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Measuring Minimum Award Wage Reliance in Australia: The HILDA Survey Experience

Author

Listed:
  • Roger Wilkins

    () (Melbourne Institute of Applied Economic and Social Research, The University of Melbourne)

  • Mark Wooden

    () (Melbourne Institute of Applied Economic and Social Research, The University of Melbourne)

Abstract

An important group of interest for industrial tribunals in Australia is those workers who are reliant on awards for their pay and other employment conditions. Research on award reliance and its consequences, however, has long been hampered by the lack of good quality microdata. Most obviously, there are relatively few data sets in Australia that identify the method by which pay is set and also provide detailed information about individuals and the households in which they live. The HILDA Survey, however, is an exception to this, with information about award reliance, and methods of pay setting more generally, being collected for the first time in its 8th survey wave (in 2008). This paper reviews the quality of the data on award reliance that is being collected from this source. It then provides two examples of how these data can inform policy-relevant research questions: (i) to what extent are award-reliant workers found living in income-poor households; and (ii) what role does award reliance play in contributing to the gender pay gap? The results confirm that award-reliant workers are not especially concentrated in poor households, and that for award-reliant workers there is no evidence of any gender-based pay gap.

Suggested Citation

  • Roger Wilkins & Mark Wooden, 2011. "Measuring Minimum Award Wage Reliance in Australia: The HILDA Survey Experience," Melbourne Institute Working Paper Series wp2011n11, Melbourne Institute of Applied Economic and Social Research, The University of Melbourne.
  • Handle: RePEc:iae:iaewps:wp2011n11
    as

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    File URL: http://melbourneinstitute.unimelb.edu.au/downloads/working_paper_series/wp2011n11.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Richardson, S., 1998. "Who Gets Minimum Wages?," CEPR Discussion Papers 386, Centre for Economic Policy Research, Research School of Economics, Australian National University.
    2. Andrew Leigh, 2007. "Does Raising the Minimum Wage Help the Poor?," The Economic Record, The Economic Society of Australia, vol. 83(263), pages 432-445, December.
    3. Juan D. Barón & Deborah A. Cobb-Clark, 2010. "Occupational Segregation and the Gender Wage Gap in Private- and Public-Sector Employment: A Distributional Analysis," The Economic Record, The Economic Society of Australia, vol. 86(273), pages 227-246, June.
    4. van Wanrooy, B., 2009. "Women at Work in Australia: Bargaining a Better Position?," Australian Bulletin of Labour, National Institute of Labour Studies, vol. 35(4), pages 611-628.
    5. Nicole Watson & Mark Wooden, 2010. "The HILDA Survey: Progress and Future Developments," Australian Economic Review, The University of Melbourne, Melbourne Institute of Applied Economic and Social Research, vol. 43(3), pages 326-336.
    6. Mark Wooden & Nicole Watson, 2007. "The HILDA Survey and its Contribution to Economic and Social Research (So Far)," The Economic Record, The Economic Society of Australia, vol. 83(261), pages 208-231, June.
    7. MARK WOODEN & ROGER WILKINS & SEAMUS McGUINNESS, 2007. "Minimum Wages And The ‘Working Poor’," Economic Papers, The Economic Society of Australia, vol. 26(4), pages 295-307, December.
    8. Paul W. Miller, 2005. "The Role of Gender among Low-Paid and High-Paid Workers," Australian Economic Review, The University of Melbourne, Melbourne Institute of Applied Economic and Social Research, vol. 38(4), pages 405-417, December.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Award reliance; Australia; gender pay equity; HILDA Survey; income distribution; minimum wages;

    JEL classification:

    • J31 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Wages, Compensation, and Labor Costs - - - Wage Level and Structure; Wage Differentials
    • J50 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Labor-Management Relations, Trade Unions, and Collective Bargaining - - - General
    • D31 - Microeconomics - - Distribution - - - Personal Income and Wealth Distribution

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