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2 Non-fiscal indicators

We begin with a description of the characteristics and prevalence of life events for the 1993 cohort. We focus on subgroups relevant to the social investment scenarios in Burton et al (2016).

  • Minimise childhood vulnerability: Those children we identify at birth as being in the top 10 per cent in terms of risk of poorer welfare and justice outcomes.
  • Equitable Māori outcomes: We compare Maori and non-Maori children.
  • Broader investment in human capital: We look at those individuals in the cohort who do not achieve a qualification at level two NCEA or above.
  • Regional convergence: We compare people living in the 3 largest urban areas (Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch) with the rest of New Zealand.

(Note that modelling the longer term fiscal impacts of each scenario are separate exercises. These subgroups are not mutually exclusive and the resulting impacts cannot be added together to get a combined impact of one or more scenarios.)

Figure 1 shows prevalence of different indicators for those children identified at birth as having a higher risk of poor outcomes as young adults, and compares these to all other children. The identification of the risk groups arose from the regression modelling undertaken in the previous analytical work. This allowed us to construct an equation for each individual that could be used to allocate them a risk score for each outcome of interest (in this case adult welfare receipt and corrections sentences) based on their age and gender as well as a wide range of other characteristics. To help illustratethe ‘Minimise childhood vulnerability' scenario we chose to portray the children with the highest 10% of these risk scores in the ‘at birth' model as our ‘high risk' children.

Figure 1: Minimise Childhood vulnerability: Comparing children identified at birth as high risk with all others
Figure 1: Minimise Childhood vulnerability: Comparing children identified at birth as high risk with all others.

The chart illustrates that we can describe and monitor the prevalence of an array of life events throughout this cohort's life. These include health, education, family welfare, child protection and justice-related events.

Showing the contrast between those identified as at risk at birth and the others provides a sense of the improvements in non-fiscal outcomes that are the aspirational goals under the “minimise childhood vulnerability”scenario. The green bars are the levels for the target population and the blue bars represent the rest of the population (the aspirational benchmark).

The last bars on the chart related to the “on track” measure. Figure 2 illustrates how this has been constructed.

Figure 2: Components of the “on track” measure
Figure 2: Components of the “on track” measure.

Of the original cohort, we identify those who have already achieved a qualification at level four. From the remaining group we find any who are currently enrolled in a level four qualification. Of those without that level of education, we find who earns reasonable wages or who is self-employed. Finally we exclude anyone who has served a custodial sentence in their 21st year. This gives us just under 74 per cent of the cohort who meet the definition of “on track”.

Figures 3, 4 and 5 show similar comparisons between the target subgroup and the aspirational benchmark for each of the other scenarios. Figure 3 contrasts Māori and non-Māori. Figure 4 contrasts those who have not achieved NCEA at level 2 to all others. Figure 5 contrasts those in the three main urban centres (Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch) with the rest of New Zealand.

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