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Faculty of Economics

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Brown, W.

The Australian Accord from an international perspective

Journal of Industrial Relations

Vol. 56 no. 2 pp. 308-317 (2014)

Abstract: This article places the Australian ‘Accord’ incomes and prices policy of the 1980s and 1990s in an international historical perspective. It discusses the policy responses to the inflationary crisis of the 1970s in the United States, Canada and the United Kingdom and the lessons that might have been learnt from that experience. The then disorderly and inflationary state of workplace bargaining in Australia is compared with a similar contemporary situation in the United Kingdom. It is argued that the Accord provided the vehicle for a politically skilful and successful transition of Australia’s unique wage fixing system to one better adapted for an internationally competitive economy. It concludes by questioning whether Australia has the institutional infrastructure to cope with comparable adjustments in future.

Keywords: Comparative industrial relations, economic change, industrial relations, Labour Party, political economy, wage bargaining

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