Conditions of Work and Employment Series No. 28

What do we know about low-wage work and low-wage workers? Analysing the definitions, patterns, causes and consequences in international perspective

This report presents a timely review of international studies on low-wage work. It reviews the alternative definitions of low-wage work and explores cross-national patterns and trends. Its analysis of causes and consequences is informed by the argument that the labour market is not a perfectly competitive market and a worker's wage is thus not the result of an equal market exchange. Instead, pay is shaped by a complex mix of factors including institutions, economic conditions and the characteristics of employers, jobs and workers.