Although the economic crisis that started in 2008 hit all EU member states hard, the impact of the crisis on employment, unemployment, earnings and inequality varied considerably. This paper analyses the variation in the consequences of the crisis among the member states of the EU. First, it discusses some theoretical views on the impact of the crisis on earnings and income distribution. Next, it gives a concise overview of empirical studies, based on data from previous business cycles.

Paul de Beer is Henri Polak Professor of industrial relations at the University of Amsterdam, affiliated with the Amsterdam Institute for Advanced Labour Studies and scientific director of De Burcht, research bureau of the Dutch trade union movement.

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