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Households, Individuals and Low Wages


  • Sue Richardson

    (School of Economics, University of Adelaide)


The purpose of this paper is to explore the case for viewing people as individuals, in a public policy context, and the case for viewing them as members of a family. In doing so, the author starts with the facts about low wage workers, unemployed workers and the welfare system. Section 3 explores wages as a return to the individual and as a support for the household. Section 4 examines the meaning of 'needs' and the role of wages in meeting them. Then the author examines on what basis should we be concerned if wages at the bottom end fall to low levels. A final section briefly draws conclusions.

Suggested Citation

  • Sue Richardson, 1998. "Households, Individuals and Low Wages," School of Economics Working Papers 1998-18, University of Adelaide, School of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:adl:wpaper:1998-18

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    More about this item


    wages; individuals; household;

    JEL classification:

    • D10 - Microeconomics - - Household Behavior - - - General
    • J17 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Value of Life; Foregone Income
    • J30 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Wages, Compensation, and Labor Costs - - - General


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