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Ethnicity and Job Tenure in a Segmented Labour Market: The Case for New Zealand

Henry W. Herzog, Jr

Australian Economic Review, 1997, vol. 30, issue 2, 167-184

Abstract: The labour market experience of 1984–1992 turned on end the prevailing notion of ‘personal security’ within New Zealand, founded as it was upon guaranteed employment (and full‐employment in the aggregate). This study examines, in a systematic fashion and within a dynamic setting, why job tenure varied consistently over this period between two ethnic groups, the first comprised of European/Pakeha workers, and the second New Zealand Maori and Pacific Islanders. Econometric analyses of total, voluntary and involuntary separations indicate that the low relative job security of Maori/Pacific Islanders cannot be attributed solely to differential attributes that, on the one hand represent such individuals’ gender/age distribution, qualifications, and conditions of employment, and on the other provide controls for the relative competitive positions of their employers. Rather, other factors, such as worker segmentation, are likely operative within the New Zealand labour market, conditions that, on net, work to the disadvantage of non‐Europeans.

Date: 1997
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