Matthew Curry, Ronald Henderson Research Fellow, Work and Economic Security
Dr Matthew Curry holds a joint appointment at the University of Melbourne’s Melbourne Institute and the Brotherhood’s Research and Policy Centre. Matthew completed his PhD in sociology at the University of California, Los Angeles, where his dissertation investigated the effects of university education on individual labour market outcomes in the United States before and during the global financial crisis.
Matthew’s* recent peer-reviewed publications:
Mooi-Reci, I., Bakker, B., Curry, M., & Wooden, M. (2019). Why Parental Unemployment Matters for Children’s Educational Attainment: Empirical Evidence from The Netherlands. European Sociological Review, 35(3), 394–408. https://doi.org/10.1093/esr/jcz002
This study examines the effect of parents’ unemployment on their children’s subsequent educational attainment. Its theoretical significance lies on its focus to test the mediating role of parents’ changing work ethics during spells of unemployment. Integrating multiple survey and administrative data sources, our estimates are based on a sample of Dutch children (n = 812) who were exposed to their parents’ unemployment during the previous economic crisis in the early 1980s. Our results reveal a direct negative effect between fathers’ unemployment duration and their children’s educational attainment and also an indirect effect through mothers’ changing attitudes towards work. We also find empirical evidence that mothers’ and fathers’ whose views about work become more pessimistic lead to reduced educational attainment among their children.
Curry, M. (2019). The Great Recession and shifting patterns of college effects for young men. Research in Social Stratification and Mobility, 59, 34–45. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.rssm.2018.11.003
Economic recessions have heterogeneous effects, with the worst consequences often disproportionately concentrated among workers with little education. This suggests an increase in the effects of college during recessionary contexts. Using panel data from the U.S. before and during the Great Recession, I employ a non-parametric multilevel propensity score method to assess whether the estimated effects of college completion for young men were sensitive to the economic context they encountered. Results suggest that returns to college in terms of earnings, employment, and wages shifted across economic contexts, but that they moved in opposing directions for advantaged versus disadvantaged young men. Consistent with job competition theory, recessions seem to increase college effects on wages most for advantaged young men, while increasing college effects on employment most for the less advantaged. Therefore, any change in the value of college for young men during the Great Recession was dependent both on which specific outcome was being considered and on observable precollege characteristics such as socioeconomic background and prior academic achievement.
Curry, M., Mooi-Reci, I., & Wooden, M. (2019). Parental joblessness and the moderating role of a university degree on the school-to-work transition in Australia and the United States. Social Science Research, 81(2), 61–76. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ssresearch.2019.03.004
Does parental joblessness delay young adults’ school-to-work transitions? If so, can a university degree moderate this relationship? We examine these questions using a representative sample of young adults who lived with their parents prior to entering the labor market in Australia (N?=?2152) and the U.S. (N?=?811) during the period 2001–2015. Results from Cox proportional hazards models demonstrate that parental joblessness (the proportion of time spent living in a household where no parent was employed) is associated with slower school-to-work transitions in both the U.S. and Australia. University degree attainment mitigates much of this negative relationship in Australia, suggesting that parental joblessness is most harmful for Australians who leave school before earning a university degree. There is no evidence for a similar interaction in the U.S., suggesting that the relationship between education, parental joblessness, and the school-to-work transition may depend on contextual factors such as the welfare regime.
SOURCE: Matthew Curry, Ronald Henderson Fellow at the Brotherhood of St Laurence – A selection of articles
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