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Internal Labour Markets: Evidence From Two Large Australian Employers

Listed author(s):
  • 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.

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Article provided by Economic History Society of Australia and New Zealand in its journal Australian Economic History Review.

Volume (Year): 49 (2009)
Issue (Month): 2 (07)
Pages: 107-137

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Handle: RePEc:bla:ozechr:v:49:y:2009:i:2:p:107-137
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