased public policy interest in these high-skilled immigrants to further the technological environment in the host economy, to push out the country s production possibility frontier, to reduce the increasing gap in wages between high- and low-skilled workers, and to generate a more favourable tax-transfer position. The project will develop a negative assimilation model for the study of high-skilled immigrants, and test the model using data for multiple countries and time periods. The findings will be relevant to migration policy in general and immigrant settlement policy in particular.

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AHURI Grants

Housing Equity Withdrawal: Uses and Risks of Alternative Options for Older Australians

Associate Professor Rachel Ong, Associate Professor Therese Jefferson, Associate Professor Siobhan Austen

Recent economic events have highlighted the riskiness of housing as a vehicle for retirement funding. This project will uncover the financial costs and risks of alternative housing equity withdrawal mechanisms and offer recommendations of financial products which can mitigate risks associated with withdrawing housing equity in older age.

The financing of residential development in Australia

Associate Professor Steven Rowley

This project aims to explore and explain the way residential property development is financed  in Australia to help policy makers understand one of the most important aspects of housing supply.

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AusAid Grants

Pro-Poor Sustainable Economic Development: Capacity Building for Mongolian National and Local Government Officials

Professor Helen Cabalu

This project is aimed at building the capacity of national and local government officials in planning and developing policies for inclusive and sustainable economic development in Mongolia.  This is against a background where Mongolia has recently experienced strong economic growth due to the discovery of vast mineral resources and developments in the mining sector. However, one third of Mongolia’s population continue to live in poverty. There are concerns that benefits from the mining boom may leave out certain segments of society (for example, women and rural people whose livelihoods were displaced by mining) and have adverse effects on other sectors such as the agricultural and pastoral sector, leading to the ‘Dutch syndrome’. Improving the knowledge and capacity of policymakers in pro-poor, inclusive sustainable economic development is crucial for ensuring more equitable distribution of the benefits from the country’s economic growth, to reduce poverty and promote gender equality and the empowerment of women.
The project will promote cooperation and linkages between the Mongolian Ministry of Economic Development and selected Australian Agencies including AusAID, DFAT, Austrade, and the Department of Agriculture and Food in Western Australia. The project will also harmonise with multilateral agencies working in Mongolia including the Asian Development Bank and the United Nations Development Program.

School, Lifetime Prospects and the Role of the Transition from School to Work

Associate Professor Ruhul Salim, Associate Professor Siobhan Austen and Professor Helen Cabalu (with Dr Purnastuti Losina, Yogyakarta State University, Indonesia) are leading a study which provides a detailed examination of the transition from school to work in Indonesia, using multiple data sets, including data from a field survey and focus groups. The focus is on variations in the way that the transition from school to work affects the lifetime prospects of men, women, the children of various social classes and children in urban and rural areas.
There will be an emphasis on the role of achieving a match between the qualifications attained at school and the skill requirements of the occupation of employment. Information will be provided on changes in this match with years of labour market activity. Policy implications will be emphasised.

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Quality of Work Research Project

Funded by Australian Workplace Productivity Agency

Associate Professor Michael Dockery (with Professor Julia Connell and Professor John Burgess, Curtin University) are leading a study into policy issues surrounding the quality of work in Australia and its links to productivity based on an international review of literature and case studies conducted with Australian firms.

Population Mobility and Labour Markets

Funded by Cooperative Research Centre for Remote Economic Participation

Associate Professor Michael Dockery is the Principal Research Leader for this project under the Cooperative Research Centre for Remote Economic Participation.  The project is studying mobility patterns of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders living in remote communities in Central Australia with the aim of improving service delivery and labour market outcomes in those communities.

FaHCSIA Gender Panel

Funded by Department of Families, Housing, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs (FaHCSIA)

Associate Professor Siobhan Austen, Anh Le, Associate Professor Rachel Ong, Associate Professor Therese Jefferson, Elisa Birch, Anusha Mahendran, Melissa Marinelli

The Australian Department of Families, Housing, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs (FaHCSIA) invited suitably qualified organisations to tender for the provision of a Gender Panel.
The Australian Government Office for Women in FaHCSIA plays a key role in advancing the status of women through research, policy advice, consultation and program administration across the government.
The Office for Women is establishing a panel of gender experts to support gender equality outcomes across government. The panel will provide gender expertise in a broad range of services to Australian Government departments and agencies.


Funded by European Research Council

Associate Professor Michael Dockery is collaborating with Dr Sandra Buchler, University of Bamberg, Germany, on a project that aims to examine how individuals’ educational careers and competence trajectories unfold over the life course.  The project is currently located at the European University Institute in Fiesole, Italy: Mike is assisting Dr Sandra Buchler in writing the Australian country chapter for the project.

Student Equity Data Clearinghouse and Analysis

Funded by National Centre for Student Equity in Higher Education

Associate Professor Michael Dockery (with Paul Koshy and Richard Seymour) is managing this research program under the National Centre for Student Equity in Higher Education.  The program will develop a central data repository and resource for researchers analysing trends and policy issues relating to student equity in higher education in Australia.

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