*Victoria Institute of
*Strategic Economic Studies
* * * *



Work Rich, Work Poor: Inequality and Economic Change in Australia (2001)

The past decade has seen conflicting trends in Australian economic and social life. Average real incomes have risen, property and share markets are buoyant and many groups are living very well. Yet, for other individuals, families and regions, good jobs have disappeared and family incomes have fallen, generating real hardship and a much greater reliance on the social security system. Regional problems, political volatility and evident social distress signal serious issues beneath the illusion of shared prosperity.

Work Rich, Work Poor is an authoritative study of many aspects of this national paradox, and brings together the work of many of Australia’s leading experts in social and economic analysis. The central focus is on jobs and earnings, and on the increasingly unequal distribution of different types of jobs, and of earnings within job types. In this wide-ranging book, various authors explore different aspects of increasing inequality in the Australian labour market and draw out some of the social implications of recent trends.

The massive changes in the distribution of jobs and earnings over the past two decades are creating deep social divisions within the Australian community. These deepening divisions raise fundamental questions, both about the emerging nature of Australian society and about our long-term economic and social strategies.

Edited by Jeff Borland, Bob Gregory and Peter Sheehan Published September 2001 $A34.95 ISBN 1-86272-583-7 (Includes 252 pages, 101 tables and 49 figures and charts)

To order this publication contact vises@vu.edu.au

Table of Contents

1 Inequality and economic change Jeff Borland, Bob Gregory and Peter Sheehan
2 Family income inequality, Nick Pappas
3 The causes of increased earnings inequality: The international literature, Peter Sheehan
4 Immigrant employment and economic change in Australia, R.G. Gregory and Xin Meng
5 Wives and mothers: The labour-market experiences of immigrant women, Deborah A. Cobb-Clark and Marie D. Connolly
6 Low-paid employment in the Australian labour market, 1995–97 Yvonne Dunlop
7 The polarisation of families, Andrew Burbidge and Peter Sheehan
8 Job stability and job security, Jeff Borland
9 Precarious employment and occupational change, Sally Weller and Michael Webber
10 Earnings inequality and skill, Nick Pappas
11 Technology, skills and earnings inequality: A new approach to understanding the characteristics of jobs, Peter Sheehan and Alexis Esposto