IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this article

Life on the Minimum Wage in Australia: An Empirical Investigation


  • Alfred Michael Dockery

    () (Curtin University)

  • Richard Seymour

    (Curtin University)

  • Rachel Ong

    (Curtin University)


From 2006 to 2009, Federal minimum wages in Australia were set by the Australian Fair Pay Commission. This paper uses data from the Household, Income and Labour Dynamics in Australia panel survey to investigate the circumstances of persons who are paid at or near the minimum wage, and thus potentially affected by the wage determinations. Net disposable incomes for actual and potential minimum wage workers are modelled in and out of work to investigate the implications of the wage determinations on work incentives. In addition, a range of measures of socioeconomic status and wellbeing are inspected. Comparisons are made with selected groups of non-employed persons and those with higher earnings to highlight the potential costs and benefits for affected individuals, and hence the potential trade-offs faced in setting minimum wages if we accept that increases in minimum wages reduce employment opportunities.

Suggested Citation

  • Alfred Michael Dockery & Richard Seymour & Rachel Ong, 2010. "Life on the Minimum Wage in Australia: An Empirical Investigation," Australian Journal of Labour Economics (AJLE), Bankwest Curtin Economics Centre (BCEC), Curtin Business School, vol. 13(1), pages 1-26.
  • Handle: RePEc:ozl:journl:v:13:y:2010:i:1:p:1-26

    Download full text from publisher

    To our knowledge, this item is not available for download. To find whether it is available, there are three options:
    1. Check below whether another version of this item is available online.
    2. Check on the provider's web page whether it is in fact available.
    3. Perform a search for a similarly titled item that would be available.

    References listed on IDEAS

    1. James Giesecke & G.A. Meagher, 2008. "Modelling the Economic Effects of Population Ageing," Centre of Policy Studies/IMPACT Centre Working Papers g-172, Victoria University, Centre of Policy Studies/IMPACT Centre.
    2. Shah, C & Burke, G, 2005. "Skills Shortages: Concepts, Measurement and Policy Responses," Australian Bulletin of Labour, National Institute of Labour Studies, vol. 31(1), pages 44-71.
    3. Peter B. Dixon & Maureen T. Rimmer, 2006. "The Displacement Effect of Labour-Market Programs: MONASH Analysis," The Economic Record, The Economic Society of Australia, vol. 82(s1), pages 26-40, September.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)


    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.

    Cited by:

    1. Rachel Ong & Gavin Wood & Melek Cigdem, 2013. "Work incentives and decisions to remain in paid work in Australia," Bankwest Curtin Economics Centre Working Paper series WP1312, Bankwest Curtin Economics Centre (BCEC), Curtin Business School.

    More about this item


    Labour Economics; Wages; Compensation; and Labor Costs; Public Policy;

    JEL classification:

    • J01 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - General - - - Labor Economics: General
    • J08 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - General - - - Labor Economics Policies
    • J38 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Wages, Compensation, and Labor Costs - - - Public Policy


    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:ozl:journl:v:13:y:2010:i:1:p:1-26. 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: (Alan Duncan). 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.