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Latest issue of the Australasian Journal of Regional Studies

NOTES FROM THE EDITORS

Editor's introduction to the journal issue.

Bligh Grant

Page Number - 1

ECONOMIC RESTRUCTURING AND THE POLARISATION OF THE WORKFORCE: A REGIONAL PERSPECTIVE

Closely associated with rising non-standard forms of work, under-employment and a lack of opportunity for young and new labour market entrants, workforce polarisation is an increasingly pervasive feature of economically restructuring regions. Recent scholarship regarding the causes of workforce polarisation has diverged, particularly since the global financial crisis (GFC). While most explanations for job polarisation rest with technological advancements, growing interregional economic divergence within nations suggests that the extent of job polarisation is pre-determined by historical socio-economic and industry structures. Other perspectives include the rise of the services sector and changes to the social organisation of care. Efforts to understand and project changes to the occupational distribution need a localised, regional lens. This article presents the evidence and discusses the implications of heightened job polarisation for Tasmania, Australia, pre and post GFC. Marked within skill level and occupation group changes, including increased spare capacity within the workforce, present considerable challenges for policy-makers.

Lisa Denny

Page Number - 4

REGIONAL SPREAD OF HIGH-GROWTH ENTERPRISES IN NEW ZEALAND

High-growth enterprises are ascribed a key role in regional development and yet are highly concentrated in core regions. Enterprise-level analysis understates the spread of such firms into peripheral regions. Spatial analysis at the establishment-level reveals the regional spread of high-growth enterprises across New Zealand. The study covers over 28 000 establishments created by the 2005, 2011, and 2014 cohorts of high-growth enterprises, dichotomising regional differences between actual and expected numbers of establishments into industry structure and local regional effects. The development of high-growth enterprises merely exacerbates inter-regional differences. Urban centres dominate in terms of their shares of high-growth enterprises and establishments, although two of the peripheral regions do attract higher than expected numbers of such establishments. While the regional spread of high-growth establishments is greater than that of high-growth enterprises, this will not redress the chronic regional disparities within New Zealand.

Robert T. Hamilton and Sara Satterthwaite

Page Number - 26

COLLABORATION AND CO-CREATION IN REGIONAL AND REMOTE EDUCATION: CASE STUDIES FROM INITIAL TEACHER EDUCATION PROGRAMS

Education policies and practices developed for urban populations
are not always effective when implemented in regional and remote locations.
Despite government policy initiatives that may provide for collaboration across
communities, a singular issue is that a diversity of solutions may be required rather
than a ‘one size fits all’ approach. This article presents a potential solution to this
problem through engaging collaboration and co-creation to optimise educational
opportunities in initial teacher education in Australia. Qualitative analysis of a
collaborative and co-created process of enhancement, lesson development and
reflection brings together the every-day problem-solving processes used by preservice
teachers and classroom students with those used by research scientists and
community experts. A consequence of such a process that benefits regional and
remote communities is the development of collaborative networks founded in cocreation
of educational opportunities and based on daily life in local communities.

Geoff Woolcott, Robert Whannell, Chris Wines, Linda Pfeiffer, Margaret Marshmann and Linda Galligan

Page Number - 54

IMPACT OF ECONOMIC AND SOCIAL INFRASTRUCTURE ON INCOME INEQUALITY - EVIDENCE FROM INDIAN STATES

This paper discusses how infrastructure impacts inter-district inequality in India using data for 12 states, that were categorised as leading and lagging for the period 2001-2011. Income data from 388 districts is used to compute state wise Gini coefficients to analyse how infrastructure impacts inequality. Unlike the existing literature which considers either quantity or quality of infrastructure, this study uses an alternate perspective that considers both ‘availability’ and ‘usage’ of infrastructure to study how the economic and social variants of infrastructure impact output and inequality in Indian states. The paper finds that only economic infrastructure has a sobering impact on inter-district income inequality in both the leading and lagging states. Social infrastructure was observed to accentuate income inequality in the lagging states. The worsening of social infrastructure in the backwards districts of both categories of states and more prominently in the lagging ones, appears to explain the findings.

Biswa Swarup Misra

Page Number - 81

AN AFFECTIVE EXPLANATION OF CLIMATE BELIEFS: EVIDENCE FROM DAIRY FARMERS IN NEW ZEALAND

How do farmers form and sustain their beliefs about climate as it affects their farms and communities? We draw from two areas of scholarship to provide an explanation of how farmers in a particular industry context form their beliefs about climate change. First, we build on research in psychology that shows how values, political orientations and motivated reasoning are important factors in group identity. Second, we draw from scholarship on group identity and belief formation to suggest that farmers prefer to learn from trusted insiders when forming beliefs about the climate. Based on qualitative interviews with New Zealand dairy farmers, we used thematic analysis of the social and emotive process of group identification associated with farmer beliefs about weather patterns and climate. We discuss the implications for communication among policymakers, regulators and researchers in the agricultural sector with an agenda that addresses farmer responses to climate change by enlisting those with insider status.

Daniel Tisch and Natasha Hamilton-Hart

Page Number - 115