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Preface

The Social Challenge Ahead

Edited by Ulf Bernitz, Moa Mårtensson, Lars Oxelheim and Thomas Persson

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Ulf Bernitz, Moa Mårtensson, Lars Oxelheim and Thomas Persson

The introductory chapter provides an overview of the great social challenge that the EU currently faces. The editors raise the question of what can be done to bridge the prosperity gap in Europe. First, they briefly describe the background: the social dimension of European cooperation and its historical development. Second, they identify the new social challenges that the Union faces in the wake of the Great Recession, the ongoing refugee crisis, and the Brexit referendum. Third, an analytical point of departure for examining these challenges is presented, consisting of an interdisciplinary approach that pinpoints a number of overarching problems and possibilities associated with the social dimension of European integration. Fourth and finally, the book’s chapters are introduced, and their key policy recommendations are summarized. The chapter concludes with the argument that much of the EU’s future relevance and ability to stay together depends on its capacity to counteract the prosperity gap and reverse the negative trend that emerged during the crisis.

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Edited by Colin Fenwick and Valérie Van Goethem

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Colin Fenwick and Valérie Van Goethem

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Stefania Marino, Rinus Penninx and Judith Roosblad

The book offers an analysis of the relationship between trade unions, immigration and migrant workers across 11 European countries in the period between 1990 and 2015. This introductory chapter explains the editors’ approach to this study, which is based on the comparative framework as developed in an earlier book by Penninx and Roosblad in 2000. This framework is critically reconsidered and its validity is checked in the light of recent contextual changes. It informs the development of the main questions that will underpin both the structure and content of the 11 country cases and the comparative analysis presented in the concluding chapter. In addition, this introduction addresses relevant methodological aspects and outlines the structure of the book.

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Edited by Geraint Johnes, Jill Johnes, Tommaso Agasisti and Laura López-Torres

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Geraint Johnes, Jill Johnes and Laura López-Torres

The evaluation of the returns to investments in human capital has been at the core of the economics of education since the seminal work of Theodore Schultz published in 1961. The most significant methodological advances have come in parallel with more general developments in applied microeconometrics, such as the particular interest in issues of causality and unobserved heterogeneity. The new empirical findings document a widespread decline in rates of return to education over time. In this chapter we review some developments and present new international comparative results on the heterogeneity of returns to education. Apart from reviewing endogeneity and heterogeneity issues, we also pay attention to the main findings on return to early years education and returns to overeducation.

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Foreword

New Contexts and Challenges in Europe

Edited by Stefania Marino, Judith Roosblad and Rinus Penninx

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Foreword

New Contexts and Challenges in Europe

Edited by Stefania Marino, Judith Roosblad and Rinus Penninx

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Introduction: plan and scope of the book

What Can Be Done About Wealth Inequality?

Roger A. McCain

Sketches the plan of the book. Argues that wealth inequality is the basis of many other economic problems, noting that concentrations of wealth inevitably become concentrations of political power; this concentration of political power makes political democracy increasingly difficult to sustain; concentration of wealth inevitably creates instability and differences of social status, and inequality of wealth is the major cause of income inequality.