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Labour Market Deregulation in Australia: The slow combustion approach to workplace change

Author

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  • Iain Campbell
  • Peter Brosnan

Abstract

Since the beginning of the 1990s Australia has experienced a gradual but far-reaching process of labour market deregulation. Labour market deregulation has proceeded primarily through the dismantling of the distinctive system of awards-the main avenue of external, protective regulation in Australia for much of the 20th century. This paper examines labour market deregulation and its implications for the Australian workforce. It situates the changes in terms of their institutional starting point in the award system and the growing pressures in the 1980s for increased labour market flexibility. It argues that labour market deregulation is amplifying existing trends to growth in precarious employment, wage dispersion and the development of a low-pay sector amongst full-time employees. In addition, it is sponsoring a significant fragmentation of working-time arrangements.

Suggested Citation

  • Iain Campbell & Peter Brosnan, 1999. "Labour Market Deregulation in Australia: The slow combustion approach to workplace change," International Review of Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 13(3), pages 353-394.
  • Handle: RePEc:taf:irapec:v:13:y:1999:i:3:p:353-394
    DOI: 10.1080/026921799101599
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Borland, Jeff & Wilkins, Roger, 1996. "Earnings Inequality in Australia," The Economic Record, The Economic Society of Australia, vol. 72(216), pages 7-23, March.
    2. Stephen Nickell, 1997. "Unemployment and Labor Market Rigidities: Europe versus North America," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 11(3), pages 55-74, Summer.
    3. repec:sae:ecolab:v:5:y:1994:i:1:p:62-80 is not listed on IDEAS
    4. Dawkins, Peter, 1996. "The Distribution of Work in Australia," The Economic Record, The Economic Society of Australia, vol. 72(218), pages 272-286, September.
    5. Keith Hancock & J. E. Isaac, 1992. "Australian Experiments in Wage Policy," British Journal of Industrial Relations, London School of Economics, vol. 30(2), pages 213-236, June.
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    Cited by:

    1. Mark Wooden & Joanne Loundes & Yi-Ping Tseng, 2002. "Industrial Relations Reform and Business Performance: An Introduction," Melbourne Institute Working Paper Series wp2002n02, Melbourne Institute of Applied Economic and Social Research, The University of Melbourne.
    2. Yi-Ping Tseng & Mark Wooden, 2001. "Enterprise Bargaining and Productivity: Evidence from the Business Longitudinal Survey," Melbourne Institute Working Paper Series wp2001n08, Melbourne Institute of Applied Economic and Social Research, The University of Melbourne.
    3. repec:lan:wpaper:3170 is not listed on IDEAS
    4. Danielle Venn, 2003. "Non-standard work timing: evidence from the Australian Time Use Survey," Department of Economics - Working Papers Series 866, The University of Melbourne.
    5. Gudrun Biffl & Joseph E. Isaac, 2002. "How Effective are the ILO's Labour Standards under Globalisation?," WIFO Working Papers 178, WIFO.
    6. repec:lan:wpaper:2921 is not listed on IDEAS
    7. Colin Green & Parvinder Kler & Gareth Leeves, 2010. "Flexible Contract Workers in Inferior Jobs: Reappraising the Evidence," British Journal of Industrial Relations, London School of Economics, vol. 48(3), pages 605-629, September.
    8. Elizabeth Webster & Yi-Ping Tseng, 2002. "The Determinants of Relative Wage Change in Australia," Australian Economic Review, The University of Melbourne, Melbourne Institute of Applied Economic and Social Research, vol. 35(1), pages 70-84.
    9. John Burgess & Iain Campbell & Robyn May, 2008. "Pathways from Casual Employment to Economic Security: the Australian Experience," Social Indicators Research: An International and Interdisciplinary Journal for Quality-of-Life Measurement, Springer, vol. 88(1), pages 161-178, August.
    10. Mark Wooden & Diana Warren, 2003. "The Characteristics of Casual and Fixed-Term Employment: Evidence from the HILDA Survey," Melbourne Institute Working Paper Series wp2003n15, Melbourne Institute of Applied Economic and Social Research, The University of Melbourne.

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