Low-income before and after Housing Costs, Comparing Australia’s Regions

Low-income before and after Housing Costs, Comparing Australia’s Regions Conference Paper

Australian Social Policy Conference

  • Author(s): Peter Siminski, Peter Saunders
  • Published: 2003

Abstract: This paper is part of a broader project on household inequality and living standards being conducted by the Social Policy Research Centre in partnership with the Australian Bureau of Statistics under an ARC Linkage grant. The paper expands on and extends some of the findings made by Siminski and Norris (2003), recently published in Australian Social Trends. The main purpose of the paper is to discuss methodological issues in assessing geographical differences in the propensity of households to be relatively poor, and to make a broad assessment of such geographical differences. An issue of particular significance is the way in which differences in housing costs between regions should be addressed in the analysis. The use of a standard ‘disposable income’ measure yields very different results to an ‘income after housing costs’ measure. It is argued that the latter is a useful alternative indicator of comparative living standards, though both measures have their limitations. The major issues regarding comparisons of household income between regions are discussed in Section 2, and a new framework for addressing differences in housing costs is presented. A comparison of the ‘after housing’ and ‘imputed rent’ approaches to accounting for housing is made in Section 3. Section 4 summarises the methods used in this paper, while Section 5 presents the results. Section 6 offers conclusions.

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Suggested Citation
Peter Siminski, Peter Saunders, 2003, Low-income before and after Housing Costs, Comparing Australia’s Regions, Conference Paper, viewed 18 August 2022, https://www.nintione.com.au/?p=3223.

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