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Further explorations of the role of crime inIndigenous employment statusBoyd Hunter,The Australian National UniversityAbstractUndertaking econometric modelling using samples from small populations such asIndigenous Australians, is difficult because of the data constraints facing both theresearcher and the data collection agency. This paper uses the ABS’s Remote AccessData Laboratory to analyse an expanded unit record file that is only available in thisform. The following analysis of the 2002 National Aboriginal and Torres Strait IslanderSurvey illustrates how expanded unit record files can be used to replicate and extendexisting research. In addition to confirming earlier research, the crucial importanceof the early interactions with the criminal justice for perpetrating Indigenousemployment disadvantage is also highlighted.1. IntroductionThe over-representation of Indigenous Australians in prison continues to be a seriousproblem, more than a decade after the recommendations of the Royal Commissioninto Aboriginal Deaths in Custody (RCADC) were handed down (Baker 2001; Williams2001).1For example, Baker (2001) finds that the over-representation stems initiallyfrom the higher rate of appearance at court by Indigenous Australians, but is amplifiedat the point of sentencing, with Indigenous offenders sentenced to imprisonment atalmost twice the rate of non-Indigenous persons. The violent nature of the offencesfor which some Indigenous people are convicted and the greater likelihood ofIndigenous persons having prior convictions were also found to contribute to theirhigher rate of imprisonment.Borland and Hunter’s (2000) analysis of the 1994 National Aboriginal andTorres Strait Islander Survey (NATSIS) shows that interactions with the criminal justiceAcknowledgements: I would like to thank participants at the 2006 Australasian Meeting of theEconometric Society who provided insightful comments on an earlier version of this paper. Thanksare also due to an anonymous referee whose feedback was invaluable.Boyd is a Fellow at the Centre for Aboriginal Economic Policy Research, The Australian NationalUniversity, Canberra, 0200. Email: [email protected]1The recommendations emphasised the need to reduce the disproportionate levels of Aboriginalpersons in custody, rather than the need to directly prevent their deaths. This emphasis arose out ofthe Royal Commission’s conclusion that the 99 Aboriginal deaths in custody which occurred duringthe 1980s were not a result of Aboriginal persons being any more likely than others to die incustody, but were a result of their gross over-representation in prison.© The Centre for Labour Market Research, 2006217AUSTRALIAN JOURNAL OF LABOUR ECONOMICSVol. 9, No. 2, June 2006, pp 217 - 237
218AUSTRALIAN JOURNAL OF LABOUR ECONOMICSJUNE 2006system are an important factor underlying Indigenous disadvantage in employment.

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Term
Winter
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The Land, Indigenous Australians, Borland, Boyd Hunter

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