Structure and Determinants of Wage Relativities

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Drawing on the fields of labour economics and industrial relations, this book simultaneously applies human capital theory and institutional analysis, to an explanation of occupational and other wage differentials. This outstanding study contains a wealth of reference material on both the economic and normative determinants of wages. Destined to become a landmark study in the area of Australian wage determination, the book is an essential text for labour economists, industrial relations specialists, researchers and policy makers alike. Contents: Reflections on wage theory; Human capital model: a theoretical overview; Wages in practice: wage fixing in Australia; Human capital and earnings: a review of the literature; Determinants of male relative earnings; Determinants of female relative earnings; Equitable comparisons and spillover forces in wage determination; Summary and conclusion; Bibliography; Appendices; Index.
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Editorial Reviews

David Plowman
In this book Dr Preston explores both the economic and social determinants of wage rates. She has made a singular contribution to our understanding of social forces by providing hard nosed empirical evidence concerning those forces. The book should be on the reading list of all those seeking greater understanding of the wage phenomenon in industrial societies.
Paul Miller
Alison Preston's book combines insights from the economics and industrial relations literature to provide a thorough study of the system of wage determination in Australia. It is a very useful reference for anyone seeking informaton on the working of the Australian labour market.
Roy Green
Alison Preston draws on a rich tradition of political economy to cast a new light on the institutional and economic factors determining wage behaviour in the modern labour market. This book is a perceptive and original contribution to the literature.
William Brown
...well written...tackles a substantial set of issues with authoritative command of both analytical techniques and of the very large relevant literature. It amounts to a substantial and original contribution to knowledge....exceptional.
Based largely on her Ph.D. dissertation for the University of Western Australia, Preston (Curtin U. of Technology) seeks to bridge the gap between how industrial relations and labor economics identify and measure the determinants of wages, an integration she finds crucial if scholarship is to influence policy wisely. Though the Australian labor market is the focus of her study, she asserts that the determinants there are not unique, and her findings should be applicable elsewhere as well. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780754612445
  • Publisher: Ashgate Publishing, Limited
  • Publication date: 5/1/2001
  • Pages: 282
  • Product dimensions: 6.14 (w) x 8.78 (h) x 0.79 (d)

Table of Contents

List of Figures
List of Tables
List of Cases Cited
List of Abbreviations and Acronyms
1 Reflections on Wage Theory 1
2 Human Capital Model: A Theoretical Overview 10
3 Wages in Practice: Wage Fixing in Australia 36
4 Human Capital and Earnings: A Review of the Literature 91
5 Determinants of Male Relative Earnings 132
6 Determinants of Female Relative Earnings 155
7 Equitable Comparisons and Spillover Forces in Wage Determination 169
8 Summary and Conclusion 193
Bibliography 203
App. A Human Capital and Earnings, a Summary of the Australian Empirical Literature 221
App. B Measuring Gender Wage Discrimination 249
App. C Definition of Variables used in Chapters 5 and 6 254
App. D Variable Definitions and Computations Associated with Chapter 7 260
Index 266
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