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Labour Market Inequalities: Problems and Policies of Low-Wage Employment in International Perspective


  • Gregory, Mary
    (University of Oxford)

  • Salverda, Wiemer
    (European Low-wage Employment Research Network LoWER)

  • Bazen, Stephen
    (University Montesquieu Bordeaux IV)


Low-skilled workers face a future of joblessness or low-wage, insecure employment as technological change and globalization impact on the advanced economies. 'The European social model' of collective bargaining, minimum wages, employment rights, and social welfare support is alternately cited as both cause and cure. The contributions to this book review the evidence and find that, while the European model cannot remedy adverse global trends affecting low-skilled workers, it does achieve significant success in moderating them. Collective bargaining and wage regulation reduce the incidence of low pay. Minimum wages at prevailing levels provide significant wage protection for more vulnerable workers, without substantial job losses. The significant 'jobs deficit' of Germany relative to the USA in low-wage services is not the outcome of excessively high German wages. Conversely, reliance on wage flexibility to create jobs for the low-skilled does not emerge as economically effective, and can no longer be regarded as the simple panacea.

Suggested Citation

  • Gregory, Mary & Salverda, Wiemer & Bazen, Stephen (ed.), 2000. "Labour Market Inequalities: Problems and Policies of Low-Wage Employment in International Perspective," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780199241699.
  • Handle: RePEc:oxp:obooks:9780199241699

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    Cited by:

    1. Colm McLaughlin, 2009. "The Productivity‚ÄźEnhancing Impacts of the Minimum Wage: Lessons from Denmark and New Zealand," British Journal of Industrial Relations, London School of Economics, vol. 47(2), pages 327-348, June.
    2. Giuliano Bonoli & Eric Crettaz, 2010. "Worlds of Working Poverty. Cross-national variation in the mechanisms that lead to poverty among workers," LIS Working papers 539, LIS Cross-National Data Center in Luxembourg.
    3. Damian GRIMSHAW, 2009. "Can more inclusive wage-setting institutions improve low-wage work? Pay trends in the United Kingdom's public-sector hospitals," International Labour Review, International Labour Organization, vol. 148(4), pages 439-459, December.

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