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Union Power and Australia’s inflation Barrier, 1965:4 to 2004:3

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Author Info

  • Ian McDonald

    ()
    (University of Melbourne)

  • Jenny Lye

    (University of Melbourne)

Abstract

This paper considers the view that trade union power played a major role in the deterioration of macroeconomic performance in Australia in the 1970s and that the subsequent decrease in trade union power has improved Australia’s macroeconomic possibilities. Using the model of a range of equilibria, it is shown that the evidence supports these views. Increases in trade union power and unemployment benefits, the latter increasing the reservation wage upon which bargained wages are based, shifted the inflation barrier to higher rates of unemployment in the 1970s. Subsequently, the decrease in trade union power has reversed this shift such that at the end of the period, in 2003:3, the inflation barrier is at a rate of unemployment of 3.1 per cent.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Bankwest Curtin Economics Centre (BCEC), Curtin Business School in its journal Australian Journal of Labour Economics.

Volume (Year): 9 (2006)
Issue (Month): 3 (September)
Pages: 287-304

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Handle: RePEc:ozl:journl:v:9:y:2006:i:3:p:287-304

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Postal: GPO Box U1987, Perth WA 6845
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Web page: http://business.curtin.edu.au/research/publications/journals/ajle/
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Keywords: Price Level; Inflation; Deflation; Monetary Policy; Central Banking; and the Supply of Money and Credit; Fiscal Policy;

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Cited by:
  1. Ian McDonald, 2008. "Behavioural Macroeconomics And Wage And Price Setting: Developing Some Early Insights Of John Maynard Keynes And Joan Robinson," CAMA Working Papers 2009-11, Centre for Applied Macroeconomic Analysis, Crawford School of Public Policy, The Australian National University.

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