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Labour market theory is being challenged by new micro-data about real people, showing the inadequateness of neoclassical paradigm, breaking the path for the new evolutionary approach.


How much more the rich should earn than the poor? A survey of opinion and facts

Using survey data from 40 countries (N = 55,238), we compare respondents’ estimates of the wages of people in different occupations—chief executive officers, cabinet ministers, and unskilled workers—to their ideals for what those wages should be. We show that ideal pay gaps between skilled and unskilled workers are significantly smaller than estimated pay gaps and that there is consensus across countries, socioeconomic status, and political beliefs. Moreover, data from 16 countries reveals that people dramatically underestimate actual pay inequality. In the United States—where underestimation was particularly pronounced—the actual pay ratio of CEOs to unskilled workers (354:1) far exceeded the estimated ratio (30:1), which in turn far exceeded the ideal ratio (7:1).

In sum, respondents underestimate actual pay gaps, and their ideal pay gaps are even further from reality than those


Employment and Social Developments in Europe 2014: wide-ranging and well-crafted analyses, intrepretations and policy suggestions (Jan 2015) - Our EWI director has been invited to comment this European Commission book in the related Expert Conference in Brussels

Working poor - below a Living wage - empirical UK survey and policy proposals (2014)

Essay: When the poor pay more than the rich (2014)

This paper presents eleven groups of reasons and conditions under which, painfully surprisingly, the poor has to pay a higher price than the rich for the same good or for the same fulfillment of a need. This is conducive to devise innovative anti-poverty policies and business practices.


Effective hours worked during a business cycle: 1998-2013 (28 countries)

Jobs, Salaries and Inequality in Argentina: An Analysis of Distributional Determinants , republished from the free PROBLEMAS DEL DESARROLLO. REVISTA LATINOAMERICANA DE ECONOMÍA


Happiness gains from sorting and matching in the labor market

The labour policies taken in 2009 to cope with the crisis: a world survey by ILO

Minimum wage, exports, and foreign direct investment: empirical analysis and the discourse of powers

An investigation of empirical relations demistifies an all too common discourse claiming that a minimum wage increase would negatively affect the competitiveness of the country. Power and influence on media is used to distort the truth to control society. This is not a good-faith mistake but an effort of discourse fights on the economic unfairness and social-class discrimination, which is the root of Thailand’s structural problems.


Towards an Evolutionary Interpretation of Aggregate Labor Market Regularities


A Search Model of Unemployment and Firm Dynamics

An agent-based model of labour market with unemployment and endogenous entrepreneurship.

Key concepts











Exchange rate




Degree of difficulty


Key data

Undeclared work and envelope wages: a large European survey


Wage microdata: a random sample with age, education, sex, marital status, sector, occupation and other variables

MS Excel

WHIP: Huge micro-data archive of 370 000 labour market histories

Site Download

Comparative time series for employment, unemployment, labour force and working-age population in 28 countries (1981-2003)

Europe, Asia, America and Oceania covered.

MS Excel


2004-2005 World employment report

Interactive software

2004 Labour market levels and trends in all countries of the world: employment and unemployment in the general population, the youth, the women

MS Excel [1200 KB]

Comparable wages for 162 jobs in 132 countries

The MS Excel file with a user-friendly interface of the excellent dataset by Freeman - Oostendorp. Long-term time-series from 1983 to 1999. This data set allows for comparison of wages across countries for the same job, over time, underlining the differences between skilled and unskilled works.

MS Excel [2.9 MB]

Empirical survey on vacancies and future skill needs



Daily time spent on different activities by employment status, sex, and age

MS Excel [19 KB]


Wages for 22 500 jobs across all industries

The wage distribution with means and medians for a huge number of jobs. How much does a lawyer earn? How many times is he paid more than a food preparation worker? Discover wage inequality thanks to an authoritative US dataset.

MS Excel [2.4 MB]


Wages in New York

A city wage distribution.

MS Excel [79 KB]


Quality of working life: A review on changes in work organization, conditions of employment and work-life arrangements

World ILO survey


Wage Differentials and International Trade in Italy Using Individual Micro Data



Industry-level output, employment, costs, investment, capital stocks over 38 years

An excellent dataset for studying the evolution of hundreds of industries.

MS Excel [4 MB]

Employment in Poland 2005

A lengthy non-technical assessment of reasons and remedies to labour market issues.




The global labour standards controversy - Critical issues for developing countries

This policy study addresses the arguments that trade with developing countries is the main source of the troubles afflicting large numbers of workers in the North and that low wages in developing countries give developing countries an unfair competitive edge over business in the North.

Such beliefs have led to efforts by Northern trade unions, sections of the North’s business sector and their governments to seek international measures to enforce labour standards in the South. Trade unions urge such measures on the grounds that these would ensure respect for human rights in the South and would help prevent a ‘race to the bottom’ in global labour standards.




Labour relations and quality of work life

and other studies



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