5,026 research outputs found

    Towards a Theory of 'Late Rentierism' in the Arab States of the Gulf

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    Rentier state theory (RST) gained currency in the late 1980s, and remains widely cited or accepted, as an explanation for the lack of democratization and for economic problems in oil- and gasproducing states of the Middle East. It postulates that externally-derived, unproductively-derived 'rents' such as oil and gas revenues (or fees, foreign aid, and the like) give the state autonomy from society, removing pressures for democratization, economic liberalization, and other policies in response to societal antagonism or pressure. Societal pressures are 'bought off' by rents, and rents also pay the cost of an expansive state repressive capacity. This argument is, of course, simplistic, and the development strategies of the Gulf in the past two decades - including the spectacular globalized development of Dubai and, more recently, Qatar, Abu Dhabi, and others - suggests that a simple argument of state autonomy from society is inaccurate or incomplete, and that RST requires refinement and sophisticatization. The paper is a preliminary attempt at that refinement, specifically arguing that while rents allow allocative states to restrict or even avoid pressure for democratization, the state still relies - as all do - on a base level of legitimacy and societal toleration of the regime. Thus, rentiers must still be politically responsive, yet not democratic, to a core set of societal needs and values. The state must balance repression and cooptation - a rentier does not have unlimited repressive ability, whatever its financial capacity - and especially, if it is to survive, a rentier state must be adaptable to the changes brought by globalization and must provide opportunity and employment through economic diversification. Yet the rentier state is relieved of democratic accountability, while never truly autonomous from society, and thus still has a non-democratic or quasi-democratic accountability attached to the rentier bargain. The paper that follows makes this case, and argues for the concept of a 'late-stage rentier state' in the case of the Arab states of the Gulf. The paper begins by outlining the tenets and constraints of orthodox RST, and then makes the case for a more sophisticated understanding of these states' rent-based relationships with society, and highlights their main characteristics in the Gulf from the 1990s to today

    The Effects of Unemployment on the Earnings of Young Australians

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    The high rates of youth unemployment experienced in a number of OECD economies has raised concerns about the effect of this on subsequent earnings. Using the Australian Youth Survey (AYS) a longitudinal survey of Australian youth, we estimate the effects of unemployment on subsequent hourly and weekly earnings. The estimates suggest that, when unobserved heterogeneity is taken into account, it is only long histories of unemployment which have a negative effect on hourly wages. On the other hand, even relatively small amounts of unemployment history are associated with weekly earnings losses. The effects of unemployment on weekly earnings is shown to be mostly due to shorter working hours, with only a small part being due to lower hourly wages. These findings are consistent with the fact that Australia has binding minimum wages which limit the extent to which hourly wages can be reduced and so the impact of unemployment on earnings occurs through shorter working hours. Evidence is presented that this loss of working hours is involuntary and can therefore be counted as a cost of unemployment.

    The Canadian ‘Model Forest’ approach : a way forward for Tasmania?

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    Forest policy and forestry management in Tasmania have undergone a number of changes in the last thirty years, many explicitly aimed at improving industry sustainability, job security, and forest biodiversity conservation. Yet forestry remains a contentious issue in Tasmania, due to a number of interacting factors, most significant of which is the prevalence of a ‘command and control’ governance approach by policymakers and managers. New approaches such as multiple-stakeholder decision-making, adaptive management, and direct public participation in policymaking are needed. Such an approach has been attempted in Canada in the last decade, through the Canadian Model Forest Program, and may be suitable for Tasmania. This paper seeks to describe what the Canadian Model Forest approach is, how it may be implemented in Tasmania, and what role it may play in the shift to a new forestry paradigm. Until such a paradigm shift occurs contentions and confrontations are likely to continue

    Lessons of United States welfare reforms for Australian social policy

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    Recent developments in policies towards lone parents in Australia have emphasised the role of employment in increasing income and self- sufficiency. The emphasis on employment is also the case in other OECD countries with a general trend towards benefits for lone parents being made dependent on participation in the labour market. The United States of America has undertaken substantial reforms over the 1990s to the ways in which social assistance is provided to lone parents. Following the reforms there has been a dramatic fall in the number of lone-mother families receiving welfare payments and increases in employment rates. This paper reviews the evidence on the impact of the United States welfare reforms on a wide range of outcomes in America and considers the implications for welfare reform in Australia. The importance of differences in Australian institutions, particularly the labour market and income support systems, are highlighted.

    Reservation wages and the earnings capacity of lone and couple mothers: Are wage expectations too high?

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    This paper presents evidence on the extent to which non-employed mothers who would like to work are able to provide an estimate of their reservation income. There is virtually no existing Australian research on the extent to which jobseekers are able to estimate their reservation income. The paper also tests the hypothesis that unrealistic wage expectations are an important factor in explaining relatively low employment rates among mothers by comparing reservation hourly wages with the estimated earning capacity of mothers. If reservation wages are greater than what we estimate the mother would earn in the labour market, then this is likely to make it difficult to find employment.Employment; reservation wages; working hours

    Youth Unemployment: Aggregate Incidence and Consequences for Individuals

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    This paper analyses the incidence and impact of unemployment among young Australians. It is argued that the scale and seriousness of the current youth problem are often overstated. There is no evidence that the aggregate unemployment experience of young Australians has changed over the last two decades. The groups of young people most at risk of unemployment are identified. While the overall scale of the problem is not worsening, some of the young unemployed face adverse future labour market outcomes. It is argued that while there is a role for specific policies targeted on young people, these need to be accompanied by policies that involve managing aggregate demand.

    Family-friendly work practices: differences within and between workplaces

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    One of the major economic and social changes of recent decades has been the large increase in the number of mothers in paid employment. As a consequence, there has been increasing recognition by employers of the importance of family-friendly work arrangements to assist parents to balance work and family responsibilities. This research is the first large-scale analysis of the extent to which employees within organisations in Australia have differential access to a range of family-friendly work practices.