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Union Wage Effects in Australia: Evidence from Panel Data

  • Lixin Cai
  • C. Jeffrey Waddoups

Using data from the Household, Income and Labour Dynamics in Australia (HILDA) Survey, our research indicates that unobserved heterogeneity substantially biases cross-sectional estimates of union wage effects upward for both males and females. Estimates of the union wage premium for male workers between the ages of 25 and 64 fall from 8.7 percent to 5.2 percent after controlling for unobserved heterogeneity. For females aged 25 to 63 the estimated 4.0 percent cross-sectional union wage premium falls to 1.9 once unobserved heterogeneity is controlled for. Our results also indicate positive sorting by unobserved skills into union membership, especially among low skilled male and female workers. There is also evidence of negative sorting into unions among the most highly skilled.

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Article provided by London School of Economics in its journal British Journal of Industrial Relations.

Volume (Year): 49 (2011)
Issue (Month): Supplement 2 (07)
Pages: s279-s305

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Handle: RePEc:bla:brjirl:v:49:y:2011:i:s2:p:s279-s305
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  1. Booth, Alison L. & Bryan, Mark L., 2001. "The union membership wage-premium puzzle: is there a free rider problem?," ISER Working Paper Series 2001-09, Institute for Social and Economic Research.
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  4. Joan R. Rodgers, 2004. "Hourly Wages of full-time and part-time employees in Australia," Australian Journal of Labour Economics (AJLE), Bankwest Curtin Economics Centre (BCEC), Curtin Business School, vol. 7(2), pages 231-254, June.
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  12. Lixin Cai & C. Jeffrey Waddoups, 2009. "The Role of Unobserved Heterogeneity and On-the-Job Training in the Employer Size-Wage Effect: Evidence from Australia," Working Papers 0915, University of Nevada, Las Vegas , Department of Economics.
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  17. David Blanchflower & Alex Bryson, 2002. "Changes over time in union relative wage effects in the UK and the US revisited," NBER Working Papers 9395, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  18. Wooldridge, Jeffrey M., 1995. "Selection corrections for panel data models under conditional mean independence assumptions," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 68(1), pages 115-132, July.
  19. Lixin Cai & Amy Y.C. Liu, 2008. "Union Wage Effects in Australia: Is There Variation along the Distribution?," The Economic Record, The Economic Society of Australia, vol. 84(267), pages 496-510, December.
  20. Robinson, Chris, 1989. "The Joint Determination of Union Status and Union Wage Effects: Some Tests of Alternative Models," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 97(3), pages 639-67, June.
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