The Impact of trade unions on work related training in Australia

Michael Dobbie, Daehoon Nahm, Craig MacMillan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This paper uses data from the Household, Income and Labour Dynamics Survey in Australia (2009-2014) to examine the role played by unions in workplace training. We focus on the incidence, intensity, transferability of training, as well as associated wage effects. We find that there is some evidence that unions have a positive effect on the incidence and transferability of training. We find no evidence of a union effect on training intensity. We also find that unions influence wage growth in a way that is consistent with the view that unions trade off wage growth for training opportunities. Our results are not consistent with the predicted role on unions in the standard Becker model. They are consistent with predictions about union influence in imperfectly competitive labour markets, or with the idea that unions directly negotiate better training opportunities.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)263-290
Number of pages28
JournalAustralian Journal of Labour Economics
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2017


  • Union training effects
  • Training incidence
  • Training intensity
  • Transferable skills


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