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Union Effects and Earnings Dispersion in Australia, 1986-1994


  • Jeff Borland

    (Australian National University)


In Australia, a large decline in union density has occurred since the mid-1970's. This paper examines the relation between the decline in union density and the dispersion of earnings in Australia between 1986 and 1994. Changes in union density are found to be associated with an increase in earnings dispersion for male employees over this period, but do not appear to be strongly related to changes in earnings dispersion for female employees. The main cause of changes in earnings dispersion for both male and female employees has been an increase in the dispersion of earnings of nonunion employees.

Suggested Citation

  • Jeff Borland, 1994. "Union Effects and Earnings Dispersion in Australia, 1986-1994," Canadian International Labour Network Working Papers 04, McMaster University.
  • Handle: RePEc:mcm:cilnwp:04

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. David Card, 1992. "The Effect of Unions on the Distribution of Wages: Redistribution or Relabelling?," NBER Working Papers 4195, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    2. Borland, Jeff & Ouliaris, S, 1994. "The Determinants of Australian Trade Union Membership," Journal of Applied Econometrics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 9(4), pages 453-468, Oct.-Dec..
    3. Miller, Paul & Mulvey, Charles, 1993. "What Do Australians Unions Do?," The Economic Record, The Economic Society of Australia, vol. 69(206), pages 315-342, September.
    4. Borland, Jeff & Wilkins, Roger, 1996. "Earnings Inequality in Australia," The Economic Record, The Economic Society of Australia, vol. 72(216), pages 7-23, March.
    5. Jeff Borland, 1991. "Incomes Policies in Australia," Australian Economic Review, The University of Melbourne, Melbourne Institute of Applied Economic and Social Research, vol. 24(2), pages 45-50.
    6. Kenyon, Peter D & Lewis, Philip E T, 1992. "Trade Union Membership and the Accord," Australian Economic Papers, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 31(59), pages 325-345, December.
    7. Richard B. Freeman, 1991. "How Much Has De-Unionisation Contributed to the Rise in Male Earnings Inequality?," NBER Working Papers 3826, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    8. Juhn, Chinhui & Murphy, Kevin M & Pierce, Brooks, 1993. "Wage Inequality and the Rise in Returns to Skill," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 101(3), pages 410-442, June.
    9. 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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