The Structure of the Wage Gap for Temporary Workers: Evidence from Australian Panel Data

Melbourne Institute Working Paper No. 08/17

Date: 2017

Author(s):

Inga Lass
Mark Wooden

Abstract

This study uses panel data for Australia from the HILDA Survey to estimate the wage differential between workers in temporary jobs and workers in permanent jobs. Specifically, unconditional quantile regression methods with fixed effects are used to examine how this gap varies over the entire wages distribution. While fixed-term contract workers are on rates of pay that are similar to permanent workers, low-paid casual workers experience a wage penalty and high-paid casual workers a wage premium compared to their permanent counterparts. Finally, temporary agency workers usually receive a wage premium, which is particularly large for the most well paid.