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Life on the Minimum Wage in Australia: An Empirical Investigation

Alfred Dockery, Richard Seymour and Rachel Ong
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Rachel Ong: Curtin University

Authors registered in the RePEc Author Service: Rachel Ong ViforJ ()

Australian Journal of Labour Economics (AJLE), 2010, vol. 13, issue 1, 1-26

Abstract: From 2006 to 2009, Federal minimum wages in Australia were set by the Australian Fair Pay Commission. This paper uses data from the Household, Income and Labour Dynamics in Australia panel survey to investigate the circumstances of persons who are paid at or near the minimum wage, and thus potentially affected by the wage determinations. Net disposable incomes for actual and potential minimum wage workers are modelled in and out of work to investigate the implications of the wage determinations on work incentives. In addition, a range of measures of socioeconomic status and wellbeing are inspected. Comparisons are made with selected groups of non-employed persons and those with higher earnings to highlight the potential costs and benefits for affected individuals, and hence the potential trade-offs faced in setting minimum wages if we accept that increases in minimum wages reduce employment opportunities.

Keywords: Labour Economics; Wages, Compensation, and Labour Costs; Public Policy (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: J01 J08 J38 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2010
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