The minimum wage revisited in the enlarged EU

This book assesses the renewed interest in the minimum wage in Europe, looking at the main explanatory factors alongside EU enlargement and the advent of globalization. Through 15 country studies and thematic case studies, it explores the national issues surrounding the minimum wage and identifies concrete effects of minimum wage fixing on employment, low pay, wage disparity, collective bargaining and migration. The volume concludes with policy options and raises the possibility of a minimum wage - or at least some common rules - at EU level.

This book provides in-depth and innovative analysis of the minimum wage in Europe, looking at its scope within the enlarged EU and posing the question of harmonization between the minimum wages of the individual Member States - or even a common EU minimum wage. It 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 quite prominently to the core of policy debates, as illustrated by the adoption of a statutory minimum wage by Austria, Ireland and the United Kingdom, and the ongoing discussions in Germany and Sweden. Proposals to have common rules at EU level have also multiplied since EU enlargement, in particular to minimize 'social dumping'. Bringing together 15 national studies from noted European specialists in the field, this timely collection aims to stimulate the current debate.