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.
Wave 1 was conducted in 1996 (ADA No. 1015), Wave 2 in 2000 (ADA No. 1062) and this third wave was conducted in 2003. Variables across the waves include relationship and fertility histories, household work, child care arrangements, future objectives, attitudes to work, promotion, children and relationships. Introduced in Wave 3 are variables focusing on maternity leave, retirement, HECS and The General Health Questionnaire. 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.
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.
NLC is a national random telephone survey using the electronic white pages as its sample frame. It is set up as an indefinite life, panel survey. Persons who agreed to be contacted at the time of the Wave 2 survey formed the universe of the Wave 3 survey. The raw response rate was 69%. Out of a sample of 1729, there were 537 losses and 1192 cases.
The principle used in the weighting is to make the set of income units in the Wave 3 sample representative of the population at the time of the initial sampling in Wave 1. Thus the only difference in the method from the Wave 1 weights is a restriction to the sample of 1192 responses in Wave 3. The weighting adjustment allows for under- or overrepresentation of groups in the original sampling at Wave 1, as well as for different rates of attrition between Waves 1 and 3 for the groups.
For general information on Wave 1 weighting, see:
The data gathered in Wave 3 is available at the Australian Data Archive (ADA) in a variety of formats.
2.9Mb SPSS Portable; 4.4Mb Stata v8; 4.4Mb Stata v7; 4.9Mb Nesstar Publisher; 4.9Mb NSDStat; 8.2Mb DIF; 5.3Mb dBase; 5.3Mb Fixed width text; 2.5Mb Delimited; 5.4Mb SAS; 2.6Mb CSV File.