Deep and Persistent Disadvantage in Australia

Staff working paper

This paper by Rosalie McLachlan, Geoff Gilfillan and Jenny Gordon was released on 11 July 2013.

Strong economic growth is a way of increasing living standards and opportunities. Yet despite growing levels of prosperity over the last two decades, and the unemployment rate more than halving, there are concerns within the community that some Australians are being 'left behind'.


  • Preliminaries
    • Cover, Copyright, Contents, Acknowledgments and Abbreviations
  • Overview - including key points
  • Chapter 1 What is this paper about?
    • 1.1 Why the policy interest in disadvantage?
    • 1.2 The paper structure
  • Chapter 2 What does it mean to be disadvantaged?
    • 2.1 Poverty the traditional concept of disadvantage
    • 2.2 Deprivation
    • 2.3 Capability approach
    • 2.4 Social exclusion and inclusion
    • 2.5 Bringing together measures of income, deprivation, capabilities and social exclusion
    • 2.6 The importance of dynamics in understanding disadvantage
  • Chapter 3 The extent of disadvantage in Australia
    • 3.1 Income based measures of disadvantage
    • 3.2 Indicators of deprivation
    • 3.3 Indicators of social exclusion
    • 3.4 Characteristics of Australians most likely to experience disadvantage
    • 3.5 Where do people experiencing disadvantage live?
    • 3.6 The relative merits of the different measures of disadvantage
  • Chapter 4 Factors influencing life chances of experiencing disadvantage
    • 4.1 Early experiences and how they can influence life chances
    • 4.2 Success at school education and life chances
    • 4.3 Beyond school
    • 4.4 The importance of employment
    • 4.5 Poor health, disability and disadvantage
    • 4.6 Relationships and families
  • Chapter 5 The costs of disadvantage
    • 5.1 A broad framework for measuring avoidable costs
    • 5.2 Forgone employment income
    • 5.3 Expenditure on 'regrettables'
    • 5.4 Quality of life costs
    • 5.5 The distribution of costs
  • Chapter 6 Where to from here? measurement and data issues
    • 6.1 Issues underlying the different measures of disadvantage
    • 6.2 Longitudinal data critical for understanding disadvantage
    • 6.3 Administrative data
  • Appendix A Characteristics of Australians most likely to experience disadvantage
  • Appendix B Strengths and weaknesses of measures of disadvantage used in Australia
  • References

Just briefly...

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