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Type: Thesis
Title: Great Expectations: Australian Baby Boomer Women, Policy and Older Labour Force Participation
Author: Lewis, Judith Andrea
Issue Date: 2018
School/Discipline: School of Social Sciences : Geography, Environment & Population
Abstract: As the vanguard generation of rapid population ageing in Australia, Baby Boomers have represented a substantive challenge to government policy makers. Increasing older labour force participation has been promoted as the preeminent policy initiative most likely to reduce the labour force shrinkage and increased fiscal demand likely to be caused by the retirement of this disproportionately large generation. This “one size fits all” policy does not, however, sufficiently consider the significant diversities within the Baby Boomer generation. The systems approach guiding this research clusters environmental influences around the subjective experiences of labour force participation recounted by Australian Baby Boomer women. Nine research questions directed the data collection, analysis and findings of this thesis that populate a systems framework and underpin the discussion and conclusion. An analysis of data from key policy documents provides a clear overview of the aims and objectives of policy seeking to increase older labour force participation. Census and HILDA data is analysed to establish a quantitative context that identifies factors implicated in the divergence of labour force participation patterns for Baby Boomer men and Baby Boomer women. Primary data obtained from semi structured interviews of the Baby Boomer women respondents from North West Adelaide provides insight into experiences at the individual (micro) level and that reflect the effects of elements at national (meso) and global (macro) levels. This research found that several factors constrained the ability of Baby Boomer women to comply with policy urging increased older labour force participation. Notwithstanding generally accepted correlations between qualification levels and older labour force participation, both the timing and type of qualification are likely determinants of older labour force participation among Baby Boomer women. It also found that, whilst marital status has often been linked to higher financial wellbeing amongst older women, links between marital status and labour force participation were most often associated with changes in marital status over the life course. The effects of competing policies such as those promoting family based provision of care and those supporting a ‘laissez faire’ economy were found to frustrate the aims of policies targeting increased older labour force participation by women. In the case of many Baby Boomer women this policy discord can be directly linked to the obstruction of pathways to labour force participation and statuses that might enhance future financial self-sufficiency. The findings of this thesis urge deeper consideration of the impacts of this policy for Baby Boomer women specifically and older women generally.
Advisor: Rudd, Dianne
Taylor, Anne
Barry, Helen
Dissertation Note: Thesis (Ph.D.) -- University of Adelaide, School of Social Sciences, 2019
Keywords: Baby Boomer women
labour force
Provenance: This electronic version is made publicly available by the University of Adelaide in accordance with its open access policy for student theses. Copyright in this thesis remains with the author. This thesis may incorporate third party material which has been used by the author pursuant to Fair Dealing exceptions. If you are the owner of any included third party copyright material you wish to be removed from this electronic version, please complete the take down form located at:
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