"No country for old men": a note on the trans-Tasman income divide

Although much work has been done analysing the possible causes of the New Zealand-Australian income gap, to date there has been little analysis of the extent to which this gap differs by gender and age.

Using New Zealand and Australian employment and census data we examine these differences and find that:

  1. Over the last 25 years the incomes of New Zealand women have declined less rapidly than those of New Zealand men, relative to Australian incomes;
  2. This poor relative performance of New Zealand males was felt most by those in middle age; and
  3. The stronger relative income growth of New Zealand females appears to be largely driven by increased public sector wage growth, and as such, its long term sustainability is questionable.