The Economics of Wage Controls by K. Holden, etc., D. Peel, John L. Thompson

By K. Holden, etc., D. Peel, John L. Thompson

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There was an immediate 20 per cent devaluation of the New Zealand dollar followed in December 1984 by the freeing of exchange controls. Interest rates which had previously been regulated were also freed. The New Zealand dollar was floated from March 1985. The implications that these policies have for wage and price determination remain to be seen. 6 AUSTRALIA While superficially Australia differs from the United Kingdom and the United States in having a small population (around 15 million in 1980) for a large area (32 times greater than the United Kingdom or approximately the same size as the United States excluding Alaska) it exhibits many of the characteristics of other industrial economies.

However, while the flexibility of dummy variables has its attractions, their introduction is frequently limited by the number of observations available on the data. 7). The second approach to measuring the impact of incomes policies is to split the available data into those periods when incomes policies are in operation (policy-on) and those when there are no incomes policies (policy-off). 7), is estimated for each period and the resulting coefficients are compared to see if the incomes policies have any effect.

The opposition Labour Party agreed a Statement of Accord on economic policy with the Australian Council of Trade Unions in February 1983. This took on importance in the following month when the Labour Party, headed by Mr Hawke, won the federal election. The Australian dollar was devalued by 10 per cent. A national economic summit conference was held in April and resulted in an agreement to return to centralised wage fixing and to set up a prices surveillance authority. In September 1983 the return to half-yearly indexation was confirmed in the decision on the national wage case and the pay pause ended.

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