Labour Markets, Institutions and Inequality: Building just societies in the 21st century

“Good governance, social stabilization and economic justice are not luxuries that weigh down and impede the process of development. They are the essence of development itself. This book provides the documentation required to carry the point.” From the Foreword by James K. Galbraith

Labour market institutions, including collective bargaining, the regulation of employment contracts, and pension and other social protection policies, are instrumental for improving the well-being of workers and their families as well as societies. Yet in many countries, these institutions have been eroded; in other countries, they do not exist. This edited volume examines the importance of these institutions for ensuring equitable income distribution, including with empirical examples from both developed and developing countries. It also analyses the connections between macroeconomic policies and inequality as well as how specific groups – women, migrant workers, youths – are affected by labour market institutions. Co-published with Edward Elgar.

“A defining feature of recent decades has been the rise in income inequality within many, but certainly not all, countries, and perhaps most spectacularly in the US and UK. The reigning explanation remains the orthodox story that it’s all about supply and demand…. A powerful and welcome antidote, the essays in this fine book make the case that strong institutions are not only ‘the building blocks of just societies’, but can be, if well designed, fully consistent with high employment and dynamic economies.” –David R. Howell, New School for Public Engagement, USA

“The worrying trend of growing inequality was the major theme of Davos in January 2014. In this well-researched and argued volume Janine Berg and her colleagues show convincingly how neglect for distributional concerns and equitable growth policies in macroeconomic policies and labour market policies led to this worrying trend, why a refocusing on distributional issues and equitable growth policies is urgently needed and what needs to be done to achieve that. A must-read for concerned politicians, industrialists, trade unions and researchers.” –Rolph van der Hoeven, International Institute of Social Studies, Erasmus University, The Hague, the Netherlands

Book Launch, 3 March 2015