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Analysis of the main trends in wages, employment and poverty in south-eastern Europe

Bruno S. Sergi, Sanja Paunović and Rajko Kosanović

SEER Journal for Labour and Social Affairs in Eastern Europe, 2018, vol. 21, issue 2, 201-218

Abstract: This article reviews the recent performance of south-east European, and eastern European, economies on the issue of wages. This is a revised version of an article which we carried previously (Vol. 20 No. 2) but which has now been updated to take account of information not available at the time of original publication. Given the importance of the issue to trade unions, as well as its significance in the area of social policy and development, we have taken the unusual step of re-publishing this revised version. Real wages have lagged behind productivity in south-east European countries in the entire period since 2008, although minimum wages have seen a process of catching up since 2012, while there has also been a small, but welcome, amount of income redistribution. The result of the lag is evident regarding the impact on workers as well as on aggregate demand, not least in that it symbolises a disconnect between economic growth and the growth in wages. That the share of wages in national income is declining will be to the long-term detriment of societies as workers miss out on increases in national prosperity.

Date: 2018
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DOI: 10.5771/1435-2869-2018-2-51

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