Work Inequalities in the Crisis

Work Inequalities in the Crisis

Evidence from Europe

Edited by Daniel Vaughan-Whitehead

This book offers a unique combination of research, case studies and policy discussions. An assessment of national trends in 30 European countries precedes case studies of 14 of them, in which noted European specialists report on individual enterprises or sectors. The volume’s survey of national- and local-level policy solutions contributes to identifying those responses that strengthen economic competitiveness, preserve social cohesion and do not deepen inequalities.

Chapter 1: Introduction: Has the Crisis Exacerbated Work Inequalities?

Daniel Vaughan-Whitehead

Subjects: economics and finance, labour economics, social policy and sociology, economics of social policy


Daniel Vaughan-Whitehead* INTRODUCTION 1. International meetings on the crisis and possible recovery have emphasized the need to address inequalities, alongside the need to generate the requisite economic conditions. The ILO and the IMF, in a joint document presented in 2010 at a joint conference on the crisis and prospective recovery, warned about the employment and social effects of the crisis: In the wake of the current crisis there is an emerging view about the importance of growing inequality as one of the causes of global crises past and present. . . . it is vital to ensure that exit strategies are linked to a progressive recovery of the real economy and jobs and are fair in the sharing of the benefits and burdens of adjustment, especially in the protection of the most vulnerable. (ILO-IMF 2010: 8) Inequalities in the world of work have unquestionably been affected by the crisis, although the effects vary from country to country and in accordance with policy responses to the crisis. This book is aimed at providing an in-depth account of the effects of the crisis on inequalities in the world of work. Has the crisis exacerbated existing inequalities? Has it introduced new tensions and disparities to the labour market? And what types of policies, institutions and initiatives do we need to tackle such issues successfully? We have sought to study work inequalities in a multi-dimensional fashion, looking at the effects of the crisis in a variety of complementary areas: employment, wages and incomes, working conditions and social...