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Internal Labour Markets in Australia:Evidence from the Survey of Education and Training Experience


  • Michael Dobbie

    () (Macquarie University)

  • Craig MacMillan

    (Macquarie University)


In recent years there has been important debate on the changing nature of the employment relationship, with some scholars claiming a significant weakening of the bond between employers and employees. An associated implication is that internal labour markets (ILMs) are becoming less prevalent in the economy. This paper uses data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics’ Survey of Education and Training Experience 1993-2005 to explore whether the bonds between employers and employees are weakening, and hence whether ILMs are being dismantled. Measures of job tenure, training expenditure and earnings are examined. Results indicate little or modest change in the first two measures. In addition the paper finds no evidence of a change in the average return to job tenure in earnings functions. On balance, the paper does not find a weakening in the relationship between employers and employees in Australia. This in turn suggests that ILMs are not of declining importance in the Australian labour market.

Suggested Citation

  • Michael Dobbie & Craig MacMillan, 2010. "Internal Labour Markets in Australia:Evidence from the Survey of Education and Training Experience," Australian Journal of Labour Economics (AJLE), Bankwest Curtin Economics Centre (BCEC), Curtin Business School, vol. 13(2), pages 137-154.
  • Handle: RePEc:ozl:journl:v:13:y:2010:i:2:p:137-154

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    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.
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    More about this item


    Wages; Compensation; and Labor Costs: General Monopsony; Segmented Labor Markets Labor Turnover; Vacancies; Layoffs;

    JEL classification:

    • J30 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Wages, Compensation, and Labor Costs - - - General
    • J42 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Particular Labor Markets - - - Monopsony; Segmented Labor Markets
    • J63 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers - - - Turnover; Vacancies; Layoffs


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