This book provides in-depth and innovative analysis of the minimum wage in Europe. Labor economist Daniel Vaughan-Whitehead looks at its scope within the enlarged EU and poses the question of harmonization between the minimum wages of the individual member states—or even a common EU minimum wage. The book also explores the role of the minimum wage at the national level, looking at trends and effects, with case studies on specific national policy issues or industrial sectors.
Minimum wage fixing has returned to the core of policy debates, as illustrated by the adoption of a statutory minimum wage by Austria, Ireland, and the UK and ongoing discussions in Germany and Sweden. Proposals to have common rules at the EU level have also multiplied since EU enlargement, in particular to minimize “social dumping”—the practice of exporting goods from countries with poor labor standards. Bringing together 15 national studies from noted European specialists in the field, this timely collection aims to stimulate the current debate.