The Determinants of Relative Wage Change in Australia

Melbourne Institute Working Paper No. 23/00

Date: December 2000


Elizabeth Webster
Yi-Ping Tseng


This paper uses micro data from over 4000 Australian individuals to investigate which factors have had a significant influence on microeconomic wage growth over the past 3 years. The relative importance of four type of factors: outside incomes, demand for labour, workers' relative bargaining strength and category of wage contract are compared. Basic individual demographic characteristics (partial substitute variables for outside incomes), and some indicators of workers' bargaining power provided most of the explanation for wage changes. Proxy variables for labour demand, while significant and correctly signed, were small in magnitude. Information on workplace characteristics and the individual's work history were not available.

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