Understanding the determinants of changes in welfare caseloads is an important, but little studied, topic in Australia. This paper evaluates the role of labour market conditions in explaining the changes in the Australian welfare caseload since the late 1990s. The paper employs a stock-flow approach to better control for persistence in welfare receipt and includes different specifications to deal with measurement error in labour market data. The results suggest that the labour market is an important determinant of movements on and off welfare, accounting for the majority of the caseload decline during 1997-2005. The results also highlight the importance of robustness checks when data are measured with error.
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