Conditions of Work and Employment Series No. 29

Estimating a living wage: A methodological review

The paper embarks on a comprehensive and critical review of the definitions and measurement methods of a living wage that have been used across the world by a range of institutions – from international organizations to cities, NGOs and companies – in the past decade. For each methodology, the corresponding assumptions and parameters are critically appraised. Based on this review, suggestions are put forward about possible ways to improve the estimation of a living wage and come up with a standard methodology.