Lisa Dorigatti, Roberto Pedersini

Inequality has been a growing concern in recent years. The internationalisation of production and markets, the rampant financialisation of the economy, the deregulation of labour markets, and the retrenchment of welfare systems are only some of the factors that have been feeding into increased inequality in terms of income, property, job security, and working and living conditions. The weakening of industrial relations institutions has also been regarded as part of this broad picture, since trade unions and collective bargaining have usually been considered as vehicles of fairness and capable of reducing or at least containing inequality (see for instance the recent book edited by Daniel Vaughan-Whitehead, Reducing inequalities in Europe: How industrial relations and labour policies can close the gap, Edward Elgar-ILO, 2018). This issue of Transfer intends to contribute to this strand of research by investigating the analytical premises and the empirical evidence of such claims.

The introductory article by the editors of the issue provides a framework to investigate the relationship between industrial relations and inequality. By distinguishing between the impact on inequality among workers (the intra-class dimension) and the distributional effect between workers and employers (or labour and capital, the inter-class dimension), it identifies whether, under which conditions and to what extent we should expect industrial relations to reduce inequality. After presenting this framework, it then offers an overview of the literature assessing the evidence on the actual links between industrial relations and inequality, as well as of the specific contributions of this issue read more...

The full issue can be found → here

Co-editors: Philippe Pochet, Vera Šćepanović, Maarten Keune


Table of contents

Transfer - volume 27 Issue 1, February 2021