1st Edition

The Structure and Determinants of Wage Relativities Evidence from Australia

By Alison Preston Copyright 2001

    This title was first published in 2001. 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.


    Alison C. Preston is Co-director, Women's Economic Policy Analysis Unit, Curtin Business School, Curtin University of Technology, Perth, Australia and Co-editor of the Australian Journal of Labour Economics.

    ’...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.’ Professor William Brown. University of Cambridge, UK ’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 information on the working of the Australian labour market.’ Professor Paul Miller, University of Western Australia ’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.’ Professor David Plowman, Director, University of Western Australia ’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.’ Professor Roy Green, Head, Department of Management, NUI Galway, Ireland