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Living Wages Around the World

Manual for Measurement

Richard Anker and Martha Anker

This manual describes a new methodology to measure a decent but basic standard of living in different countries and how much workers need to earn to afford this, making it possible for researchers to estimate comparable living wages around the world and determine gaps between living wages and prevailing wages, even in countries with limited secondary data.
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Acknowledgments

Richard Anker and Martha Anker

There are many people and organizations to thank, because this manual is based on more than 10 years of work on measuring living wages. We would like to thank Tiffany and Company who we have worked with closely for close to 10 years and is committed to paying a living wage to workers in their diamond polishing factories in developing countries. They got us started on developing a methodology for estimating location-specific living wages.

We, of course, need to thank members of the Global Living Wage Coalition (GLWC) who we have worked closely with for the past three years on living wages (Fairtrade International, Forest Stewardship Council, GoodWeave International, Rainforest Alliance, Sustainable Agricultural Network, Social Accountability International, UTZ, and the ISEAL Alliance). These organizations had the vision and courage to include living wages in their standards and to work together on this. Their support has helped broaden and clarify our work on living wages and now to support an ever increasing number of living wage studies and estimates using our methodology. In particular, we would like to single out Wilbert Flinterman of Fairtrade International who first approached us to extend our methodology to products that Fairtrade certifies and to gain wider acceptance for this methodology. Our work on living wages and this manual have benefited greatly from his vision, advice, and support. We would also like to thank Michelle Bhattacharyya and Kristin Komives for their leadership of the GLWC, and members of the GLWC management group, which has included Oliver Bach, Rohini Barreto, Philip Chambers, Wilbert Flinterman, Mariecke van der Glas, Noura Hanna, Alex Katz, Zachary Kiarie, Biko Nagara, and Stephanie Wilson.

There are many people over the years whose insights and inputs we have benefited from and it is impossible to list them all. There are also the many excellent researchers from a score of countries from whom we continue to learn who have used or are currently using our methodology to estimate living wages for their country. We would like to thank Nicole Anker for her excellent work reviewing national laws on in kind benefits, and Philippe Hein who made insightful comments on an earlier draft of this manual.

Funding for this manual has come from the Dutch and German governments as well as from Fairtrade International, Forest Stewardship Council, Sustainable Agricultural Network, Rainforest Alliance, and UTZ.