Negotiating the Life Course (NLC) is a longitudinal study undertaken by the Australian Demographic and Social Research Institute, Australian National University and the School of Social Science, University of Queensland.
NLC is designed to study the changing life courses and decision-making processes of Australian men and women as the family and society move from male breadwinner orientation in the direction of higher levels of gender equity. The project has six aims; to extend the theories of human capital and new home economics in explaining women's and men's labour force participation; to map women's and men's work trajectories over their life course, from career entry into retirement, and to develop explanatory models of career trajectories; to identify those aspects of the family-household system and the labour market that facilitate or impede women's involvement with the labour market; to investigate the interrelationships between labour force decisions about family formation and household arrangements; to identify the portfolio of resources that women and men draw upon throughout their lives when making decisions about career and family; and to assess the policy implications of the findings of the project for the institutions of the welfare state, the labour market and the family.
Detailed information has been gathered relating to lifetime experiences of paid employment, education and training, relationships and childbearing. Considerable information has also been gathered in relation to current employment and training, child care, household division of labour, caring and voluntary work, and a range of attitudes, values and expectations. In addition, standard socio-demographic descriptors are obtained.
Wave 1 was conducted in 1996, Wave 2 in 2000, Wave 3 in 2003, and this fourth wave in 2006. Variables across the waves include relationship and fertility histories, household work, child care arrangements, future objectives, attitudes to work, promotion, children and relationships. Two new modules were included in this round - a series of questions was asked about grandparenting, and a youth module was included. A contact matrix was also included for this round of interviews. Background variables across the waves include parental country of birth, employment, occupation and education, respondent's and spouse's place of residence, education, income, housing, religion, health status, birthplace, marital status and household composition.
The procedure for calculating weights in Wave 4 was slightly different to that used in Waves 2 and 3 as the Wave 4 sample contained two different types of respondents; continuing respondents who had first been interviewed in Wave 1 (N=1,138), plus an additional sample of new respondents who were first interviewed in Wave 4 (N=2,000). The 2,000 new cases were selected using Random Digit Dialling. There was a quota sample by age. Those aged 18-26 were oversampled (sampling target of 629) to boost numbers in the younger age group.
The data gathered in Wave 2 is available at the Australian Data Archive (ADA) in a variety of formats.
11.6Mb SPSS Portable; 37Mb Stata v8; 37Mb Stata v7; 17.1Mb Nesstar Publisher; 17.1Mb NSDStat; 31.6Mb DIF; 11.8Mb dBase; 11.8Mb Fixed width text; 10.7Mb Delimited; 11.9Mb SAS; 11.2Mb CSV File.