IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this article

Internal Labour Markets: Evidence From Two Large Australian Employers


  • Andrew Seltzer
  • André Sammartino


This paper examines internal labour markets in the late nineteenth and early twentieth century using personnel records from the Union Bank of Australia and the Victorian Railways. Both employers hired young workers and offered them the possibility of very-long-term employment. Salaries were determined by impersonal rules, such as being attached to tenure and to position. Workers rarely received nominal pay cuts. This approach to human resources was designed to retain and motivate workers. We show that all of the classic features of internal labour markets used to describe American firms in the 1970s were present dating back to the Victorian period. Copyright 2009 The Authors. Journal compilation Blackwell Publishing Asia Pty Ltd and the Economic History Society of Australia and New Zealand 2009.

Suggested Citation

  • Andrew Seltzer & André Sammartino, 2009. "Internal Labour Markets: Evidence From Two Large Australian Employers," Australian Economic History Review, Economic History Society of Australia and New Zealand, vol. 49(2), pages 107-137, July.
  • Handle: RePEc:bla:ozechr:v:49:y:2009:i:2:p:107-137

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL:
    File Function: link to full text
    Download Restriction: Access to full text is restricted to subscribers.

    As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to search for a different version of it.

    More about this item


    Access and download statistics


    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:bla:ozechr:v:49:y:2009:i:2:p:107-137. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Wiley-Blackwell Digital Licensing) or (Christopher F. Baum). General contact details of provider: .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    We have no references for this item. You can help adding them by using this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.