1st Edition

Minimum Wage Regimes Statutory Regulation, Collective Bargaining and Adequate Levels

    304 Pages 37 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    304 Pages 37 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    This book goes beyond traditional minimum wage research to investigate the interplay between different country and sectoral institutional settings and actors’ strategies in the field of minimum wage policies.

    It asks which strategies and motives, namely free collective bargaining, fair pay and/or minimum income protection, are emphasised by social actors with respect to the regulation and adaptation of (statutory) minimum wages. Taking an actor-centered institutionalist approach, and employing cross-country comparative studies, sector studies and single country accounts of change, the book relates institutional and labour market settings, actors’ strategies and power resources with policy and practice outcomes. Looking at the key pay equity indicators of low wage development and women’s over-representation among the low paid, it illuminates our understandings about the importance of historical junctures, specific constellations of social actors, and sector- and country-specific actor strategies. Finally, it underlines the important role of social dialogue in shaping an effective minimum wage policy.

    This book will be of key interest to scholars, students and policy-makers and practitioners in industrial relations, international human resource management, labour studies, labour market policy, inequality studies, trade union studies, European politics and political economy.

    1. Introduction: Minimum wage regimes in Europe and selected developing countries

    Irene Dingeldey, Thorsten Schulten and Damian Grimshaw

    2. Minimum wages and the multiple functions of wages

    Jill Rubery, Mathew Johnson and Damian Grimshaw

    Part 1: Actors’ strategies influencing collective bargaining and minimum wage regulations at national level in European countries

    3. Securing wage floors in the absence of a statutory minimum wage: Minimum wage regulations in Scandinavia facing low wage competition

    Kristin Alsos and Line Eldring

    4. Minimum wages in Southern Europe: Regulation and reconfiguration under the shadow of hierarchy

    Oscar Molina

    5. Shaping minimum wages in Central and Eastern Europe: Giving up collective bargaining in favour of legal regulation?

    Marta Kahancová and Vassil Kirov

    Part 2: The combined effects of minimum wages and collective bargaining in different sectors

    6. The interplay of minimum wages and collective bargaining in Germany: How and why does it vary across sectors?

    Gerhard Bosch, Thorsten Schulten and Claudia Weinkopf

    7. Downward convergence between negotiated wages and the minimum wage: The case of the Netherlands

    Paul de Beer, Wike Been and Wiemer Salverda

    8. The SMIC as a driver for collective bargaining: The interplay of collective bargaining and minimum wage in France

    Noélie Delahaie and Catherine Vincent

    Part 3: The minimum wage beyond Europe – an accomplishment or an alternative to collective bargaining?

    9. Minimum wages in Indonesia: Informality, politics and weak trade unions in a large middle-income country

    Marten van Klaveren

    10. Are minimum wages for textile and garment industry workers effective? A sector-in-country institutionalist approach for five developing countries

    Damian Grimshaw and Rafael Muñoz de Bustillo

    11. Minimum wages and inequality mitigation in post-dictatorship industrial relations systems in Latin America: The case of Argentina, Brazil and Uruguay

    Elizardo Scarpati Costa and Marta Kahancová

    Part 4: Conclusion: Lessons to be learned?

    12. Conclusion: Understanding the multiple interactions between institutions of minimum wages and industrial relations

    Damian Grimshaw, Irene Dingeldey and Thorsten Schulten


    Irene Dingeldey is Director of the Institute Labour and Economy at the University of Bremen, Germany. 

    Damian Grimshaw is Professor of Employment Studies at King’s College London, UK, and Associate Dean for Research Impact.

    Thorsten Schulten is a Senior Researcher at the Institute of Economic and Social Research (WSI) at the Hans Böckler Foundation, and Head of the WSI Collective Agreement Archive. He is also an honorary professor at the University of Tübingen, Germany.


    'The ideal types of institutional interaction provide an excellent typology for distinguishing and assessing minimum wage regimes and offers an important impetus for further research in this area. At the same time, the volume provides an important source of information for policy-makers on how to adjust the parameters of minimum wage systems in order to ensure effective minimum wage policies which ‘in concert with collective bargaining, are vital to protect the most vulnerable workers, ensure real wage growth and contribute to global social justice’ (p. 279). Thus, the volume is also – and especially – relevant to the current debate on common standards for an appropriate minimum wage in Europe.'

    - Felix Syrovatka, Free University of Berlin, Germany,