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How Much Do Tradespersons Really Earn?

Listed author(s):
  • Tom Karmel


    (Flinders University)

  • Ben Braysher

    (National Centre for Vocational Education Research)

Registered author(s):

    A popular view is that tradespersons’ earnings compare favourably with those with university education. This view is not borne out by wage data, but a common rejoinder is that it is the self-employed tradespersons who make the ‘big’ money (and probably under-report their income). These ideas are examined by analysing household expenditure data in conjunction with income data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics’ Household Expenditure Survey and the Survey of Income and Housing. The data also allow us to look at wealth across occupations. Our findings are that neither expenditure data nor wealth data change significantly the relativities between the trades and occupations more associated with higher education. While no doubt there are some very rich tradespersons, on average those with university degrees earn more than those with trade qualifications. And there is little evidence to suggest than on average self-employed tradespeople ‘do better’ than those who are employees.

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    Article provided by Bankwest Curtin Economics Centre (BCEC), Curtin Business School in its journal Australian Journal of Labour Economics (AJLE).

    Volume (Year): 18 (2015)
    Issue (Month): 3 ()
    Pages: 329-344

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    Handle: RePEc:ozl:journl:v:18:y:2015:i:3:p:329-344
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