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Measuring Minimum Award Wage Reliance in Australia: The HILDA Survey Experience

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  • Roger Wilkins

    ()
    (Melbourne Institute of Applied Economic and Social Research, The University of Melbourne)

  • Mark Wooden

    ()
    (Melbourne Institute of Applied Economic and Social Research, The University of Melbourne)

Abstract

An important group of interest for industrial tribunals in Australia is those workers who are reliant on awards for their pay and other employment conditions. Research on award reliance and its consequences, however, has long been hampered by the lack of good quality microdata. Most obviously, there are relatively few data sets in Australia that identify the method by which pay is set and also provide detailed information about individuals and the households in which they live. The HILDA Survey, however, is an exception to this, with information about award reliance, and methods of pay setting more generally, being collected for the first time in its 8th survey wave (in 2008). This paper reviews the quality of the data on award reliance that is being collected from this source. It then provides two examples of how these data can inform policy-relevant research questions: (i) to what extent are award-reliant workers found living in income-poor households; and (ii) what role does award reliance play in contributing to the gender pay gap? The results confirm that award-reliant workers are not especially concentrated in poor households, and that for award-reliant workers there is no evidence of any gender-based pay gap.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Melbourne Institute of Applied Economic and Social Research, The University of Melbourne in its series Melbourne Institute Working Paper Series with number wp2011n11.

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Length: 32 pages
Date of creation: May 2011
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:iae:iaewps:wp2011n11

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Keywords: Award reliance; Australia; gender pay equity; HILDA Survey; income distribution; minimum wages;

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  1. van Wanrooy, B., 2009. "Women at Work in Australia: Bargaining a Better Position?," Australian Bulletin of Labour, National Institute of Labour Studies, vol. 35(4), pages 611-628.
  2. Nicole Watson & Mark Wooden, 2010. "The HILDA Survey: Progress and Future Developments," Australian Economic Review, The University of Melbourne, Melbourne Institute of Applied Economic and Social Research, vol. 43(3), pages 326-336.
  3. Mark Wooden & Nicole Watson, 2007. "The HILDA Survey and its Contribution to Economic and Social Research (So Far)," The Economic Record, The Economic Society of Australia, vol. 83(261), pages 208-231, 06.
  4. Paul W. Miller, 2005. "The Role of Gender among Low-Paid and High-Paid Workers," Australian Economic Review, The University of Melbourne, Melbourne Institute of Applied Economic and Social Research, vol. 38(4), pages 405-417, December.
  5. Barón, Juan D. & Cobb-Clark, Deborah A., 2008. "Occupational Segregation and the Gender Wage Gap in Private- and Public-Sector Employment: A Distributional Analysis," IZA Discussion Papers 3562, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  6. Richardson, S., 1998. "Who Gets Minimum Wages?," CEPR Discussion Papers 386, Centre for Economic Policy Research, Research School of Economics, Australian National University.
  7. Andrew Leigh, 2005. "Does Raising the Minimum Wage Help the Poor?," CEPR Discussion Papers 501, Centre for Economic Policy Research, Research School of Economics, Australian National University.
  8. MARK WOODEN & ROGER WILKINS & SEAMUS McGUINNESS, 2007. "Minimum Wages And The ‘Working Poor’," Economic Papers, The Economic Society of Australia, vol. 26(4), pages 295-307, December.
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