South African Journal of Economic and Management Sciences, Vol 16, No 5 (2013)

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Labour market reform and potential inequality of outcomes: The Australian story

Alexis Esposto

Abstract


The global knowledge economy has transformed the world of work in the last four decades. Over the last 40 years the Australian economy underwent major structural change a phenomenon that was initiated in the United Kingdom and the United States in the 1980s. This paper discusses and analyses institutional change characterised by the decentralisation of collective bargaining structures that began in the early 1980s. The paper analyses the impact of these reforms by providing a simple analysis of job creation over a thirty year period. The paper concludes that institutional labour market change can at times produce negative welfare outcomes, particularly as it relates to employment creation. The impact of these effects is increasing inequality of earnings in the labour force.


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EISSN 2222-3436 (Online)