In this Policy Brief Thorsten Schulten – researcher at the WSI in the Hans-Böckler Foundation and widely acknowledged as one of Europe’s foremost expert on the subject – analyses recent trends in minimum wages across Europe in the light of the economic crisis. In most European countries, workers earning the minimum wage suffered losses – in some cases quite considerable losses – in real pay. This reflects not least the fact that, in the context of austerity policies, minimum wage policy has been used to slow overall wage increases. This has served to exacerbate the demand-depressing effects of austerity policies and is one factor behind the economic stagnation that much of Europe is experiencing.

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